There’s nothing better for the soul than a good old-fashioned trip to the seaside. For once we didn’t have anything pressing to do so we decided to dust off the bucket and spade (when I actually remembered where I put it) and head to the coast…
The only problem was – where to? We didn’t want to spend hours cooped up in the car, so Dorset and the Jurassic Coast (my suggestion…) was vetoed. But then Brighton is always our regular go to, and we had heard reports from a friend that Camber Sands had been heaving the previous weekend. This didn’t sound too appealing, considering the last time we were there I was about six months pregnant on a beautiful, autumnal day and there was not a soul to be seen.
We eventually settled on West Wittering in West Sussex. Just over an hour and a half’s drive away, it was a manageable distance and a place we’d never ventured to.
When we arrived, we were slightly daunted by the volume of people/cars heading towards the beach. But West Wittering is a huge expanse of land – and although many families were huddled near the huts and sand dunes, it was blissfully uncrowded.
We decided to plonk ourselves right in the middle and Monkey was desperate to run around and start building sand castles. The wind was proving a little fresh, it seemed we had chosen to come to the seaside on the most blustery day known to man. And, this being me, we also came woefully unprepared.
Oh, don’t get me wrong… I brought a large rug for all of us to sit on; a bottle of water; a few snacks for Monkey and a bucket and spade. But I didn’t bring any towels, any swimming gear or a change of clothes for the little guy. Regardless, it wasn’t too much of a problem, I mean we had the sun, the sea and the salty air! And mercifully the weather started to get warmer and the wind began to die down. Then the boys decided it was imperative that we build a fort…
West Wittering is a Premier Blue Flag beach and you can see why. The beach is unspoilt and spotless, the sand is pristine and the water is clear. Made up of the National Trust owned East Head, there is the sand dune spit situated at the eastern side of the entrance to Chichester Harbour, which is about 1000 metres long and 400 metres wide. While the West side, the seaward side where we were situated, is mainly made up of fine sand.
Because of the windy conditions, there were several windsurfers and kite surfers out at sea which had Monkey enthralled and, when we were brave enough to go and paddle, I was surprised how warm the water felt. It was blissful. There’s nothing better than feeling the sand between your toes and the gentle lapping of water wash over your feet. Monkey, too, really enjoyed running through the shallow waters and was transfixed by the tiny fish swimming in the shore, as well as the lifeguard trucks that were always in view.
After playing in the sea and taking a little stroll along the shoreline, we played some more in the sand and then decided to head off and find somewhere to eat. Thankfully, Google maps pointed us in the direction of Chichester town centre and we enjoyed a family meal together polished off with a big bowl of ice cream. Needless to say, Monkey slept all the way home and through to the next morning… and we weren’t far behind him.
It was a fabulous family day out, and it really felt like we were on holiday – a world away from the hustle bustle of the city. Having been to a few beaches in Sussex, I would go as far to say this was one of my favourites now, and I am looking forward to returning when the sun is shining again and exploring more of this stunning area.