Climping Beach (Atherington )

  • Climping Beach - West Sussex
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  • Climping Beach - West Sussex
    © Brian Tamplin and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Climping Beach - West Sussex
    © Pierre Terre and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Climping Beach - West Sussex
    © Phillip Perry and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Climping Beach - West Sussex
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  • Climping beach is a quiet rural beach located about halfway Littlehampton and Bognor. Like many of the beaches along this stretch of the Sussex coast it is made up of shingle and pebbles held in place by a series of wooden groynes. As the tide goes out a vast expanse of sand is exposed.

    Unlike the popular town beaches nearby, Climping (or Atherington) Beach is backed by low sand dunes and fields. Much of this area is now protected, being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This means the sand dunes are fenced off to prevent further erosion in many places.

    One of Climping’s claims to fame is it was used as a location in a couple of episodes of Doctor Who in the 60s and 70s.

    Also known as:


    Type of beach


    Lifeguard service


    Dogs friendly beach?

    Dogs allowed

    Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round

    West Sussex dog friendly beaches »


    • Kite surfing
    • Wind surfing


    • Cafe/restaurant
    • Toilets
    • Shower
    • Pub nearby
    • Picnic area

    Nearest town



    BN17 5RN

    OS grid ref.

    TQ 0065 0076

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    Climping Beach Reviews

    Climping beach dog walking

    Jul 18th 2020

    Saturday afternoon mid July, tide is out and acres of space for the dogs. If you want pristine facilities go elsewhere with the rest of the sheep (crowds). If you want space to walk your dogs, can’t fault it.

    Ian Drinkwater
    Sep 29th 2020

    Too many sad people posting negative feedback. It’s a fantastic place. These people need to get a life.

    Climping beach car park

    Sep 18th 2022

    Car park is designed to scam you!!! to make a payment if you can’t by the app because that didn’t work, you are given a website to make contact which doesn’t exist by which time your out of time and get a £100 slap on the arse!!
    Absolute scam!!!

    A wonderful local beach

    Jan e
    May 30th 2021

    This beach is a gem and I am amazed at some of the negative comments. It has wonderful walks and lots of sand at low tide,pretty shells to collect with lots to look at . On a hot sunny day it maybe busy but there are lots of other days when it’s peaceful and fantastic for dog walking .

    A lovely quiet beach

    Andy Worsfold
    Nov 07th 2020

    We had a lovely time our Granddaughter enjoyed climbing up and down the shingle banks and loved the sand.  Lovely cafe and clean toilets.

    Low standard

    Jul 30th 2020

    I used to use the beach for early morning paddle boarding until they changed the opening hours- now it opens too late to be of use to working people.

    I would have thought if you had stewardship over a shared resource such as local coastline it would be incumbent on you to look after the place.

    Returning 2 weeks ago, it seemed to be run by a single family whose concern was for money but certainly not maintenance. Run down facilities, a parking set up that’s seen better days and a slightly unwelcome vibe.

    Conclusion: the standard British seaside experience.

    Clear the place, take down barriers and allow free parking with summer and winter hours. The sea and beach are lovely the ‘managed’ part, dismal.


    Aug 09th 2020

    My god what an awful beach £7.50 to park all day in a car park full of dog poo !!!!
    Onto what seemed a beach that has been blown up !
    First and last time visiting

    Bad day

    Jul 17th 2020

    Went to clamping beach today, car park charged but no receipt given, cash only.
    Parked up and queued to use toilets, only one available and 20 minute wait.
    Staff at the adjacent cafe kept coming out and shouting agressively at people in queue that only 4 people allowed to queue at a time. Suggest they need to open more toilets.
    Was going to have food but due to there attitude decided to move on.
    Will not be going back in a hurry. It’s a shame as it is a lovely beach, but not suitable for the old or infirm as access is poor.

    Scam car park operation

    Sep 03rd 2022

    Do not go to this beach unless you are walking there.
    They operate a car parking system with hidden cameras , designed to make you overstay and then fine you £100 by their aggressive staff.
    Just look at Trip Advisor to see the extent of this scam .
    West Sussex council have failed the county by allowing this private operation to exist .

    And as far as the toilets are concerned, if you like diarrhoea this is the place for you!

    Very disappointing and run down

    Aug 30th 2022

    We visited the beach on a recommendation but it was very disappointing. Large concrete sea defences separate the carpark from the beach and look ugly and unsafe for young children. The wooden groynes are falling apart and metal debris is scattered on the beach. There is a dilapidated toilet block and cafe but the facilities have not been maintained. However someone has found the money to install a camera to photograph your car number plate. So although it has an old pay and display machine, if you take too long loading the car on your return from the beach you will be sent an invoice for £100! Beware, allow sufficient time on your parking to clear the area not just return to your vehicle. Until the money from the fines they are issuing is reinvested I think it’s probably best to stay away from this beach. Seems popular with locals but certainly not worth driving to.

    Slowly recovering

    Apr 13th 2021

    I have known Climping beach all my life and have seen it change quite a lot over the years.  At present the car park and access to the beach is a bit of a mess and difficult due to the Enviromental Agency making good the damage caused by the storms last year but it seems the work is very slow and I wonder when it will be able to complete what it started.  The tide was just coming in today and the expance of sand was lovely to walk on.  The cafe and toilets were open.  We as a family have enjoyed many picnics here over the years but I would not recommend bringing young children until the area and access is safer. It should be noted that the area was very clean which was good to se.

    Jul 30th 2023

    Went there on Saturday 29 June , had to see someone locally so afterwards thought we’d take our two Terriers there £2 for an hours parking with a raffle ticket as a receipt tide was out and the beach was perfect to walk to the next village and back .. it looks like the storms have really taken there toll and the facilities are basic but the beach is a hidden treasure at low tide in July . Don’t go there if you want Candi floss and amusements keep going until you hit Bognor

    Beware of car parking scam

    Jul 13th 2023

    Difficult to pay and then when finally pay you overrun 30min to pay.  Week later you get sent a demand to pay from fine!

    May 28th 2023

    Don’t understand people getting uptight that someone who stands all day at a car park needs to be smiles and friendly. We’ve never had an issue there with parking! Ive had so much fun and good times here with my kids. It’s perfect for kids being kids. No arcades or parades of endless sweet shops to distract them from why they really came to the beach. Just beach, rock pools, a cafe with just what you need, coffee, drinks, chips, burgers and that is enough for us!

    A big NO!

    Oct 29th 2022

    Can’t think of a good word to say about this Beach. Hard crunchy stones to walk on and a dreadful parking site. A big NO…..

    Jul 12th 2022

    We visited here on the weekend. Blissfully quiet and lovely beach for small children. We arrived after lunch - tide was out so lots of sand and rock pools to explore. Cafe serves burgers, chips etc, ice cream and the largest chelsea buns I have ever seen! Loos okay and reasonable parking. Would definitely visit again.

    jon wallsgrove
    Sep 21st 2020

    Lovely, quiet, south facing, undeveloped shingle and sand beach backed by woodland, with a grassy carpark (£5 a day) and coastal walk. Reasonable loos (open late) and cafe (crab sandwich special when we were there). The old concrete sea wall is being eaten away by the sea, as are the farmer’s pea fields, and the remains of the WW1 seaplane base are now only exposed at low tide, so be careful of the lumps of concrete between certain groynes by the west end of the car park when swimming. The rough sea wall gives shelter from the warm breeze. There is much more sand at low tide.

    May 23rd 2020

    Been to Climping beach during the lockdown, lovely beach when tide is out. Car park closes at 5pm at the mo and only letting so many cars in at a time. Toilets are the worst ever. Dirty.  Take your own loo roll and hand sanitizer. Cafe open, ok for ice lollys would not try any other foods.

    Great place for a quiet swim

    Jul 13th 2022

    Visited Climping beach today. I can see why previous reviews have mentioned the heavy blocks and ‘works’ but if you can see past that eyesore then you really cannot beat it here.  As mentioned there is plenty of parking £1.50 an hour, toilet facilities and also somewhere to get yourself something to eat and drink all within that car park. We didn’t visit the cafe there today so cannot comment. If you are on a budget and want a day at the beach with your kids this is ideal.  There’s no shops, no ice cream parlours, no expensive rides or other distractions for the kids. A bucket and spade, maybe a fishing net and float is all you need. Peaceful, not busy at all today but it is weds and not a school holiday. However given the size of the beach and the fact that it’s not a seaside resort I can’t imagine it getting as busy as bognor does.  So if you’re looking for a quiet blissful day out that’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg and it’s going to keep the kids entertained I’d say go for it. Maybe take a picnic. I will defo be going back.


    Oct 25th 2020

    Lived locally all our lives and decided to drive to Climping beach to walk. What an amazing and interesting coastline. We loved the interesting concrete objects. These other reviewers need to look outside if their very narrow minds. I hope the cafe isn’t as bad as people say when it opens again as we will be coming more often.

    May 28th 2020

    Fabulous. Much quieter than neighbouring beaches. Little cafe and loos open seasonally, fair parking prices

    Howard hanson
    Sep 27th 2020

    Great place to spend the day, unfortunately it was semi destroyed by last year’s storms work is underway by the environment agency to rebuild the defences, a lot of negative reviews but I have been visiting here for 20 plus years and never seen it full of dog poo as per a previous review. Only given 3 stars but this will go back up to 5 once the works are complete. Try walking towards Elmer, lovely walk with amazing views.

    Scruffy but .....

    Jan 01st 2021

    This beach is not a picture book! Rotting groins, a crumbling sea wall, large lumps of concrete, a tatty cafe and a bumpy car park together with work in progress on improvements make it not for the feint hearted!

    However if you want to get away from the usual south coast seaside environment, don’t mind a few obstacles and value privacy then you will love this place. There are some patches of sand between the shingle but the best are found at low tide.

    The cafe and car park appear to be in the ownership of someone who doesn’t have customer service at any level on their priority list. But the loos if open are adequate and the car parking at £1.50 per hour, or £7 per day, is not unreasonable. When the car park is closed the parking on the approach road is limited.

    Not recommended

    Aug 17th 2020

    Expensive parking administered by rude staff, no receipt and cash only. Litter and general detritus everywhere. The place looks like something post apocalyptic - huge broken concrete blocks all over the place and piles of gravel/aggregate forming makeshift structures. Wouldn’t mind the ‘work in progress’ if there actually looked like there was work going on. Doesn’t look like it’s had any maintenance done for a while. What is the exorbitant parking fee being spent on? Payment machines out of action, even the booth there was full of litter. Whole place looks completely unloved and unwelcoming. Didn’t use the cafe or loos and headed west to get more some space as it was quite busy. Seemed to be unnecessary hazards everywhere and I did not feel it was safe for my young children - was quite unpleasant. Definitely would not return.