Much of the East Sussex coast so far has been characterised by shingle beaches, but at Camber these are replaced by a proper sand beach, and not only that but it is one of very few places in the South East with sand dunes. This spot is described in the local tourist brochure as “the perfect place for Kite Surfing, Kite Buggies and Kite Land Boarding”. The village of Camber is very close to the dunes, but is prevented from going under by a combination of marram grass and traditional chestnut fences. This environment is a haven for wildlife and a variety of plants as well as for kite enthusiasts. But mind how you go here. A spiky shrub called sea buckthorn is fodder for the brown-tail moth caterpillar, a hairy little beast which can inflict a nasty rash if inadvertently touched. A further hazard lurking here comes courtesy of the black nightshade, which has poisonous black berries, and if that is not enough to leave you cowering behind the dunes, there is a fish which lives on the sandy sea bed called the weever fish which can deliver up a nasty sting if trodden on while paddling. On a more pleasant note, up above the dunes, the skylark provides a tuneful backdrop, making this a delightful place to visit.
In the 1950s Camber was chosen as one of three “penetration points” to be tested as potential sites for nudists, causing a deal of consternation among the residents. One feisty local told the press that “I’m thinking it’s a whiff of buck shot they will be getting if they try anything in Camber”. This threat evidently did not have the desired effect, because according to the “Naturist UK Fact File” website, the remoter parts of Camber Sands have long been used by naturists. Continuing the saucy theme, Camber Sands was used in the filming of the Carry On film “Carry On – Follow That Camel”.
Map of the area.
© 2009 Chris Whippet, via Wikimedia Commons