Given the flatness of the beach and a maximum tidal range of nearly 7 metres, the difference between high tides and low tide can be almost ½ mile.
This means that if you come to Greatstone to particularly have a swim in the sea, it is best to pay your visit from about half tide to full high tide.
To find out the tide times for today and the next six days, please go the Admiralty Easytide website. You can also find out the tide times for dates in the future.
Animals on the Beach
You can walk your dog on the beach but certain areas are closed to dogs in the Summer.
For more information please see Dogs on the beach.
The long stretches of flat firm sand also suit horse riding and horse buggys.
Caution There are two distinct areas of the beach. The relatively firm sand nearest the shore and soft mud as you approach the sea. The difference between the two is clear and unambiguous to see.
In July 2010 a horse got stuck in the soft mud and had to put down. more information
Greatstone Dunes separate the beach and sea from the land along almost the length of Greatstone. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with many rare species of plants.
For more information please see Greatstone Dunes.
You will see a variety of birds on the beach, particularly when the tide is going out as this seems to be a popular time to feed. For more information please see our Birds in Greatstone page.
The fresh winds that often occur in Greatstone, together with the flat sandy beach, makes the beach popular with a whole range of sports that use the wind. You will find kite surfers on the sea and kite flying, kite boarding, kite buggys and land yachting on the beach. Indeed, Greatstone is deemed to be one of the finest land yachting sites in the UK.
The Varne club (below) has a land yachting section.
The Varne Boat & Social Club in Greatstone offers facilities for motor boats, sailing and jet ski. Access to the foreshore is via their own private slipway, which is constantly
monitored and kept clear of shingle. The Varne has four launch vehicles, which move the boats from the compound down the slipway.
For more information please visit the Varne Boat & Social Club website.
Around high tide, sea fishing from the beach is popular. Whiting, school bass, pouting, eels, flounder, sole and rockling all frequent the sea off Greatstone.
The sea bed is rich in lugworms, which are regularly collected when the tide is out and used as bait.
The Varne club (above) has a fishing section for those who like to fish from a boat.
There two pay and display car parks in Greatstone adjacent to the beach. One is in Coast Drive, opposite to Clark Road and the second in The Parade opposite to Dunes Road.
For more information please see Car Parks.
There are public toilets
adjacent to the car park in the Parade. They are open 8am to 7pm from
1 May to 30
September, and 8am to 5pm from 1 October to 30 April.
There are a number of places where you can eat and drink in Greatstone.
For more information please see Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes.
Many of these also do takeaways or you can purchase food and drink to eat on the beach, see Shops.
Barbecues on the Beach.
There is no by-law prohibiting people from having
barbecues on the beach.
However, please remove all evidence of the barbecue when
done by disposing of all litter, including barbecue remains, in a responsible
Please take extra care with any remaining charcoal
embers that may still be hot. There have been instances of the hot charcoal
setting light to litters bins and, even worse, causing burn injuries to young
Anyone leaving barbecue remains on the beach can be
fined under the litter laws.
Walking the dogs