Forget Bognor Regis! This seaside village is West Sussex's best kept secret- but the locals want to keep it hidden…

I STARE out of the window and lose myself in tranquil views of the sand and shingle beach, lined with quaint wooden beach huts.

"It is so quiet here, even in the summer, and there is plenty of free parking right on the beachfront – but we want to keep it our secret," beautician Annmarie Grice says jokily, pleading with me not to spread the word about Goring-by-Sea.

I have escaped to the seaside town in West Sussex for a child-free weekend with a group of girlfriends.

This small and relatively suburban neighbourhood boasts quality brunch spots, charming seafront walks and a restful atmosphere.

Far less busy than the better-known Sussex coastal towns of Littlehampton, Worthing and Bognor Regis, Goring-by-Sea has everything you'd want for a fun seaside getaway, but without the packed beaches and fully booked restaurants.

Strolling along the shore, I watch as kitesurfers cruise in the rolling waves and sail boats bob on the horizon.

A little further down the Blue Flag-winning stretch is a fish kiosk selling seafood caught that morning.

Unlike many traditional UK seasides, you will not find arcades or roller coaster-filled piers here.

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Instead, there are cute fishing boats pulled up on a quiet shoreline and a large grassy verge that separates the houses from the beach, making it feel even more secluded.

We pass the bustling Sea Lane Cafe, where locals are indulging in lazy mornings, tucking into croissants and fry-ups.

It's a popular spot, with rows of outdoor tables well-placed to admire the views, and counters jam-packed with cakes.

If water sports are your thing, then paddleboards and kayaks are available to hire from Worthing Watersports.

Less than a mile from here, our bolthole for the weekend, the Sea Dreams holiday house, sleeps ten.

The large, modern home has a spacious dining room, conservatory and living room with plenty of seating.

Quirky bamboo chairs decorated with shaggy white cushions and a brickwork fireplace give the place a rustic charm.

Another great perk of the house is that it's within walking distance of a station, meaning large groups can leave their cars at home and travel by train together.

Make sure to check out the neighbouring village of Ferring if you are in the area.

We walked the shrub-lined sea edge, passing cyclists and dog-walkers, until we reached the BlueBird Cafe, a great spot for brunch.

If laidback walks along the pretty South Downs and cafe pitstops aren't your thing, there's plenty more to do.

The lovely, and free, Highdown Gardens are a mile away from Goring and the market town of Arundel with its famous castle is just a ten-minute drive.

The larger resort of Worthing is also only five minutes along the coast with its art deco pier – voted the best in Britain in 2019 – and an observation wheel.

While it may be one of the most peaceful spots on the West Sussex coast, Goring is by no means boring.

Fancy visiting? Three nights' self-catering at Sea Dreams cottage is from £528 in total. See sykescottages.co.uk or call 01244 617683.

If you're after more staycation inspiration, check out our pick of the best seaside towns for a family friendly holiday.

On a budget? Find out which are the best value beach towns in the UK here.

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