When you live pretty much in the middle of the country, a trip to the seaside at whatever time of year is a real treat. I’ve always loved visiting out of season but we often head to the same places and we all agreed that we wanted a new seaside adventure. So at the end of December we got up early and headed down the A34 to spend the day exploring the beach at West Wittering in West Sussex. I’d seem a number of people recommending the beach over the last few months and was eager to see if it lived up to expectations, even on a dull December day.
To spend time exploring the beach at West Wittering you need to enter the large car park via a barrier entry system. Parking can be paid with cash or cards and at this time of year costs £3.50 for the day. I have read that this charge increases in warmer months. We would need to vacate the car park by 6pm, which for us was fine as we’d got a long drive home anyway.
Once we’d parked up we discovered a number of toilet blocks along the stretch of the car park, with multiple cubicles. There are a number of picnic benches as well as an indoor and outdoor cafe. We had drinks indoors and then had burgers and hotdogs from the outdoors cafe for lunch. We were really impressed with the service and it’s worth noting that the outdoors cafe also takes card payments, useful if, like us, you don’t carry much cash on you.
We decided to head towards East Wittering along the beach and just take our time, enjoying the fresh air as we started exploring the beach at West Wittering.
The beach looked vast and my son was soon eager to explore.
The area is clearly popular, but with such a vast area to explore we never really felt that we were sharing the space with anyone else. It wasn’t long before my son decided to stop and enjoy having an expanse of sand all to himself. Wet sand at that, and perfect for a bit of artistry.
He started off just using his fingers to create his masterpieces.
As we moved along the beach his artwork got more complex and we realised he was making a portrait of Biff, his worry eater.
He was totally engrossed and signed the finished masterpiece, before heading off on his next adventure. We had to check that it was still there on our return walk.
Then he found a stick and it wasn’t long before he realised he could draw with that too.
The boy in his red coat, stick in hand, off exploring, having fun.
Often to be seen running into battle.
Or using his stick as a shell detector.
He may have just turned nine, but his love for his sticks shows no sign of waning just yet.
Exploring the beach at West Wittering had countless opportunities for him to use his imagination. He’s a huge fan of Horrible Histories and thought he’d try his own take on King Canute holding back the tide.
He was no more successful than the king, but thankfully gave up before getting wet.
We’d seen horseshoe tracks in the sand as we’d been walking along the beach, and we all enjoyed seeing the horses when we found them. Not something my son has ever seen before.
We also got to watch some birds flocking overhead and I wished I’d got my long lens with me!
My son’s favourite speed is full speed and he was in heaven with so much clear space to run in. It must have seemed like such a massive beach area to him.
Running, hurdling …….
and back to running. I wish I had his energy levels.
He’d go from one extreme to another, one minute running, the next stand as still as a statue. In this case as still as the Statue of Liberty.
Then just being a happy statue apparently.
Such a vivid imagination and so wonderful to see.
We loved finding reflections in the pools of water as we walked along the beach.
Walking in the opposite direction around East Head you get a totally different experience of exploring the beach at West Wittering. The sand dunes are wonderful to explore. Some are fenced off to protect them, but in other areas you are free to roam.
My son couldn’t quite understand why we could find him so easily when we played hide and seek. Bless him, his red coat isn’t so great if you want to be invisible.
He still had fun though just outrunning us.
But before we knew it, it was time to turn around once more and head back to the car park and make our way back home.
We’d had a wonderful day packed full of imagination and adventures and will definitely be returning in the future. If you know of any other gems that are reachable from North Oxfordshire, please let me know.
Have you had any winter beach adventures?