Life after GCSE’s was rather empty – I was finding myself bored and unsure of what to fill my time with after a repetitive routine of revise-exam-revise.
But my mum and I decided to walk along Hurst spit to Hurst castle in Keyhaven since the summer weather had kicked in. It turned out to be a glorious day along the shingle spit with the clear blue water and the Needles almost within touching distance. (Well 4 miles!)
There are plenty of good carparking places. The two main car parks are Keyhaven Amenity car park or Saltgrass lane parking. Both accessible and within a 2 minute walk of the spit.
Finding the castle and car parks can be found using the postcode: Hurst Castle, Hampshire, SO41 0TP
TIP: The 1.5 mile walk is flat and has a broad path, but can be tiring on little legs as loose stones etc.
If the 1.5 mile walk isn’t for you or if you have small children and a buggy (impossible to push on shingle!), the Keyhaven ferry is available from the Keyhaven Yacht club.
Or alternatively: Hurst Spit is also accessible from Milford on Sea – which makes for a longer walk along the coast.
- The ferry services daily from 29th March 2018 until the 31st October 2018.
- Ferries come and go approx every 20 mins from Keyhaven and Hurst.
- First ferry 10.15am from Keyhaven and last boat 5.30pm from Hurst.
Returns – Adults £6.50; Child £3.50
Singles – Adult £3.50; Child £2.50
Child: 5-17 years
For more information visit: http://www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries/
The castle itself has many interesting historical connections and (most importantly!) a cafe to recharge and refresh. However the cafe is cash only but cash back is available at the main gate.
Entry to the castle: Adult £5.00, Child £3.00, Concession £4.50, Family (2 adults & 3 children) £15.00 Season tickets available. Friendly dogs on leads welcome, free of charge!
The end of the spit is only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight and the views from the top of the Tudor castle are spectacular.
A little history lesson:
Hurst castle was built in 1544 by Henry VIII as a coastal fortress and was the perfect location to defend the western approach to the Solent.
The castle was adapted during the Napoleonic wars and more construction was done in the 1870’s, when the huge armoured wings were constructed. Two of the 38-ton guns were installed and are displayed in their casemates.
Hurst castle was also active in WW1, when Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights.
Fun Fact: Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London to his trial and execution.
Overall a brilliant day out for any age, and easily adaptable for different needs.