Cleanest and dirtiest beaches a two hour drive from Reading

While we are spoiled for choice with the rich Berkshire countryside, there is nothing quite like a trip to the coast.

With all the travel restrictions in place this year, a week at the beach in the south of England seems like a much easier option than traveling overseas.

As long as you’re ready to take on any weather, you’re sure to have a fun week while playing entertainment, diving in fish and chips, and enjoying ice cream.

Read more:Berkshire’s largest lido to open for swimmers

However, it is good to know before you go how clean the beach is and the water quality is good.

The Environment Agency awards the beaches three stars for excellent water quality, two for quality and one for sufficient quality. It also cautions against swimming in some places, although none of these are on the south coast.

We’ve rounded up a mix of the cleanest and dirtiest beaches within a two hour drive of Reading, using agency reviews.

Excellent – three stars

Brighton Beach

A paradise for swimmers

Brighton Beach has three stars, which means the water quality is excellent and the perfect place for a dip in the sea, provided you can cross the pebbles first.

It will take just under two hours by car and is the perfect location for a day trip or a weekend trip.

The town is right on the beach which means that once you are done with your day at sea you can easily find a great mix of restaurants and pubs to enjoy the night away.

Western Wittering

West Wittering is a popular place and you need to reserve your parking space!
West Wittering is a popular place and you need to reserve your parking space!

West Wittering Beach is another coastal spot with an excellent rating and taking around 1 hour 45 minutes to get to Reading.

Unlike Brighton, this is a sandy beach, so kids can become competitive by creating the best sandcastles possible.

There is also a lifeguard on duty so you can rest assured that you will be safe in the water and that you will be told if swimming is too dangerous.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there’s also a windsurfing and kitesurfing club with adult and children’s lessons available.

You will need to reserve your place in the parking lot, which you can do here.

Good – two stars


Littlehampton is a classic seaside town
Littlehampton is a classic seaside town

Littlehampton Beach has been awarded two stars, which means swimming is still good, but not as good as the “great” beaches.

However, what it lacks in the excellent water quality it makes up for in having fun – with a lively walk, entertainment and a theme park.

It promises to be a great day out for the whole family with plenty to keep the kids entertained.

Getting to the pebble beach will take around 1 hour and 50 minutes by car from Reading.

Bognor Regis

There's more to Bognor Regis than his Butlins
There’s more to Bognor Regis than his Butlins

Bognor Regis is an absolutely classic West Sussex seaside town and receives visitors from all over the country.

Although it only gets a good rating for water quality, there is plenty to do and you will find plenty of places to buy fish and chips or ice cream along the promenade.

In town, Hotham Park, which has a miniature railway, boating lake and putting green, is also worth a visit and there is also the holiday resort, Butlins.

It’s also just a 20 minute drive to the beautiful South Downs National Park, so you can also lose a day on the trails.

It will take drivers from Reading 1h50 to reach the vacation spot.

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Sufficient – one star

The value

Worthing seafront
Worthing seafront

There is only one place that is simply rated as “sufficient” within two hours of reading.

Worthing, right next to Brighton, only got one star which means you can still swim but the water quality will be worse than nearby Brighton.

However, the seaside town still has a lot to offer, including the famous pier, which won the Pier of the Year 2019 award. There is also a lot of artwork along the promenade bringing an original touch to the town. .

There is something for everyone in Worthing, from a stand-up paddleboarding trip, a visit to one of the oldest working cinemas in the UK, to an afternoon in a micropub or a classic snack.

But it’s not to everyone’s liking to be criticized by some critics, but we are the type to get our idea.

It will take a little less than two hours to get to the coastal town.

About Laurence Johnson

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