Camber Sands is a fabulous stretch of unspoilt beach in East Sussex with one of the most pure and longest dune systems on the south coast. The beach draws in sun seekers from all over the country, so whether you are looking to relax or partake in some adventurous water sports activities, it is the place to be.
Camber Sands is a beautiful destination throughout the year because it’s a great place to take a walk along the shore or in the dunes, or why not head a bit further inland and take an amble around the historic town of Rye. For lunches or an evening meal try The Gallivant or The Owl which are both close to the beach and village.
If you like kitesurfing, or you’d like to learn, then Camber Sands is one of the best places to buy lessons in the south. The Kite Surf Centre offers tutorials, kit hire and a shop. It should be an unforgettable experience.
When planning a day on the sands it is well worth making sure you buy a tide table or check the Magic Seaweed site to make sure you get the best use of the beach at low tide. Dogs on a lead are allowed on the beach May to September, although there are restricted zones. Always read the signs in public areas to find out where they are. During the quieter winter months dogs are allowed to roam the full stretch of the beach. Also for information on East Sussex beaches visit The Good Dog Guide, dog friendly beaches.
There are several places of historical interest close to Camber, one of which is Camber Castle. Because of tidal changes the fort is now closer to the village of Winchelsea further west along the coast. The English Heritage managed ruins once defended Rye Harbour and aerial photos reveal the curious circular pattern that the walls make, During the Summer months guided tours are available on the first Saturday of each month. There are other castles within driving distance like Bodiam, Sissinghurst and Knole. The author Henry James who wrote the Wings of the Dove, the Turn of the Screw and Washington Square lived at Lamb House in Rye, which is managed by the National Trust.
The village of Camber has some good amenities but for a larger choice take a short drive to Rye. Rye is situated at the top of a hill with stunning views across the Romney Marshes. Exploring the sloping cobbled streets and browsing around the many arts, crafts shops and quaint cafes, you will feel suspended in time. The medieval church and beautifully preserved historic houses give the whole town a wonderful unhurried atmosphere. Many annual events take place in Rye and visitors return year upon year. Try the Rye Arts Festival in September, the Rye Bonfire in November, the Rye Society of Artist's Summer Exhibition, the Rye Jazz Festival and Rye Bay Scallops Week - there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained on an excursion from Camber Sands! Also consider a walk around the wetlands of Rye Harbour, a fantastic nature reserve close to Rye.
The closest railway station to Camber Sands is in Rye. There are fairly regular buses to and from Rye though. At the time of writing, the 100 service is the bus to look out for. The road network thins somewhat in this corner of the south east, yet it is still easily accessible from Rye and the A259 to Kent.
Cambers Sands – on film
Film enthusiasts will be interested to know that many different films and TV programmes have used Camber Sands as a location – often standing in for somewhere else in the world. Perhaps most famously the Carry On gang used the dunes as a backdrop in Carry On Follow That Camel.
Grandad’s will appreciate the fact that Second World War dramas Dunkirk (1958) and The Longest Day also used the beach. More recently, George Clooney and Matt Damon pitched up in Camber to film scenes from The Monuments Men. The wonderful expanses of sandy beaches seen in Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman are Camber’s very own and are perhaps cinema’s most beautiful depiction too. TV shows have included episodes of The Inbetweeners and Dr Who. The sands have also featured in numerous music videos and inspired lyrics to a number of songs.
If you like this blog why not visit our other guides about things to do and places to see in Sussex and Kent?