Brighton is a great seaside city with plenty to do within its limits, but for those after a really gorgeous sandy beach, Brighton isn’t the place to be. The beach is lovely, sure, but it is a shingle beach, not a sandy one. It’s all pebbles! Great for those who don’t like sand (after all, it’s coarse, rough, and it gets everywhere!) but for sunbathing or a gentle stroll down into the sea – sand is arguably better. So where are the best sandy beaches near Brighton?

1. Camber Sands

Camber Sands, sandy beach near Brighton
Source: Nigel Chadwick

Where? Camber

How to get there from Brighton: Drive 1hr 30 or train from Brighton to Hastings, 2 buses to Pontins, short walk

Whilst it is a bit of a pain to get to if you don’t drive, Camber Sands is a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach just outside of Rye. It has scenic windswept sand dunes. Most of the year, it is a dog friendly beach, and there is a lifeguard service meaning that you’re more than welcome to explore the sea whilst you’re visiting, too!

2. Birling Gap

Birling Gap - sandy beach near Brighton UK
Source: Andrew Diack

Where? At the end of the Seven Sisters

How to get there from Brighton: Drive 42 minutes or get the 12 Coaster bus from Brighton Station and ride for 1 hour 32 minutes

Birling Gap isn’t completely sand, it is a mix of sand and shingle. But it is absolutely stunning, sat at the base of the Seven Sisters. It is only a short journey away from Brighton, and will be much less busy during the summer months, too! If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing kind of sandy beach near Brighton, Birling Gap is a great place to visit.

3. Rottingdean Beach

Rottingdean Beach, sandy beaches near brighton
Source: Sussex Live

Where? Rottingdean Village

How to get there from Brighton: Drive for 13 minutes or get the 12 Coaster, 27 or 14 bus for 25 minutes

Rottingdean is a small village just along from Brighton and Hove. It has a great beach with pebbles and flat sand areas that at low tide also have incredible rock pools. The village itself is gorgeous and perfect for a quiet break away from Brighton for the day! Plus, Rottingdean Beach allows you to walk through Saltdean beach via an undercliff walk. Although check that this is open in advance, as it was closed for large parts of 2021.

4. West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach
Source: David Dixon

Where? West Wittering

Hot to get there from Brighton: Drive for 1hr 30 or Train to Chichester and then bus to the seafront

The West Wittering beach is a perfect uninterrupted stretch of sand that is only a short journey West of Brighton. It has a great stretch of both sand and sea, and is perfect for all sorts of watersports. There’s a lifeguard and plenty to do nearby, so you can make a real day of it!

5. Climping Beach

climping beach, sandy beaches near Brighton

Where? Between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis

How to get there from Brighton: Drive for approximately an hour or train from Hove to Littlehampton and then get a 700 Coastliner to The Oystercatcher

At high tide, Climping beach is a shingle beach, but as the tide goes out, there is a long stretch of sand revealed. You can enjoy both the shingle and the sand as well as a relatively quiet stretch of seafront that will be much less chaotic than anywhere along the Brighton seafront come the summer.

6. Cuckmere Haven Beach

Cuckmere Haven Beach
Source: Terry Jones, WikiCommons

Where? East Sussex

How to get there from Brighton: It’s about a 30 – 45-minute drive from Brighton, or an hour and a half by public transport. Take a bus to the Seven Sister Park then walk for 30 minutes.

Close to the Seven Sisters is Cuckmere Haven Beach, one of our favourite sandy beaches near Brighton that you can chill out at. It’s more of an estuary really, where River Haven becomes the ocean. Lots of people go canoeing here or hike up the cliffs thanks to the great panoramic views. You can also pack a picnic as they have picnic facilities close by to.

7. Littlehampton Beach

Littlehampton Beach sandy beach near Brighton

Where? West Sussex

How to get there from Brighton: It’s about the same time (just under an hour) to drive or get the train there from Brighton.

One of the best sand beaches near Brighton is Littlehampton Beach, composed of the East Beach and West Beach. The East is typically more crowded with places to eat and an amusement park nearby. The West is much more natural with dunes, so if you want to have a bit more room and privacy go here. There’s a footbridge between both beaches or if you’re tired, choose the ferry.

So now you know the best sandy beaches near Brighton, UK. Plus, if you can’t get out of town, there is nothing wrong with a shingle beach. Just make sure you have the right sea shoes and picnic blanket or beach towel. Have fun enjoying everything that the Sussex coastline has to offer! For more things to do, check out our guide for fun things to do in Brighton for couples.