Bracklesham and Bracklesham Bay
The wind and the sandy beach makes Bracklesham Bay is one of the south coast's leading centres for windsurfing and other board sports.
The 8 miles of continuous beach which runs from East Head all the way to Selsey Bill combined with strong winds make Bracklesham Bay a great place to catch some air (or a face full of water, if you're a beginner).
The sandy beaches along the Bay make Bracklesham, along with its neighbours East and West Wittering and Selsey a very popular family holiday spot too. In summertime, the roads from Chichester down to Bracklesham are packed with slow moving beach traffic at the start and the end of the day. Many people travel down from London to enjoy the seaside here.
Bracklesham gives its name to a geological feature - the Bracklesham Beds - which are a mixture of clays and marls that run from here right through to southern Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The Bracklesham Beds are good fossil hunting terrain and at low tides expanses of fossil bearing rock off the Bracklesham coast have yielded fossil molluscs, corals, sea snakes and fish.
These fossils date back to the Eocene era - around 46 million years ago.
More recently, the softness of the Bracklesham Beds has meant that the shoreline has been very vulnerable to erosion by the sea. A lot of land has been lost in this way here over the last thousand years or so, including the hamlet of East Thorney.
Bracklesham Bay is sheltered to a certain extent by the Isle of Wight. But the strong prevailing winds and currents driving up the English Channel from the south west, mean that extensive protection is needed to preserve the coastline.
Where to stay near Bracklesham
BRACKLESHAM VILLAGE INFORMATION
- East Wittering
- West Wittering
- West Itchenor
- The Salterns Way
- Chichester Canal
- Sidlesham and Highleigh
- Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve
- Pagham village