East Beach is a beautiful long expanse of shingle divided by wooden groynes. The largest beach in Selsey, it stretches towards Pagham Harbour to the East and Selsey Bill to the West.
The beach itself is backed in places by a walkable sea defence interspersed with benches, ideal to sit and take in the panoramic view east to Bognor Regis and beyond. It is indeed this very view that inspired the composer Eric Coates to write "By The Sleepy Lagoon", the theme tune to the radio show Desert Island Discs.
Photographers are spoilt for choice, no matter the conditions, on this charming stretch of the British coastline.
Check out the tide timetable for East Beach before your visit.
A working beach, the sea is dotted with Selsey's active fishing fleet, moored ready to head out and catch the seafood that Selsey is famous for, in particular Selsey crab and lobster. Early risers will find East Beach the perfect spot to watch the sun come up and see the catch of the day being landed.
Don’t tackle the long queues to the Witterings, East Beach is the perfect spot for a sunny family day at the seaside, with enough to keep the kids entertained while you catch up on that bestselling book, work on your tan or check your eyelids for leaks.
The Environmental Agency have rated the bathing water quality as Excellent and Selsey has amongst the highest average number of sunshine hours in the UK, so there’s no excuse not to sample our waters, even if it’s just for a paddle. Check out the What's On Pages for regular sea bathing meet up with the Selsey Sea Bathing Society. To contact them directly, find the details via Clubs, Community Groups and Activities.
Mulberry Marine Experiences are an SSI Diamond Dive Centre, located in the parade of shops just behind the beach, and are a brilliant place to learn or enhance your diving or snorkeling skills if you wish to dip more than your toes.
The public slipway at East Beach allows for launch and recovery of smaller diving vessels.
Walking southeast towards Bill Point will take you past all of the working fishermen’s huts, complete with lobster and crab pots, used to bring in the Selsey's internationally prized seafood.
Past the RNLI Lifeboat Station is a long stretch of quiet, unspoilt coastline from which you can access Bill Point, Oval Beach, Marine Beach and even further around to West Beach.
A stroll northeast along East Beach will take you to Pagham Harbour. En-route is one of East Beach's unique features, its railway carriage homes.
The railway carriages were brought to Selsey after the First World War, priced at £25.00 each and advertised as suitable for bungalows. They are now lovingly restored and sympathetically converted into homes or holiday accommodation and make quite a sight with original features on display such as door handles and carriage signage.
Please be aware of tide timetables when walking any beach, as it is best to keep to low tide.
Selsey Lifeboat Station is located at East Beach and operates an all-weather Shannon class lifeboat and a D class inshore lifeboat.
There is often the opportunity to watch the crew launch on training exercises. Alternatively, drop in at the Visitor Centre and pop into the shop within the RNLI station to support this life saving charity.
Every year, Selsey celebrates the RNLI during Lifeboat Week with activities such as treasure hunts, a quiz night, a tug-of-war competition and fireworks.
All this culminates in Lifeboat Day, the highlight of the year for many, bringing people from all over to experience the fun fair, stalls, entertainment, a fancy-dress raft race and demonstrations of rescues by both lifeboat and helicopter.
Seals are regular visitors to East Beach, they often stop off to rest on the shingle. In fact, Selsey takes its name from the Saxon Seals-ey which interprets as the Isle of Sea Calves – Sea Calves are better known as seals.
The water quality may be one of the factors encouraging the visiting dolphins and seals that regularly pop up along the shoreline.
A seal can always be seen in this area as there is a painted one on display! Funded by a Public Arts Grant and designed by art students at Chichester College these seals are dotted around Selsey and you can find them as part of the interactive walk Selsey Seal Art Trail. The Seal on display next to the East Beach Kiosk is designed by Emerald Krijgsman and celebrates Sesley as a top UK diving destination as well as it's world renowned crab and lobster.
With excellent parking facilities (£1.80 per day), public toilets, the RNLI station and Visitor Centre plus a dive and snorkelling centre nearby, East Beach is the perfect base for a day at the seaside.
You don’t even need to worry about packing a picnic as food and drink is available from a range of shops nearby, including East Beach Kiosk, Nice Plaice Fish and Chips, Enticott’s bakery, The Lifeboat Pub or Paddy's Plaice.
Please note that the public slipway can be used for the launching of public vessels, excluding jetskis. Trailers left in the car park must have a seperate parking tickets. Please note that the gradient of the ramp steepens towards the seaward end so that vehicles do not have to drive too far in to the water, however vehicles may struggle for traction particularly two wheel drive cars, towing larger vessels, when the ramp is wet. You use the slipway at your own risk, we recommend that you have adequate help and if in any doubt consider using a strong rope connected between the trailer and the car.
For all coastal byelaws, please visit Chichester District Council's Coastal Recreation page.
The beach is a working one so after a wonderful day out, why not take home some of the amazing fresh fish or crab brought in just that day by the fishing fleet. A tasty piece of Selsey to remember your visit.
Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.
Dog restrictions are in place between groynes E26 and E33 between 1st May and 30th September each year and dogs must be held on a lead while walking the sea wall. Please note that it is an offence not to clean up after you dog.
East Beach has a large, chargeable car park (£1.80 per day) accessible from Beach Road. The car park has a height barrier and there is no overnight parking. Set your Sat Nav to PO20 0SZ.
The Stagecoach no. 51 bus from Chichester stops at the junction of Beach Road and Constable Drive. A short walk down Beach Road and around East Beach Pond will bring you to the car park and then the beach itself.
There are public toilets located behind East Beach Kiosk and by the Lifeboat station. Both have disabled facilities, although no baby changing area and they are closed at night.
East Beach is accessible via a slipway to the north end of the large car park, a ramp next to the lifeboat station and via Albion Road. These access points may be subject to closure due to sea defence boarding, put in place as a barrier at extreme high tides. Please note that the walkway along East Beach is not a public right of way but is a walkable sea defence. This may therefore be covered with shingle after extreme high tides.