Living on the South Coast in Hampshire I’m very fortunate to have both coastal and countryside scenery on my doorstep and often venture out with my family and camera in tow. Beautiful locations with plenty of fun, recommended refreshment stops and wonderful views – my kind of places for the perfect family day out. One of my favourite all-year-round locations is West Wittering and you’ll find some of my recommended things to do and places to eat to complete your day trip to this beautiful stretch of Sussex coastline.
With wonderful views of the historic city of Chichester and the South Downs beyond, the natural and unspoilt sandy beach of West Wittering is a fabulous destination for a family day out. The long stretches of sand with the gorgeous light are truly photogenic making this a location I will never tire of exploring.
Whether you’re looking to extend your photography session into a whole day out or looking for inspiration for a family trip, I’d like to share with you a few suggestions for nearby activities which I hope the whole family will enjoy.
Catch the tiny Ferry and enjoy the Chichester harbour views on the short crossing from Smugglers Hard to the pretty sailing village of Itchenor. Follow the walking or cycle route to West Wittering beach, with coastal views on one side and countryside on the other. It’s quite a walk but the reward of an ice-cream at the end and avoiding the summer traffic is well worth it!
West Wittering Beach
This natural, unspoilt sandy beach is simply gorgeous. The water quality and excellent facilities have made it one of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country. Enjoy playing in the dunes at East Head, balance and clamber on the groynes and paddle in the shallow lagoons at low tide. Just don’t forget the bucket and spade!
When it’s a little cool for sunbathing and sandcastles, head to Bracklesham Bay. An area of Special Scientific Interest and famous for its fossil beds, it is easy to discover a variety of fossils deposited on the sand at low tide including fossilised shells, shark or ray teeth and corals. Who knows what your little explorers might find?
‘We chose West Wittering for our photoshoot location as it is such a beautiful place, iconic of South Coast summers’.
The Gavaghan Family.
Take a break
Drift In – Surf Cafe
If you’re looking for somewhere reasonably priced and great without being fancy – this simple cafe is ideal. It offers a relaxed atmosphere with great coffee and a varied menu, there’s plenty of choice which you won’t find on your average cafe menu. Complete with a children’s menu what’s not to like? The owners claim they will keep you coming back for more…
Billy’s on the Beach
According to Erin Baker writing in the Sunday Telegraph, this is the ‘Best beach cafe in the world’. I have to agree! A bustling cafe right on the beach, perfect if you want to linger over your latte or hot chocolate whilst the kids play within sight. In the winter months the wood burner adds to the friendly warmth of the place. Ideal for brunch before or after a photography session I highly recommend the ‘Surfers’ tasty Bean and tomato stew – and did I mention you can book too?
The Crown and Anchor
We always pop in for an obligatory refreshment on one of our favourite walks from Chichester Marina to the hamlet of Dell Quay. You’ll pass it as you drive north from the Witterings so is ideally situated if you’re looking for refreshments after a photography session. This 16th century waterside pub & restaurant is known for its local seafood and wonderful sea views and is well worth a visit.
To schedule your own family photography session set against this stunning backdrop, just get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!
Moira is a Southsea photographer who works throughout Hampshire and the UK. She specialises in children and families and is a member of the British Association of Professional Child Photographers.