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Bracklesham Bay is a coastal bay on the west side of the Manhood Peninsula in West Sussex, England. The bay looks out onto the English Channel and the Isle of Wight is visible from the beach, as is the Nab Tower lighthouse and the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

Bracklesham Bay
Site of Special Scientific Interest
View out to sea from the beach
Bracklesham Bay is located in West Sussex
Bracklesham Bay
Location within West Sussex
Area of Search West Sussex
Grid reference SZ810952
Coordinates 50°45′02″N 0°51′03″W / 50.750616°N 0.850964°W / 50.750616; -0.850964Coordinates: 50°45′02″N 0°51′03″W / 50.750616°N 0.850964°W / 50.750616; -0.850964
Interest Biological & Geological
Area 201.9 ha (499 acres)
Notification 1980 (1980)
Natural England website

The bay is sandy and backed with shingle. The beach is popular with windsurfers, divers, surfers (mostly longboarders given the nature of the waves), stand up paddle surfers, and also fossil hunters, as the Bracklesham Beds, a well known fossil bed, is visible at low tide. The bedrock is London clay, and bits of the clay can be found on the sands.

The villages of Bracklesham and East Wittering are situated in the centre of the bay and it is bordered by the town of Selsey on the southern/eastern tip, and the village of West Wittering on the west side.

The nearest city is Chichester, which is seven miles to the north.

In May 1944 Bracklesham Bay was one site used in Exercise Fabius. The remains of at least one Valentine tank can be found ten metres underwater.


Medmerry managed realignment schemeEdit

In 2013 the Environment Agency completed a new floodbank and breach in the shingle wall to provide flood relief and this enabled creation of the form the Medmerry RSPB nature reserve. [1] [2]

In popular cultureEdit

Bracklesham Bay is mentioned in the track 'Saturdays Kids' (Paul Weller) on the 1979 album by The Jam, 'Setting Sons'; "Save up their money for a holiday/ To Selsey Bill, or Bracklesham Bay". Both places had Pontin's holiday camps.


"SSSI Citation — Bracklesham Bay" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 

External linksEdit

  1. ^ "About Medmerry". RSPB. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Managed realignment at Medmerry, Sussex". Institution of Civil Engineers. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2017.