1. Park up by the Parish Church of St Thomas a Becket and then walk back along the road towards the holiday park. Turn right into Church Farm and follow the road which is a public footpath through the holiday village. At the mini roundabout walk straight across and take the way marked Lagoon Field. After approximately 20 yards just as the road bends to the right keep straight ahead, leaving the road and cutting between two caravans. You will then see the lagoon to your right. Turn left here and follow the tarmac footpath through the caravans. As you approach a red brick wall take the signed footpath off to the right down towards the water’s edge.

2. Just before you reach the wooden footbridge that crosses the lagoon turn left and follow the path through the scrubby woodland until you emerge at a road (be warned, this path can be boggy after wet weather). Turn left here and follow the signed public footpath along the road. When you reach the main road turn right and walk down past the small parade of shops and onto the beach. Turn right again and walk along the shoreline with the seafront properties to your right.

There are a number of unusual houses to see in Pagham, in particular homes built out of old railway carriages. These sprang up during the inter-war period, initially as beachfront holiday homes, but later used as permanent housing. During the 1930s 300 bungalows were created here out of old disused carriages and many of these still survive today. They add a quirky atmosphere to the area.

3. At the final house you’ll reach Pagham spit with the sea on one side and the RSPB nature reserve on the other. This is an ever changing landscape with erosion taking place at a dramatic rate in recent years. Arun District Council have predicted that more than 2000 Pagham houses are at risk from the effects of erosion and flooding within the next century. At the time of writing there was work being undertaken to protect the area. As you walk along the seafront stretch you may see evidence of the ongoing works.

Keep straight ahead then turn left onto the boardwalk and follow it down towards the sea. Turn right at the end of the boardwalk and follow the raised shingle path all the way around the pool of water.

4. As you approach the metal gate of the car park swing left and follow the shingle footpath between the lagoon and the harbour. There are some benches here to stop and soak up the atmosphere. The RSPB nature reserve is often full of the sights and sounds of birds such as oyster catchers, red shanks and curlews.

Continue on this path with the caravans to your right and the water to your left. When you reach a fork go right through the fenced-in path and then left along the raised footpath leaving the caravans behind you. If the tide is out and the left hand path is relatively dry you may wish to follow the lower path along the edge of the harbour. However when the tide is in it’s best to stick to the upper path, which while still muddy, is much more passable.

5. After approximately 200 yards you will reach a field. Turn right and then left, skirting the horse paddock fence. This will take you out to a lane. Turn right here and follow the lane back to the church, the start and end point of the walk. If you’ve time St Thomas a Becket is well worth a visit. There has been a church on this site since Saxon times.

Distance/Time: A circular walk of three and a half miles taking up to two hours.

By car: The village of Pagham lies roughly four miles west of Bognor and six miles south of Chichester. Clearly signed directions from both locations. The start point of the walk is St Thomas a Becket Church on Church Lane. Free parking on the road outside the church or further along the lane. Postcode: PO21 4NU Grid Ref: SZ 88361 97535.

By public transport: Bognor Regis rail station and Chichester rail station are nearby. Buses run to the area. Further travel details at www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk, phone 0871 200 2233.

What’s Underfoot: A flat route with a large section along shingle beach. The coastal footpaths can be boggy and slippery at times as can the farmland footpaths. Check the tide timetables: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/tide-times/.

Thirsty work: There is a cafe and a fish and chip shop near to the beach and the Lamb Inn pub is nearby.

Maps: OS Explorer map 120, plus a compass for general direction.