Bulverhythe Beach

This is Bulverhythe Beach, looking west to Bexhill-on-Sea. Our Labrador Boris loves this place and so do we, because dogs are allowed to walk free on this beach throughout the year.

Looking east, to St Leonards-on-Sea. The building on the right is Marine Court in central St Leonards.

Bulverhythe, also known as West St Leonards, Bo Peep, Filsham, West Marina, or Harley Shute, is a suburb of St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England with its Esplanade and 15ft thick sea wall. Bulverhythe is translated as “Burghers’ landing place”. It used to be under a small headland called Gallows Head, which was washed away by flooding.

Bulverhythe village is located to the southwest of the area. The ancient village had a small harbour and pier, and is where the remains of the Amsterdam can still be seen today at very low tide, in the sand just opposite the footbridge over the railway line.

Wreck of the Amsterdam at Bulverhythe, at very low tide

The Amsterdam set sail to Java but ended up being washed away at the sandy strip in 1749.

In the east of the area lie West Marina Gardens which were designed by James Burton and are in between the West St Leonards and Burton’s town of St Leonards. The land was purchased in 1886 and laid out as a pleasure garden by 1891. The site is well-used and includes a bowls green, putting course and formal gardens. It is at the western extreme of the frontline garden displays. Decorative lighting has recently been installed.

Many people who have a boat, also have one of these cabins

The independent Brighton, Lewes & Hastings Railway was incorporated in 1844 to construct a 32.5 miles (52.3 km) line from Brighton to Bulverhythe, 2.75 miles (4.43 km) from Hastings. A temporary terminus named “Bulverhythe” was opened on 24 June 1846 on a site near the Bull Inn on the modern day A259 Bexhill Road pending the construction of a bridge over the River Asten. The station remained open for just under six months, before the line was extended to a permanent station at West Marina in November 1846. The Brighton, Lewes & Hastings Railway was taken over by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1847. St Leonards West Marina station closed in 1967 and the only remaining station in this area is West St Leonards.

Our JudyBoat on the beach, secured by two anchors


Small scale shipyard activities on the beach

It’s hardly “Fishing boats on the beach at Saintes-Maries” by Vincent van Gogh, but then again, not many tourist come to this particular part of the beach. And sailing and maintaining a boat can give you so much pleasure.

Around 140-135 million years ago this area was a subtropical plain with lakes, deltas, and meandering rivers. These produced the sandstones and clays we see today on the beach and in the cliffs at Galley Hill.

The coast line between Pett Level and Bexhill-on-Sea in one of the best places in Britain for find Cretaceous fossils, which are the bones and footprints of dinosaurs.

Submerged forest


When you look closely, you can see the rotten wood that once was a forest

At low tides the branches of a remarkably preserved 4,000 year-old forest are revealed on the foreshore. When these trees were growing, sea levels were much lower and the coastline was further out. Today Bulverhythe’s shingle is a scarce and ever-changing habitat. Special, rare plants and animals, like Sixbelted Clearwing Moth, Yellow Horned Poppy, and Sea Kale, are adapted to these rough conditions.


About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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