Climping Beach (Atherington )

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


  • Picnic area

Nearest town



BN17 5RN

OS grid ref.

TQ 0065 0076

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Climping Beach Reviews

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 .

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.

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.

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.


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.

Ian Drinkwater
Sep 29th 2020

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

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.

May 28th 2020

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

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.

What did we get wrong?