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Hi Dave
Chichester Harbour is where we sail as a family (since the twins were 2)as it is nearest sheltered sailing from Brighton. It is glorious when you get the weather ……. it is a busy place for recreational sailing and East Head is a fantastic sandy spot (as is the upmarket West Wittering beach behind) Of course there are strong tides too so outboards and timing your swimming are issues however that does not put people off and Bank Holidays can be “mentally” busy……. I have never beached on the huge sandy flats exposed at low tide as there is no shelter but providing the wind does not suddenly get up and create onshore waves you could have acres of space. We go to a few favourite campsites on the East side of the harbour (nr Itchenor and West Wittering)and have camped on Hayling but camping is more limited there. There is plenty of mud in the harbour but I have yet to sail at Poole to compare……..it sounds beautiful too). At high tide sailing up to Bosham, Dell Quay and Langstone are great options for pubs and scenery but definitely not bucket and spade spots (maybe collecting mud and seaweed in wellies along the high water mark). Going out into the Solent is up to you and the young crew, we tend to poke our nose out and then bottle it. If you want to know anything else send me a P.M….