The Promenade is the place for a very achievable 5k walk or run on a good, flat surface with inspiring views out to sea. Of note are sunrise strolls and watching storms rolling in (and getting home before they arrive). If you’re feeling adventurous, and time the tides carefully, you can walk along the beach to Littlehampton.
For runners keen to hit the beach, Podium Runner has handy tips for this trickier surface. The key is to start slowly and build up your runs. The various parks and green spaces are also perfect for a jog. If you are an avid fan of Park runs or a total beginner and fancy doing a 5k in a social setting, check out Park Run Bognor Regis and head to Hotham Park on Saturday mornings at 9am (you need to register online). Going further afield, All Trails has a great level of detail on local trail runs in the area, ranging from the Pagham Lagoon Circular to the Selsey Tram Way (an easy 18.8km). You can find them at AllTrails
Bognor Regis is made for cycling as there are no hills, whereas the South Downs National Park has over 1,200km of bridleways with lots of hills, so you won’t be short of options. Local villages like Felpham, Pagham and Middleton-On-Sea are all 20 minutes or less away.
Once fortified with sea air, you can move up a gear with some of the rides from Komoot. Head to the colourful beach huts at Aldwick Beach, a 10-minute ride away from the centre of town. Build on this by zipping over the river Arun in Littlehampton at an achievable 1.5 hours and 15 miles. Now emboldened, loop up to historic Arundel and take in the views at Bignor Hill, enjoying the splendour of the South Downs National Park and burning an impressive number of calories over 3.5 hours and covering 35 scenic miles. Like the one to Littlehampton, there is also a tarmac cycle path to Chichester as well – it’s a great way to visit the cathedral. If you are up and about on Sunday mornings at 9am, check out Bognor Regis Cycling Club. They are open to all riders and, crucially, they stop for coffee and cake.
Bognor Regis is largely a DIY town when it comes to kayaks, paddleboards and windsurfers, so dig out the roof rack and be careful with those bungees. The local coastline is perfect for exploring, often with good conditions. TJ Board Hire is ideal if you want to learn to use a SUP as they base these lessons at Hunston on the Chichester Canal, which is sheltered and calm. Fluid Adventures is located in the Chichester area and run canoe and kayak tours in Chichester Harbour. If you want to go for longer, Cave Active Adventures runs the six-hour River Arun SUP Adventure. This is a tidal-assisted trip starting at Arundel, with a shuttle returning you there. Things to see include herons, kingfishers and Gavin the seal and there is cake and a fire-heated beverage at Amberley. If you want to sail, Bognor Regis Sailing Club and Felpham Sailing Club are good options but you would need to join the clubs to use their equipment. Felpham Sailing Club’s webcam is useful for checking conditions.
A popular way to get involved with the water is sea swimming. Some people will be firmly doing this in the summer, when the sea is manageable and the air is warm. But don’t discard the cold water swimming just yet – it’s shown to boost the immune system, reduce stress and promote happiness and it will make you glow all day. If you are seeking a cold water organised swimming group, try Sandy Toed Sea Swimmers.
They run group lessons, one-to-one coaching and can show you how to get out of a wetsuit. The Bluetits Chill Swimmers Bognor is a private Facebook group and an offshoot of this is the Felpham Dippers, which is as active at fundraising for great causes like the RNLI as they are in the water. There are lifeguards on duty on East Beach during the summer – visit https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches/bognor-regis-beach for more details. If you do swim regularly, you may also want to look at joining those custodians of the sea, Surfers Against Sewage.
Scuba fans used to clear blue waters and tropical sea life might overlook diving in and around Bognor Regis, but the waters in this part of the south coast hold plenty of surprises. In 2021 an inshore trawling ban was passed in Sussex, with a view to preserving the marine environment. Soft and hard corals and anemones are now returning, herring and mackerel are back off Shoreham and Brighton, rare blue-lipped mussels are starting to get established and even lobsters are making a comeback. The local reef is just offshore from the town and is great for fish and crabs, there is a Mulberry (a concrete boat from World War 2) you can dive just off Pagham, and there is even a highly rated wreck dive here – the Moldavia. She was a P&O liner that sank in 1918. A local group of divers and their inspirational photography can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/774549756586400/. Located at nearby Selsey, Mulberry Marine Experiences offers snorkelling, freediving and scuba diving, where you can see crabs, blennies and pipefish.
Find out about The Sussex Kelp Recovery Project (SKRP), a partnership of organisations working together to champion, study and facilitate the recovery of Sussex kelp and other essential fish habitats, through progressive, coherent and collaborative action: https://sussexkelp.org.uk