The gentle headland sticking out to the east of East Wittering is Selsey Bill. Looking back over the news archives for this headland, the overriding theme seems to be frightful storms, whether it’s “heavy storms” (1908), “lashing winds” (1929), or “The Night The Selsey Twister wrecked a town” (1998). In fact, the 1998 tornado was not the first one experienced by Selsey: there was a less serious one in 1986. I still remember the news footage of the aftermath of the 1998 tornado, which included shots of the distinguished astronomer Patrick Moore’s garden; he has a house in the town, perhaps because Selsey allegedly has a particularly high incidence of clear night skies, something which is a rare commodity in Britain, and the tornado partially destroyed his observatory.
On its calmer days Selsey Bill offers great views of the Isle of Wight and eastwards along the coast. There are sandy beaches either side of the Bill, although bathing can be hazardous. At East Beach, visitors can buy locally caught fish and shellfish.
Map of the area.