Frequently Asked Questions about beaches

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the beaches sandy?

When the tide is out at its full extent there is sand. The part nearest the promenade is pebbles.

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Are there swimming zones?

Yes, there are four designated swimming zones on our local coastline.

Annually between 1st May and 30th September, there are areas of Lancing Beach, Widewater, Shoreham Beach and Southwick Beach which are marked with buoys to show where the swimming zones are.

Please note, there are no lifeguards on duty at any time. In the event of an emergency please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Other than bathing, no other sporting pursuit is permitted in a swim zone, including Fishing. All vessels, including jet skis (PWC), are also prohibited from entry into these zones.

Please note: Domestic paddlesport equipment, inflatables, snorkeling, child body boarding and light play are permitted in the swim zones.

Never use an inflatable during an offshore wind.

Please also be aware that the top section of the beach above any swim zone can become very busy with all ages and abilities. Please refrain from setting up any equipment in these areas for any leisure or sporting pursuits.

Maps of the swimming zones:

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Can I windsurf, kitesurf or jet ski?

Windsurfing and kitesurfing

Windsurfing and kitesurfing is permitted except within our designated Swimming Zones.

Once on the water, please refrain from using any of the swim zone buoys in any planned manoeuvres and keep your distance from bathers.

Lancing Beach has a designated zone for kitesports. Please see the British Kitesports website for further information.

Kiteboarding is prohibited on our green open spaces.

Please be aware that the top section of the beach above any swim zone can become very busy with all ages and abilities. Please refrain from setting up any equipment in these areas for any leisure or sporting pursuits.

Jet skis (PWC)

In Worthing: Jet skis (PWC) can be launched from the public launch ramp in Alinora car park, although there is no option to use a vehicle to aid launch or recovery. Please comply with all safety rules set out on the two large signs positioned at Alinora Avenue.

In Adur: Please only launch from the approved launching sites - on the Shoreham Port website.

For further details please contact the Coastal Office or the Tourist Information Centre.

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Are there toilets by the beach? 

Yes, there are a number of facilities along the promenade.

See also: public toilets webpage.

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Where on the beach can I take my dog?

  • 1st October to 30th April: Dogs are permitted anywhere on the beach.
  • 1st May to 30th September: Dogs are excluded between Heene Road and Splash Point in Worthing, and between the two boat launching ramps in Goring.

For a list of Council byelaws, contact the Coastal Office, or see byelaws.

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Where can I ride a horse on the beach?

  • 1st May to 30th September: You may ride on the sand before 10:00am and after 8:00pm.
  • 1st October to 30th April: You may ride on the sand at any time (note: it may be easier to the west of Worthing, around Goring or Ferring where it is easier to park vehicles).

For a list of Council byelaws, contact the Coastal Office, or see byelaws.

Please be considerate 'under hoof' and help us preserve our native marine flora that compliments are shingle. Avoid damage or crushing of these plants by walking around any foliage.

Please avoid walking or riding any horses or ponies over any part of the Shoreham boardwalk as the structure is not suited to excessive heavy loads.

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Can I go fishing?

Yes there are plenty of opportunities to fish, although angling is not permitted in any designated swim zone.

Fishing is permitted from Worthing Pier, although overhead casting is not allowed on the Pier decking, only the landing stage. In addition, look out for signs showing areas where fishing is not permitted due to safety considerations.

Please follow the best practice and comply with the pier byelaws.

Keep conservation in mind and promote catch and release.

See also: illegal shellfish gathering on the River Adur.

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Do I have to pay to get on Worthing Pier?

No, it is free to visit between 6am and 10pm.

The pier will be closed when winds reach a Force 9 severe gale.

For more information please see Worthing Pier.

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Is there boat mooring?

Yes, in Shoreham-by-Sea.

For more information see our River Adur webpage.

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Is the weather going to be suitable for my reason to visit?

Taking part in some foreshore or sea based activities in unsuitable weather can be extremely dangerous.

For a full weather forecast and current sea conditions, please contact the Coastal Office.

See also: tide tables and weather forecasts.

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Are there lifeguards on the beach?

There are no lifeguards but the Coastal Wardens at the Coastal Office pro-actively patrol between Ferring and Widewater in summer (and all year round in Worthing).

The staff members use safety vessels and all terrain vehicles and are ready to respond to any emergencies that arise.

Lifesaving equipment is positioned along the seafront in the form of lifebelts and throwlines.

See also: RNLI and Coastguard.

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Page last updated: 17 August 2021

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