Bracklesham Bay runs from Selsey to the sand dunes at East Head and encompasses a glorious part of the Sussex coast, centred on the villages of East and West Wittering (collectively known as the Witterings). The area is known for having some of the best beaches hereabouts – lovely sandy affairs that are perfect for surfing or kite-surfing or just exploring the run of promenade alongside. The West Wittering blue flag beach, in particular, is the stuff of memorable family days – with beautiful dune-backed sands, sheltered waters and acres of space. Catch a sunny day here and you’ll wonder why people bother going to Europe on holiday.
A walk or cycle ride inland from East Wittering, at Stubcroft Farm, owner Simon’s day job is tending to his sustainable 50-acre sheep farm and overseeing a growing bee-keeping operation. A gregarious environmentalist and professional photographer, Simon is both proud and passionate about his campsite too.
The campsite sits next to a handsome red-brick farmhouse, which, with its old pumps and nearby beehives, gives the place a real whiff of ‘olde’ England. Stubcroft is proudly green in approach, with its use of fair trade and organic products, as well as environmentally friendly loos.
The 90 pitches are pretty compact, having been bordered with specially planted hedges and a wealth of trees to provide privacy and shelter from those landlubbing sea winds. However, on a busy summer weekend you’ll be close quartered with your fellow campers, as the place is extremely popular. You’ll soon see why; the sky is huge here, and there’s an immediately calming effect when you look out across the wild paddock beyond to the distant smudge of Chichester on one side and the sea on the other.
Five flat camping paddocks are sheltered by recently laid hedges (keep a look out for blackberries, elderberries and sloes hidden inside), beyond which is pure countryside all around, thanks to the farm’s secluded position at the end of a private lane. Don’t be surprised to see deer, pheasants, buzzards, or some of the other 72 species of birds drawn to the area’s tranquillity.
Kids will be able to run free (thanks to the site’s secluded lane and surrounding fields) while you busy yourself buying home-made burgers from the shop and setting up your barbie. You may even find yourself helping owner Simon with the extraction of honey, or staying during one of the farm’s organised vintage-tractor rallies.
Work has started on a brand-new, state-of-the- art eco amenities block, which should be ready for summer 2014 and with 10 showers, 15 toilets, 20 washbaisins, urinals, launderette and washing up facilities should keep campers clean and happy. It’s a busy place for sure, but the pitches are comparatively generous, and in any case that’s the trade-off for choosing one of the few low-key countryside campsites along such a glorious stretch of coast.
FacilitiesCampfires permitted in containers off the ground. Some can be rented out (£5 per night); logs also sold. Ninety pitches, 6 eco-loos, 5 modern showers, and 6 conventional-flush loos. Dotted around the site are drinking taps, and a CDP. There are 8 electric hook-ups. Bike hire is also available by the day (£10), weekend, or week so you can head off exploring the miles of cycle paths through natural areas. Ask about upcoming steam rally events and lambing weekends. New eco-friendly amenities block due to open for Summer 2014
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs (on leads), well-behaved groups – yes.
NearbyEasy access to some of the UK’s best beaches – head to Bracklesham Bay for surfing, walk along the East Head spit: 50 acres of Lawrence of Arabia sand dunes to live out those ‘take Aqaba’ fantasies; while West Wittering beach has some of the cleanest, clearest water in the country. For kids, visit the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester, the Old Windmill in Halnaker, or – less than ten miles away – Portsmouth’s impressive Blue Reef Aquarium (02392 875222).
Food & Drink
Opening TimesAll year.
Stubcroft Farm, Stubcroft Lane, East Wittering, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 8PJ
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