The shore at Selsey offers you a fantastic opportunity to experience an amazing biodiversity of life. With an average depth of 6 metres the site is perfect for snorkelling, freediving and scuba diving. Whether you want to build your experience or just take time to explore, there is much to see. It changes with the seasons, offering different experiences in February, July or October.
Historically, diving and snorkelling tended to centred around the Selsey Lifeboat Station Pier, which was demolished and in 2017. In practice you can enter the water from many places along the beach with the depth getting shallower as you go East.
Included in the Selsey Bill and Hounds Conservation area it is teaming with life including shoals of breeding fish, bream, bib, wrasse, blennies, gobies, many species of crabs, lobsters, prawns, cuttlefish, pipefish, small congers, oysters, mussels, nudibranch, and anemones. These are just the regular sightings, but you could encounter cat sharks, rays, and even the occasional trigger fish. There is so much life we have written unique UK content to cover the UK and Selsey for all our Ecology Courses. If you want to know more about what you are seeing looking, consider the SSI Fish Identification Course.
The site can be subject to strong currents, so if you want a relaxing dive you will need to time it for slack water. This is the period when there is little or no water movement/current. Observing the moored boats and the water moves passes the groynes will help you determine the state of the tide.
Visibility is usually best on when the tide has been ebbing (flowing West); on a spring tide, aim to dive 4 hours after high water, whereas on a neap tide, experienced divers may be comfortable diving 3 hours after high water. You are the best judge of what are the right conditions for you so be prepared to wait a few minutes if necessary.
Visibility is usually not quite so good after the tide has been flooding (flowing East). On a spring tide, slack will be 2 hours before High Water, whereas on a Neap Tide, it might be suitable for experienced divers from 4 hours before high water.
Remember, that slack water is not a fixed time and that the weather and time in the tidal cycle (Springs / Neaps) in particular, will influence actual timing. Alternatively, with a little logistics planning, drift diving at Selsey along the beach can be rewarding and fun! If you want to learn more about the specifics for planning dives we recommend you take the SSI Waves, Tides and Currents Course.
For more information on diving on Selsey please read our guide and considerations here.
9 Orchard Parade,