West Beachlands (also called “West Beach” or just “West” by locals) is a shallow, protected bay at the South West corner of Hayling Island.
At low tides a large sandbank becomes visible, offering an interesting perspective on the busy beach (and the chance to gloat at stranded pedestrians when the tide comes back in).
When the tide is low the water remains shallow for quite some distance, making it a good spot for beginners in particular.
Surf isn’t great, partly due to the protection provided by the Isle of Wight, but does provide an occassional surprise.
At it’s high tides the sea comes right up to the sea defences making launch and landing impossible except at the east and west extremeties of the beach.
How to get there:
Leave the A27 heading south for Hayling Island. Stay on the main road and turn right at the first roundabout. Turn right again at the second roundabout by the funfair. The Entrance to West Beachlands is about half a mile up the road sign posted for Windsurfing area and Par 3 Golf Course.
Alternatively take the ferry over from Portsmouth.
There is a fresh water tap near the car park for washing down your kit. On the other side of the car park there is a refreshment kiosk and a pub that serves food (The Inn on the Beach).
The car park provides plenty of parking but is pay and display.
There is also a watersports shop (Andy Biggs) a few hundred yards down the road back towards the fair that stocks a few kayaking accessories and some ocean-kayaks in case you find yourself needing a spare!
If the wind is up then you need to watch out for windsurfers and kitesurfers zipping past at speeds you can only dream of!
Also keep an eye out for bathers in the shallows.
The current can be pretty hairy at the Western (portsmouth) end of the beach going in to Langstone harbour, but is OK if you don’t go past the end of the sandbank.
Ins and Outs:
Park as far down the car park towards the golf club as you can (there are almost always spaces there). Carry or wheel your yak through the gate there and you will find a path through the rocks down a shallow slope to the water.
Most interesting at low tide when you can paddle out to the sandbank.
There is a “Surf Cam” looking over this whole area at www.hayling.co.uk/surfcam which gives a good indication of tides and weather.
A shallow bay on the South Coast of Hayling Island providing a good spot for beginners or a starting point for touring into Langstone Harbour.