West Wittering Beach and East Head
- Trails /
- Hampshire /
This trail is a very pleasant walk along the sandy beach of West Wittering and around the sand dunes of East Head with far reaching views across to the Isle of Wight. The walk is good at anytime of the year but avoid sunny, summer weekends when up to 15,000 people come down to the beach. As the walk passes a crabbing pool, take along a bucket and line to see what you can catch.
East Head is an important sand dune feature at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. It is used for recreation by many thousands of walkers and tourists each year. The hinge, the point of the dune system that connects it to the land, is very fragile. East Head has been slowly rotating anticlockwise for the last two centuries. The dunes are owned by the National Trust and are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Marram Grass is essential as its deeply penetrating root system helps stabilise the sand. However, it will die if trampled on which is why certain areas are roped off to encourage new growth.
West Wittering Estate
In 1951 the Church Commissioners, who owned all the land between the harbour entrance and East Wittering, were in discussion with Butlins and another similar organisation with a view to selling the land for a holiday complex. As a result the West Wittering Estate Company was set up by local residents. They purchased the land for 20,546 pounds 14s9d to preserve it for public enjoyment and to protect the rural and undeveloped nature of the area. The car park has been run commercially since the 1920s and provides many facilities including a beach patrol.
The trail starts at the Old House at Home public house in Rookwood Road, West Wittering. By Road take the A286 towards Witterings and follow signs for West Wittering. Park in Rookwood Road near the Old House at Home pub. Alternatively you can park in the beach car park (daily charge) and begin the walk from there. Please note this road is very busy on hot summer days. By Bus take the 52 or 53 Chichester to the Witterings services. There are bus stops on both sides of the road near the Old House at Home.