When in Chichester in southern England, at the end of June, it’s totally appropriate to at least see the Beach. That was the plan when I spend two half days in West Sussex this past weekend. Driving around beautiful country roads with the new Ford Galaxy I’ve chosen the most-southern part on the navigation and we drove straight towards south, to the Beach. We passed a Tesco where we fueled up on cold drinks and up from there it were just a few more miles until we reached the end of a street. After parking the car we had to walk the final way by foot. “No Problem” I thought, as we would be rewarded with a super sandy beach and blue water and the ocean sound with waves playing around. Well, at least we learned that not every end of a road means that there is immediately a beach, as we walked straight towards Pagham Harbour, what sounded for us tourists like a little harbour with some fisher boats and some fun, but we ended up at the nature reserve with no Beach in sight. Crap!
As I learned later, as we then left pretty soon again, without seeing a beach, is that Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve covers 6 km2 of salt marsh, mudflats, farmland, copses, lagoons, reed beds and shingle beaches. The reserve is also home to some rare bird species, like the Little tern (Sternula albifrons) that stays there during the breeding season, the Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) that is over-wintering in this area or the migratories Pintail (Anas acuta). A visit to Pagham Harbour nature reserve in West Sussex is specially recommended during autumn and winter when up to 20,000 ducks, geese and waders are across the area. To enjoy this experience the best there are birdwatching workshops offered. The entrance to the nature reserve is free to everyone, but donations are welcome.
For the stats, if would have been small 1,5 km from the nature reserve by car to the real beach in Pagham – Next time!
How to get to Pagham Harbour in West Sussex
We drove until Church Ln in Pagham, Bognor Regis, parked the car there at the closest and walked the final 300 meters to the entrance of Pagham Harbour. If you want to travel with public transport, the nearest train station is Chichester (11 km), from there departs a bus to “Selsey” which takes about 20 minutes.
Check out the Map for the exact location.