Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

Selsey (West Beach) West Sussex

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No longer remote. Large caravan park complex by a shingle beach leading to a newly breached seawall to create a tidal wetlands RSPB reserve.

No longer used by naturists

The unofficial naturist beach at Selsey lies beyond the large West Sands Caravan Park, in the 'no man's land' between Selsey and Bracklesham.

[2018] The sea wall has been breached here as part of a large construction project to create tidal wetlands, which has dramatically changed this area. A large caravan park complex has expanded to the edge of the wetland's tidal inlet. Any naturist beach would now have to be on the Bracklesham side of the inlet. Signs prohibit crossing the inlet. The inland perimeter path is about 8 miles!

Getting There

Satnav: PO20 9BJ

From the A27 (Chichester Bypass) take the B2145 south to Selsey - it's about 7 miles. Drive straight through the town ignoring the East Beach sign and continuing through two sets of lights. Take the right turn for West Sands Caravan Park then follow the signs for the caravan park. Pass the windmill and continue through the caravans (about a mile of them!) to the end of the road where there is free parking. Turn right along the beach and the unmarked naturist area starts after a few groynes.

Description

The south west facing beach is backed by a substantial shingle and grit bank which prevents the sea sweeping inland. At high tide the beach is reduced to this steep bank, at mid tide pebble strewn coarse sand appears and at low tide there's also an expanse of flat but wet sand.

It's two miles along the beach to Bracklesham so there is plenty of space, but the beach is overlooked from the bank. Making the trek to the middle will limit the passing traffic to the more energetic walkers and occasional mountain biker.

The atmosphere is bracing as Selsey Bill protrudes well out into the Channel. The groynes afford some protection, but a windbreak would be an asset on all but calm, warm days.

If you are interested in the history of Selsey beaches, the book  'Voices From The Sea' by Ruth Cocks is full of stories from people about Selsey, from local coastguards, divers, fishermen and lifeboat crew members. All proceeds from the book go to local charities.

Facilities

None on the beach itself but the caravan park has everything you might need, and a lot you could well do without: funfair, leisure centre, sauna centre - and caravans, thousands of caravans. (But you can get more than far enough away from them.)

Water Quality

Bracklesham Bay is not near major industry or ports and the water quality is good.

Trip Report: July 2002 - by Mike

11/7/2002. I went to Selsey West Beach today - twice. In the morning, despite it being July 11th, the chilly wind left the beach deserted - not even a textile in sight. In the afternoon it was slightly warmer but apart from one brave windsurfer (textile), again deserted. With the tide half way out there is some sand, and more sand the further along you go. This picture was taken midway between Selsey and Bracklesham.

13/7/2002. Saturday, and slightly more beach-friendly weather. But, oh dear, no naturists. Just a few textiles on the caravan site beach. One 30s bloke on the "naturist" beach looked as though he wanted to be, but didn't like to as he would have been the only one.

The bank behind the beach looks as though it has recently been reinforced. It is flat and road-like on top which makes it easy walking - and means the beach is completely overlooked. Today there were even a few mountain bikers making the round trip to Bracklesham. I wonder: was the bank previously a more natural shape, making it harder to walk and look?

15/7/2002. Monday morning. Hot day, so went to the beach full of expectation. But only one person on the whole expanse of naturist beach: half way along, male in posing pouch who had cycled there. Further along and with no-one in sight I had a quick naked dip.

16/7/2002. Tuesday afternoon. Bad news: beach deserted. Good news: had a whole mile of naturist beach to myself!

Well, if nothing else I hope this report gives you a good idea of who you are likely to see - or rather not see - when you visit this beach. This is the nearest naturist (if is it) beach to me so I'd be most interested to hear from anyone

Map

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Photos

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Photos should be of the beach, or show the way to it. They should NOT have people in them.

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Nearby Photos

These photos, which have been tagged as 'safe', were all taken nearby.

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