Beach days with your dog are the best we think, and we’re lucky enough to have several great beaches close to London that we can escape to for the day to unwind. One of those is dog-friendly West Wittering Beach in Chichester, West Sussex – as featured in our popular guide to the best dog-friendly beaches in West Sussex.
Although West Wittering Beach does have some dog restrictions in place from May to September, fortunately, the beach is enormous so dogs have plenty to explore and will have even more beach space to sniff around come October.
So if you fancy visiting dog-friendly West Wittering beach with your dog, we’ll tell you all you need to know in this blog so that you can make the most of your beach day escape from London.
Where Is West Wittering Beach
West Wittering Beach is a large sandy beach with an authentic sand and surf feel, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Chichester, West Sussex. It’s also famous for its brightly coloured beach huts, although only a few are located in the area where dogs are allowed from May to September.
Are Dogs Allowed on West Wittering Beach?
Dogs are allowed on West Wittering Beach but as mentioned above, there are dog restrictions between May and September, but this won’t stop you and your pup having a fabulous day out. The beach holds a Blue Flag Award for cleanliness and safety, and with that in mind, dogs are not allowed in the area marked on the map below during this time.
There are plenty of signs showing where the restricted dog areas are, which is really helpful. Basically, it’s the area to the far left as you come in the car park or head towards the far end of the car park and then it’s the beach area to the right from there.
If you walk to the far end of the beach, you can also walk around to East Head where there are more sand dunes. This is actually a National Trust area rather than being managed by West Wittering Estate.
West Wittering Beach Facilities
West Wittering is well set up in terms of facilities for when you visit. There are clean public toilets, regular water taps dotted along the beach path for cleaning sand off humans or pups and a beach café with seating for refuelling afterwards. There were also dog waste bag dispensers which were a pleasant surprise.
The car park is huge too, but on a sunny day, it can get extremely busy. To manage social distancing, the car park capacity is currently being kept to 50% with a car park booking system in place via Just Park (from £8/day). There’s no point in turning up if you haven’t pre-booked a spot and be aware that parking in the area is not easy to find. Also, the weekend car park bookings sell out fast, so make sure to book your spot well in advance.
Top Tips For Visiting Dog-friendly West Wittering Beach
- When visiting May to September, decide which end of the beach you’re going to visit and park your car accordingly. We parked close to the entrance of the car park and then walked along to the other end, which was quite a distance in the hot sun, especially for Belinha. In hindsight, it would have been better to park at the other end of the car park.
- Plan your visit to coincide with the low tide as that’s when it’s (in my opinion) the best time to enjoy the miles of sand with your dog.
- If it’s a sunny day and you’re planning to sit on the beach, be aware that there isn’t any shelter so if need be, bring a pop-up beach shelter for you and your pup to take a break from the sun in.
- While there is plenty of sandy beach to explore with your dog year-round, make sure to plan a visit once the dog restrictions have been lifted too.
Dog-friendly Restaurants & Cafés Near West Wittering Beach
If you don’t fancy bringing a beach picnic or grabbing something from the beach café, there are some dog-friendly options nearby. We haven’t tried these yet ourselves, but the Old House at Home is top of our list to try next time we visit thanks to the cute beach huts in their beer garden.
- The Old House At Home – this is located just opposite the road leading onto West Wittering Beach so close to the beach.
- The Lamb Inn – a charming country pub a 10-minute drive from the beach, also with a lovely beer garden.
- Bracklesham Bay Tea Rooms – If you’re partial to Afternoon Tea then you should visit Bracklesham Bay Tea Rooms, also a 10-minute drive towards East Wittering. Dogs are welcome in the little tea room and the garden.
- Billy’s on the Beach – This popular seaside café is right on the beach at Bracklesham Bay and as recommended to us by a reader, they love dogs! Dogs are welcome inside and out and treats are available for good doggos.
- The latest information on visiting West Wittering is published on the West Wittering Estate website.
- You can check tide times for West Wittering Beach here.
- You can book your West Wittering car park spot via Just Park.
How To Get To West Wittering Beach
By Car: West Wittering Beach is most accessible by car and took us about 1.5 hours. Use the postcode PO20 8AJ for sat navs.
By Public Transport: You can get there by public transport in approx. 2 hours by taking the train from Clapham Junction to Chichester and then the number 53 bus to the Old House at Home and from there it’s approximately a 10-minute walk.
However, this could be a bit of a mission, in my opinion. There are other dog-friendly beaches in West Sussex that are easier to get to by public transport, see our Dog-friendly West Sussex Beaches Guide for more inspiration.