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10 Best Coastal Walks In Hampshire And The Isle of White

These coastal walks in Hampshire offer an abundance of natural beauty with a coastline that stretches along the Solent and the English Channel, Hampshire boasts a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged cliffs and pebbly shores to serene estuaries and sandy beaches.

These coastal walks not only provide an opportunity to soak in breathtaking sea views but also to explore historical sites, wildlife-rich habitats, and charming coastal villages.


Coastal Walks In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Hampshire’s coastal walks are sure to enchant and captivate you.


Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path is a popular long-distance walking trail that encircles the entire Isle of Wight, a beautiful island located off the south coast of England. The trail offers stunning coastal scenery, picturesque landscapes, and the opportunity to explore various towns, villages, and historic sites.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path is approximately 70 miles (113 kilometres) in length, although you don’t have to do it all in one go! The path offers a diverse range of landscapes, including chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, woodlands, and open fields.

You’ll have the chance to enjoy breathtaking views of the English Channel and the surrounding waters. The trail passes through or near several charming towns and villages, such as Ryde, Cowes, Ventnor, and Yarmouth.

Along the route, you can visit historical attractions like Osborne House (Queen Victoria’s former residence), Carisbrooke Castle, and The Needles, which are iconic chalk stacks and a lighthouse.

The Isle of Wight is known for its diverse wildlife, and the coastal path offers the chance to spot various bird species, seals, and other marine life.

The trail is accessible year-round, but it’s important to check for any updates or diversions, as coastal erosion and maintenance can affect certain sections of the path.

There are numerous accommodation options along the route, including campsites, B&Bs, and hotels. It’s a good idea to plan your overnight stays, especially during peak tourist seasons.

The Isle of Wight is accessible via ferry from the mainland of England, and you can use the island’s bus network to access various points along the trail. The path is divided into manageable sections, making it easy to complete in stages and makes for the best coastal walk on the Isle of Wight.

Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle

The walk from Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle is a popular coastal route offering stunning views of the Solent, the Isle of Wight, and the historic Hurst Castle. It’s one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire you can do, especially if you like history.

The distance of the walk from Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) one way. This makes it a relatively short and easy walk that can be completed in a few hours.

The walk takes you along a shingle beach and offers beautiful coastal views. You can enjoy panoramic vistas of the Solent, the Isle of Wight, and the Needles, a series of chalk stacks. The landscape is a mix of beaches, salt marshes, and grassy areas.

The highlight of the walk is Hurst Castle, a coastal artillery fortress built by Henry VIII in the 16th century. The castle is a fascinating historical site and offers excellent photo opportunities. It’s also a great spot for a picnic.

The walk is relatively flat and easy, suitable for most fitness levels. You can start the walk from Milford-on-Sea, which is easily accessible by car. There is parking available near the beach. Alternatively, you can use public transportation to reach Milford-on-Sea.

Overall, the Milford-on-Sea to Hurst Castle walk is a pleasant and scenic stroll along the coast, offering the chance to appreciate the natural beauty and history of this area.

Lymington to Keyhaven

The walk from Lymington to Keyhaven is a delightful coastal walk in the New Forest National Park that offers stunning views of the Solent, marshes, and an abundance of wildlife.

The walk from Lymington to Keyhaven is approximately 4 miles (6.4 kilometres) one way. It’s a relatively short and easy walk, suitable for walkers of various fitness levels.

The route takes you along the Solent Way, offering beautiful coastal views and the opportunity to observe a variety of birdlife and wildlife. The path winds through salt marshes, lagoons, and mudflats. You’ll have views of the Isle of Wight and Hurst Castle along the way.

The walk leads to Keyhaven Nature Reserve, which is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. It’s home to numerous bird species, especially during migratory seasons. There are bird hides along the route for better birdwatching opportunities.

As you approach Keyhaven, you’ll have the option to visit Hurst Castle, a historic coastal artillery fortress built by Henry VIII. The castle is a fascinating historical site and offers great photo opportunities.

The Lymington to Keyhaven walk is a relaxing and scenic stroll through a natural coastal landscape and one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire that you can do.

The Solent Way

The Solent Way is a long-distance coastal walking trail that covers the Solent region, which is the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland.

The Solent Way covers a distance of approximately 60 miles (97 kilometres), making it a moderately long walk. It typically takes several days to complete the entire trail but you can always choose different stages if you want a shorter walk..

The trail offers a variety of landscapes, including shingle beaches, salt marshes, woodlands, and estuaries. You’ll enjoy picturesque coastal views, with the Solent and the Isle of Wight as constant companions.

Along the way, you can explore various historical and cultural sites, such as Hurst Castle, Calshot Castle, and the medieval Beaulieu Abbey. These sites provide a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

The Solent region is known for its diverse birdlife and natural beauty. Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to spot various species, especially in the nature reserves and wetlands along the route.

The trail is generally well-marked and accessible, but some sections may be muddy or uneven. Sturdy walking shoes or boots are recommended.

The Solent Way is a great way to explore the natural beauty and history of the Solent region and is one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire to do.

Whether you choose to walk the entire trail or explore specific sections, you’ll have the chance to appreciate the stunning views, wildlife, and cultural heritage of this area.

Although a multi-day walk it’s also one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire to do, and you can always just choose a particular part of it you want to do.

Emsworth to Langstone Harbour

The walk from Emsworth to Langstone Harbour is a pleasant coastal walk offering picturesque views of the harbour, tidal flats, and the surrounding countryside.

The distance of the walk from Emsworth to Langstone Harbour is approximately 4 miles (6.4 kilometres) one way. It’s a relatively short and easy walk making it one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire to do as it’s suitable for most walkers

The walk follows the coastal path, providing lovely views of Langstone Harbour, the mudflats, and the nearby Chichester Harbour. You’ll also have a chance to see various bird species, particularly if you enjoy birdwatching.

The walk includes a crossing of the Langstone Bridge, which spans Langstone Harbour. The bridge offers excellent views of the harbour and the surrounding area.

Langstone Harbour is designated as a Special Protection Area for its birdlife and habitats, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for waders, waterfowl, and other bird species.

The Emsworth to Langstone Harbour walk is a relaxing stroll that offers a chance to enjoy the beauty of the harbor and its wildlife.

Gosport Waterfront

The Gosport Waterfront Walk is a scenic walk along the waterfront of Gosport, a historic town just across the harbour from Portsmouth. This walk offers a blend of maritime history, beautiful views of the harbour, and a chance to explore the town’s waterfront.

The distance of the Gosport Waterfront Walk can vary depending on the specific route you choose and how much of the waterfront you wish to explore. You can make it a shorter or longer walk according to your preferences.

The walk takes you along the waterfront, offering panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbor, which is one of the UK’s most significant and historic harbours. You’ll see various vessels, including naval ships and ferries, and enjoy views of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

Along the walk, you can visit historic sites like the Royal Clarence Yard, which dates back to the 18th century, and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, which houses the World War II-era submarine HMS Alliance. There’s also the Historic Gosport Railway, which runs alongside parts of the walk.

The Gosport Waterfront Walk is a great way to explore the maritime history of the area, enjoy scenic views, and discover the charm of this historic town.

Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes

The walk around Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes is a delightful coastal and wetland walk. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the salt marshes, lagoons, and estuarine environments along the coastline.

The walk around Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes can vary in length depending on the specific route you choose. A typical circular walk can range from 4 to 6 miles (6.4 to 9.7 kilometres), making it a manageable walk for most people.

This walk takes you through a variety of landscapes, including salt marshes, lagoons, reed beds, and coastal dunes. You’ll have picturesque views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight, as well as the opportunity to observe various bird species, especially during migratory seasons.

Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes are known for their rich birdlife. Birdwatchers often visit the area to spot waders, waterfowl, and other bird species. Bird hides are available along the route to enhance your birdwatching experience.

The paths in the area are generally flat and well-maintained, making the walk suitable for walkers of various fitness levels. However, some sections may be muddy, so wearing appropriate footwear is recommended.

The Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes walk is a peaceful and scenic stroll through a natural coastal landscape. It’s a perfect choice for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking for a tranquil day out, making it one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire to do.

Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest

The walk from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest is a charming and scenic route that offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the natural beauty and history of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire.

The distance of the walk from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard is approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometres) one way, making it a relatively short walk that can be comfortably completed in a few hours.

This walk takes you through the picturesque landscape of the New Forest, including woodlands, heathlands, and along the banks of the Beaulieu River. The route offers tranquil views of the river, marshes, and a variety of wildlife.

One of the highlights of the walk is the visit to Buckler’s Hard, a historic shipbuilding village that dates back to the 18th century. The village has a maritime museum, a historic shipyard, and lovely riverside cottages, providing a glimpse into its shipbuilding history.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the shipbuilding heritage of Buckler’s Hard, enjoying a riverside stroll, or simply taking in the serene surroundings, this walk offers a peaceful and enjoyable outing in the New Forest National Park.

Lepe Loop

Located on the Solent coast, Lepe Country Park offers a shorter, family-friendly coastal walk making it one of the best coastal walks in Hampshire if you want a short walk. You can explore the park’s woodlands, and the beach, and even spot historic remnants of the area’s involvement in the D-Day landings.

The park offers several walking trails that allow you to explore the coastline, salt marshes, and woodlands. These trails are great for both short strolls and longer hikes, and they provide opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

Lepe Country Park has a shingle beach with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and taking in the coastal scenery.

Lepe Country Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and plant species. It’s a fantastic location for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts.

Hengistbury Head

Ok, this one is cheating a little because it’s technically in Dorset but just across the county line so I’m including it here as it’s a beautiful place for a walk and is right next to Hampshire.

Hengistbury Head is a scenic headland and nature reserve and is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and walkers, offering a variety of landscapes and beautiful coastal views.

The length of the walk around Hengistbury Head can vary depending on the specific route you choose. You can opt for shorter or longer routes, but a typical walk around the headland and through the nature reserve is around 3 miles (4.8 kilometres).

The walk offers a mix of coastal views, sandy beaches, heathland, grassy areas, and wetlands. You’ll enjoy picturesque vistas of Christchurch Harbour, Mudeford Spit, and the Isle of Wight across the Solent.

Hengistbury Head is a designated nature reserve, known for its diverse flora and fauna. You can spot various bird species, including waders and seabirds. The area is also home to a wide range of plant species, including colourful wildflowers.


Hampshire

These coastal walks in Hampshire offer a wide range of experiences, from rugged cliffs and serene marshes to picturesque villages and historic landmarks.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a stroll by the sea, these coastal walks in Hampshire have something for everyone to enjoy.

Apart from these coastal walks in Hampshire, you may want to explore nearby coastal areas in the region like the 10 best seaside towns in Dorset to visit.


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