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The 5 Best Beaches in Hampshire

Aug 31, 2022
The best beaches in Hampshire
If you fancy a relaxing day at the beach, you've come to the right place. Hampshire’s Solent coastline stretches from Highcliffe on the Dorset border to Chichester Harbour and is home to beautiful sandy and rugged littorals.

Known as the birthplace of windsurfing, the county also boasts various Blue Flag beaches and atmospheric walking trails to take in the spectacular views. Below we’ve picked some of the best beaches in Hampshire to sunbathe and unwind.

• Lepe Beach
• Calshot Beach
• Milford-on-Sea Beach
• Southsea & Eastney Beach
• Barton-on-Sea Beach

Lepe Beach

 
Type of beach: Sand & shingle
Facilities: First aid on site
Parking on site: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes, between October and March
Awards: Marine Conservation Society
 
Found next door to Southampton in Lepe Country Park, an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty, Lepe Beach played a significant role in the D-Day preparations. It was one of the main departure points for troops and suppliers. 
 
It is a mix of sand and shingle and is particularly popular among water sports enthusiasts. You can try windsurfing, kayaking and kitesurfing, and explore the surrounding meadows in search of local wildlife. 
 

Calshot Beach

 
Type of beach: Shingle
Facilities: Beach hut hires
Parking on site: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes
Awards: Marine Conservation Society
 
With its colourful beach huts and England’s biggest watersport centre, Calshot Beach is your go-to place if you want to be part of the action. Located on the edge of the Forest National Park, this place always has plenty going on, from sports competitions and velodrome races to rock climbing and indoor skiing. 
 
On a sunny day, you can see across to the Isle of Wight and the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Be sure to bring your camera; you don’t want to miss these views! 
 

Milford-on-Sea Beach

 
Type of beach: Pebble
Parking on site: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes 
Awards: Marine Conservation Society
 
This dog-friendly beach lies in the New Forest National Park and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The colourful beach huts scattered along the shores and the various boutiques and cafes bring the village to life. 
 
Explore the scenic walking trail from Hurts Spit to Hurst Castle, which boasts a long-standing military history. Built by Henry VIII during Tudor times, it was a defence to the Solent and the prison of Charles I too. If you don’t fancy walking, take the panoramic ferry from Keyhaven to the castle along the Keyhaven River. 
 

Southsea & Eastney Beach

 
Type of beach: Shingle & pebble
Facilities: Suitable for visitors with disabilities 
Parking on site: Yes; space for visitors with disabilities available 
Dog-friendly: Yes, between October and March
Awards: Marine Conservation Society
 
This shingle and pebble beach is the most popular in Portsmouth, with two piers, amusement arcades, shops, cafes and restaurants. It stretches from Eastney to Hayling Island for about 2 miles and represents a major plant habitat. It is home to more than 100 different species of plants and flowers.
 
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the place, visit the Royal Marines Museum along the esplanade. 
 

Barton-on-Sea Beach

 
Type of beach: Shingle
Facilities: Suitable for visitors with disabilities
Parking on site: Yes; space for visitors with disabilities available
Dog-friendly: Yes, between October and March
Awards: Marine Conservation Society
 
A stone’s throw from Bournemouth, but still within Hampshire, Barton-on-Sea shingle beach is an extension to the Dorset littoral. It has rock sea defences and groynes to help reduce cliff erosion. 
 
For superb views of the surrounding landscape, choose one of the cliff-top walking trails. On a clear day, you’ll see across to Hengistbury Head, the Solent to the west, and the Isle of Wight to the east.