The beach at Hayling Island is naturally a very sandy beach, with the pebbles actually being added as part of the sea-defences. It’s lovely and sandy if you walk to the east along the beach from Southern Bell, where the coastline bends round to form the western shore of Chichester Harbour, and there is a beautiful sandy spit by Hayling Island Sailing Club if you continue walking past the RNLI lifeboat station.
There are strong tides around that part of the beach so the safer part of the beach for beach activities, swimming, etc. is the main south-facing beach (including just outside Southern Bell). However, even here, please be very careful at all times as there are strong tides and currents, and be aware that the beach shelves quite sharply (which is good for the fishing!).
Apart from our own Blue Flag beach at Hayling Island, there are a number of good beaches in the area, including:
Southsea – this is a classic Victorian Seaside town with a long beach backing onto a Promenade and beachfront road. There is a pier, a small castle, memorials and also a Blue Reef Aquarium there.
West Wittering – this is about 30 minutes away, on the other side of Chichester Harbour and has a lovely wide sandy beach. However, it is very popular and the traffic can be very busy in the summer. If you venture there, then when you arrive at the car park, we’d recommend going as far to the end of the car park as you can and then walking out the far end of the car park onto the National Trust area, known as East Head where there is also a circular walk.