Middleton-on-Sea Beach (Elmer Sands)

The sandy beach of Middleton-on-Sea, just east of Bognor Regis, is one of the sunniest spots in the United Kingdom. For a beach along this stretch of coastline it is relatively quiet and tranquil, being used mostly by locals walking their dogs. The beach includes substantial sea defences against coastal erosion, including wooden groynes and a sea wall.

The main reason the beach is so quiet is that there are few access points and this is via pedestrian only private roads. A small, pay-for private car park can be found along Elmer Road, a few hundred meters walk from the beach. Also, at the beach there is nothing in the way of facilities. Pubs, restaurants, and shops can be found in Middleton-on-Sea itself.

Also known as:

Elmer Sands

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs allowed all year round

West Sussex dog friendly beaches »


  • Swimming/bathing


  • Town centre nearby

Nearest town

Bognor Regis


PO22 6HU

OS grid ref.

SZ 9806 9995

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Middleton-on-Sea Beach Reviews

unusual beach formed of many separate coves

Aug 30th 2021

The beach at Elmer has an unusual form as the boulder revetments used to prevent erosion make it into a series of small horseshoe shaped coves (see an aerial view to better understand this).
We managed to park and walk about 5 minutes to get there.
One annoyance is that to get to the beach at Middleton from the involves some awkward clambering over see defences as the boundaries of properties leave no proper walkway along that bit of foreshore.

locals only

Les M
Jun 05th 2021

A lovely beach, deserted and quiet…however, there is NO parking anywhere nearby, there are no toilets or a cafe or anything else, it is just a beach… The lack of people is obvious by the lack of rubbish which inconsiderate tourists always leave behind elsewhere.
To get near the beach you would need to be a local or walk a very very long way; this area is all narrow private roads and you are not allowed to park anywhere!!  as such the parking wardens are very vigorous at giving out tickets if you leave your car..You have been warned!!!
The beach is sand at low tide and shingle/stone at high water mark.
If you are on holiday don’t waste your time going here, go to Bognor Regis or Littlehampton where there are facilities.


Jan 24th 2021

We have a beautiful unspoilt beach here and hopefully it stays that way !
There are facilities at Bognor fir families and plenty of cafes!


Aug 11th 2020

Wonderful walk along Middleton and Elmer beaches - sandy, rock pools, no signs at all of palm oil, some seaweed but spacious and met lots of friendly people too.

Fantastic beach

Aug 08th 2020

Having read some comments, I would like to say that Elmer beach is beautiful….it is unspoilt by Cafes/toilets etc,  and is how nature intended it to be. ...and wonderful for dogs( palm oil is everywhere, not just Elmer).


Aug 03rd 2020

Not good at all. No parking, no toilets. To many private estates onto beach with no walk throughs so you have to walk to nearest public footpath, which is hard work with dogs, kids and beach gear after parking 10 mins away. First thing that greeted us was the stench of rotting seaweed covered in flies. Then I spotted my big fear,  PALM OIL,  having lost one dog to it 2 years ago whilst on holiday in Cornwall I was not about to lose another. To my utter dismay there were children playing by a large area of it ??? do these parents not realise it can put a child in hospital.  Quick U turn back to car, drove 5 miles up road to my favourite beach at Rustington. Sorry Middleton / Elmer will not come again

Not good for a family day out

Jul 29th 2020

The beach is part stones and some sand. There are no facilities at all - no cafes, no water and no toilets.
Parking is some way from the beach - the public car park is a good 10 minutes from the beach. Side roads are narrow and tend to fill up quickly.

No parking or facilities

Jul 28th 2020

A quiet beach but not great to visit.
There’s no public parking near the beach and when we visited, we risked the double yellow lines on Elmer Road thinking that as it was a quiet road, we’d get away with it, but along with the other cars parked nearby, we were greeted on our return with a parking ticket, making it a rather expensive day out.
We also couldn’t find any toilet facilities on or near the beach which meant we had to leave earlier than we’d planned.

What did we get wrong?