Thorney Island Beach (Prinstead Cove)

Thorney Island Beach - West Sussex
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Thorney Island is part of the maze of waterways that form Chichester Harbour. The island is technically a peninsula although it is partially separated from the mainland by a channel known as ‘The Great Deep’.
Whatever you call it though, Thorney Island is a virtually untouched slice of wilderness that feels a million miles away from the mainland.

The beaches are located towards the southern tip of Thorney Island and comprise of some long stretches of shingle and sand with the mud flats of the harbour beyond. As the tide comes in the view improves and the water is warmed by the mud banks making it a pleasant spot for a paddle.

The very southern tip, towards Pilsey Island is a hotspot for a number of bird species including brent geese, curlews, skylarks, shelduck, egrets and even osprey.

Please note Thorney Island is largely Ministry of Defence land so stick to the marked paths.

Also known as:

Prinstead Cove

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs welcome but must be kept under control

West Sussex dog friendly beaches »

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

SU 7661 0096

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Thorney Island Beach Reviews

Super Beach

Terry Tracy
Jun 24th 2020

4 mile walk from Emsworth Marina and back again. It’s worth is Sand is like powder, sea is clear, great for a paddle or a swim. Great for kids as no huge waves
Great wildlife and shells