10 ways to enjoy the sea in Sussex
PUBLISHED: 16:55 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:15 21 February 2018
When the warm weather arrives, we are drawn to the water. Hazel Sillver suggests some of the best ways to experience the big blue this summer
Surfing, West Wittering
Instructor Simon Bassett and his team at West Wittering Windsurf Club offer lessons in all varieties of surfing, including kitesurfing, SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), surfing, and windsurfing, for adults and kids. Teaching takes place in the calm waters of the lagoon off West Wittering’s sandy beach.
Adults and children can learn to sail with the RYA instructors at Worthing Sailing Club. This friendly, family-focused club sails monohulls and catamarans, holds regular social events at the clubhouse, and boasts a good program of races on Sundays and mid-week evenings, from March to November.
Families, couples and individuals are welcome to sail in the sheltered waters of Chichester Harbour with Dell Quay Sailing Club. The clubhouse has a bar, lounge, and changing facilities and hosts sailing events all year round. There is the option of hiring a club boat if you don’t have your own.
Wildlife boat trips, Chichester
Board Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s Solar Heritage (a solar-powered catamaran) and enjoy a 90 minute trip through Chichester Harbour, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The fume-free, quiet boat allows you to see wildlife, including birds (such as sea ducks, swans and herons) and seals, close up.
Sea swimming, Brighton
Strengthen your body safely and for free by joining the city’s thriving sea swimming community. Brighton Swimming Club has been going strong since 1860 and welcomes new members (be warned, there is a waiting list). Alternatively join the informal Salty Sea Dogs club (find them on Facebook), who meet regularly to swim in the sea.
Being able to save a life is one of the greatest skills you can have. Learn how with the friendly Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club, who teach adults and juniors in groups according to age and ability. Lessons take place in the sea and in pools, such as the King Alfred Centre in Hove.
Kayaking, Brighton and Eastbourne
Learn the ancient art of kayaking in the Sussex seas, for example off Brighton beach and along the Seven Sisters cliffs. Instructor Kelly, of Brighton Kayak, offers basic lessons for complete beginners, as well as more testing sea excursions for those with lots of experience (and strong arms!)
Learn the wild and wonderful arts of kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP surfing, and dinghy sailing in the coastal lake and the sea off Camber Sands. The instructors at Rye Watersports offer lessons for adults and children. Boards, sails, and wetsuits are available to hire.
Sea fishing, Hastings
Fish for your supper with the East Hastings Sea Angling Association, which has been going for more than 100 years. The clubhouse in Hastings has a bar and social area and serves food; competitions are held throughout the summer; and members are welcome to hire a club boat free of charge.
Learn the freedom of breathing underwater by doing a dive course with Planet Divers. The top instructors offer PADI courses in diving for all levels, including open water diving, scuba diving, and rescue, but you must be a reasonably proficient swimmer from the off.