Image of Bird watchers looking out on Pagham Harbour with Chichester Cathedral in the background
Birdwatching with Chichester Cathedral, courtesy of CoastalJJ
image of Chichester Cathedral viewed from Pagham Harbour with the downs in the background and a flock of birds overhead.
Chichester Cathedral viewed from Pagham Harbour, courtesy of CoastalJJ
One kayaker in the sea at Pagaham Harbour with grass in the foreground
Kayaking in Pagham Harbour, courtesy of CoastalJJ
Winter scene of a bench, mudglats and massive skies at Pagham Harbour towards the Crab & Lobster at Sidlesham
Pagham Harbour in Winter at Sidlesham, courtesy of CoastalJJ
Water reflecting skies at Pagham Harbour
The Sea reflecting skies at Pagham Harbour, courtesy of CoastalJJ
Pagham Harbour at Church Norton
Pagham Harbour at Church Norton, courtesy of CoastalJJ

Pagham Harbour

What's Here

At the mouth of Pagham Harbour lies a shingle spit, creating a quiet beach on the north eastern side of Selsey. This is the perfect retreat to see an abundance of wildlife in its protected natural habitat.

The curve of the coast allows for excellent views of Bognor Regis and the South Downs in the distance beyond and at certain points you can even capture Chichester Cathedral standing majestically in between the Downs and the Sea.

This is the only Cathedral in England that can be seen from the sea and is the reason that no building on the Manhood Peninsular can be constructed above a certain height and consequently block the view.

The walking and views make this area a must for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike whilst kayakers taking care and following guidance can enjoy the tidal waters. Do check the tide timetables before your visit.

Following the shingle beach north from Selsey, at low tide between the reedbeds, woodland and the intertidal saltmarsh and mudflats, walkers and birders can spot, amongst others: 

  • Wading birds
  • Little terns
  • Divers
  • Grebes
  • Sea-ducks

There is the opportunity to find out more about Pagham Harbour’s wildlife at the RSPB Visitor Centre, or stop at the hide, rebuilt in 2018, to watch out for your own discoveries.

Alternatively continue to Sidlesham where the Romans landed in 46AD and where the remains of a Roman Villa have been discovered at nearby Bird Pond.

Waiting at Sidlesham on the water’s edge is the 350 years old Crab & Lobster, a luxurious restaurant, bar and guest house. A welcome stop for the avid walker before their return to Selsey.

Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve is a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest and offers excellent opportunities for bird watching of both resident and migratory birds.


Free parking is available at the RSPB Nature Reserve, straight off the B2145. Set your Sat Nav to PO20 7NE.

Public Transport

The Stagecoach no. 51 from Chichester to Selsey stops in Sidlesham at the RSPB Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve and Pagham Harbour is a short walk away.


There are public toilets available at RSPB Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre during their opening hours.