Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle is an English Heritage site and is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea. 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.

The history.

Hurst Castle was the perfect location to defend the western approach to the Solent. The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544.

Charles I was imprisoned there in 1648 before being taken to London to his trial and execution.

The castle was modernised during the Napoleonic wars and again in the 1870’s when the enormous armoured wings were constructed. Two of the huge 38-ton guns installed in the 1870’s can be viewed in their casemates.

During World War II, Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights.

Since the castle has been opened to the public many more exhibits and exhibitions have been installed, including the Trinity House lighthouse museum.

What’s to see?

There is plenty to do over at Hurst Castle. You will find lots to discover from its Tudor beginnings, the imprisonment of Charles I and Father Paul Atkinson, its Victorian wing batteries and gun emplacements, to WW1 and WW2.

In addition, the castle’s location offers the opportunity to look at the lighthouse, wildlife and its sheer engineering feat. Children will love to explore the corridors, steps and rooms within the castle and if you have the energy the climb to the top is well worth it for the stunning views.

There is a cafe selling a selection of freshly made sandwiches, toasties, cakes, crisps and drinks. It gets very busy during peak periods and only accepts cash.

If you want to take a picnic there are plenty of spots to sit and eat within the castle or why not sit on the rocks overlooking the sea and the Isle of Wight.

If you don’t fancy the walk along the spit or find the shingle inaccessible with a wheelchair or buggy then sailing over to the castle could not be easier. Ferries run very frequently, approximately every 20 minutes,  from Keyhaven from 29th March 2018 until the 31st October 2018.

First ferry 10.15am from Keyhaven and last boat 5.30pm from Hurst Castle.

There are special events throughout the summer holidays. Please see for more details.

Opening times:

29th  March 2018 – 31st Oct – 10.30am to 5.30pm


Adult: £5.00

Concession: £4.50

Child (5-17 yrs): £3.00

Family (2 adults & 3 children): £15.00

English Heritage members and child under 5: FREE

Ferry Fares:

Returns – Adults £6.50; Child £3.50
Singles – Adult £3.50; Child £2.50

Dogs are welcome too!

Address and Sat Nav info:

It is not possible to reach Hurst Castle by car.

There are two ways to get there:

By boat – from Keyhaven

Catch the regular ferry service from Keyhaven, operating from April until the end of October.

To reach Keyhaven, from Lymington, take the A337 to the B3058 signposted to Milford-On-Sea. At Milford, take the Keyhaven Road.

There is a car park at Keyhaven. Postcode to use for satellite navigation is: SO41 0TR.

By foot – from Milford-On-Sea

There is adequate parking on the sea front at Milford-On-Sea. Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea.

Mix and Match – Why not park your car at Keyhaven, take the single ferry ride to the castle, and then walk back via the shingle spit to the sea road that brings you back to Keyhaven. Total walk about 2.5 miles. Bring your binoculars and camera!

For more information visit:

Photo courtesy of English Heritage.