It’s the Year of the Coast, and the launch of a new England Coast Path to celebrate our new monarch. Here in Hampshire, we’ve got a plethora of ways you can truly appreciate our stunning sea views

King Charles III England Coast Path

Upon completion, King Charles III England Coast Path will stretch across almost 2,700 miles of England's coastline – making it one of the longest continuous walking routes in the world. Lace up the walking boots and tackle the 52-mile Hampshire section which follows the Solent coastline between Calshot and Portsmouth; explore the county's unspoiled countryside, busy marinas and industrial heritage.

Seawater Baths in Lymington

The oldest open air sea water baths in the UK can be found in the New Forest. Dating back to 1833, the Lymington Seawater Baths gained national interest for their health-giving waters and natural mud minerals. Today, young, and old still swim in the waters and enjoy the stunning location with views over to the Isle of Wight.

Great British Beach Clean

Every September thousands of people across the UK head to the coast to take part in the Great British Beach Clean. Last year 5261 volunteers helped to pick over 141,048 pieces of litter from an amazing 30 miles of beach. Check the Marine Conservation Society’s website to find your nearest beach clean, or you can add your own.

September 15-24,

Cowes Week

The UK's longest running sporting event returns to the Isle of Wight this summer. With up to 40 races each day and around 750 boats; it’s the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. Along with the 7,000 competitors – from Olympians to weekend sailors – there are also up 100,000 spectators who come to watch the sailing and soak up the unique après-sail atmosphere.

July 29 to August 4,

Wildlife watching

Grab your binoculars and head for Lymington and Keyhaven Nature Reserves. This six-mile stretch of coastal grazing marshes, fresh and saltwater lagoons and saltmarsh has fabulous views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Covering nearly 740 hectares, thousands of sea birds and waders flock here. Keep an eye out for curlew, little egret and Dartford warbler; out at sea, watch cormorant dive for their fish supper.

Great British Life: The night sky above the Isle of Wight is spectacular. Image: Visit Isle of WightThe night sky above the Isle of Wight is spectacular. Image: Visit Isle of Wight

Coastal stargazing

The whole of the Isle of Wight – including the waters around the island – were named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2019. The combination of minimal light pollution and a mild climate makes the island a stargazer’s dream; once darkness falls, the number of stars visible in the inky-black sky can be breathtaking. After dark, remote locations are where you want to be; head to Freshwater Bay, Compton Bay, Brighstone Beach/Cliff or the Needles Headland to up your viewing potential.

Horse ride on the beach

Cantering across the beach features on many a bucket list. But did you know you can tick this off on the Isle of Wight? Sally’s Riding School - located at Nodes Point Holiday Park in May to September and Bembridge Stables from September to May - offer riding on Bembridge and St Helens beaches.

Seashore foraging

Evoke your inner gatherer and try your hand at coastal foraging. Marsh Samphire thrives in muddy, marshy sea water; in peak summer months you’ll find it in abundance along the lagoon at Hurst Spit. Just make sure you wash it thoroughly before cooking up a feast. If you prefer more of a guided foray, Foraged by Fern offers lots of seasonal workshops and courses in Hampshire and surrounding counties.

Kayak safari

‘Our Kayak Safaris are the best way to explore the coastline of Bembridge, St Helens and Seaview,’ says Ben Smith, Chief Instructor at Tackt-Isle Adventures.

‘Our fully qualified instructor will take you on an excursion around to the beautiful Bembridge Lifeboat, or to the secluded Priory Bay Beach, which is only accessible by foot or boat. Our instructors are skilled at getting the best out of your kayaking and will share tips and techniques to get you gliding across the water like a professional.’

Seaside shindig

The enormous family-friendly fest, Victorious, returns to Southsea Common with an impressive line-up including Jamiroquai, Kasabian and Mumford & Sons. The Kids Arena is a mini festival in itself with bongo sessions, a beach area and the chance to learn circus skills. And did we mention those Solent views?

August 25, 26 and 27,

Fossil hunting on Dinosaur Island

The Isle of Wight – aka Dinosaur Island - has one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils anywhere in the world. Yaverland Beach, near Sandown is a good place to start, you may even find dinosaur bones lose on the beach. The soaring coastline at Compton Bay can also be a fossil finder’s delight with dinosaur footprints visible at low tide.

Treasure Island Golf

Situated on Southsea seafront, opposite Clarence Pier and the fairground rides, you’ll find Treasure Island Adventure Golf Course. The two nine-hole courses, The Victory and Warrior, snake around the pirate themed enclosure. Play through caves, over footbridges, onto boats and under waterfalls – all while breathing in the fresh sea air.

Dive the Mary Rose 4D

Dive into the untold story of the finding, excavation and recovery of Tudor-legend, Henry VIII’s favourite ship, in this brand new, immersive, 4D cinema experience. Listen to stories of the people who dived on the ship, from the Tudors in 1545 to the 20th century search by Alexander McKee and his team of volunteers who helped to return the Mary Rose to the surface for the first time in 437 years.


Grab the buckets, nets and crab line and head to the coast to partake in a seaside classic: crabbing! Follow the cliff-top path in the direction of Sturt Pond Bridge and 'crab bridge’ at Milford on Sea, tie on your bait, drop your line in the water and wait… patience is the secret ingredient here, along with tasty bacon bits for coaxing the ten-legged crustacean.

Great British Life: See the rocks synonymous with Hampshire's landscape. Image: Visit Isle of Wight See the rocks synonymous with Hampshire's landscape. Image: Visit Isle of Wight

The Needles Landmark

Ride the iconic Needles Chairlift from the top of Alum Bay cliffs down to the beach. Soak up the spectacular views of Needles rock – a row of three distinctive chalk stacks that are synonymous with the Isle of Wight – and the red and white striped lighthouse, as well as the multi-coloured sand cliffs of Alum Bay and the lick of turquoise waters.

Southern Bell, Hayling Island

Spend a weekend in this unique beach house, built around two 19th century railway carriages from 1974 and 1903. Sleeping eight, this bright, light-filled modern space gives you direct access to Hayling Island’s Blue Flag beach. The carriage got its name from the fastest steam train of its time - the original Southern Belle - that took passengers from London to Brighton in an hour.

Solent Rib Charter

Explore the Solent coastline in a private skippered rib. Choose from 2-hours to a full day on the water; an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a more leisurely cruise. Just sit back and soak up the sun while your skipper shares his knowledge on this beautiful region. Keep your eye out for seals at Newtown Creek; you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins at Alum Bay and The Needles too.

Moonlit SUP, Milford on Sea

There’s something rather romantic about a moonlit paddle. Starting at dusk, experienced instructors will lead you on a two-hour paddle from Keyhaven Quay to Hurst Castle and back, all guided by the light of the moon on the water. The silent nature of paddleboarding allows you to hear every little detail, from water lapping to fish moving. Book in quick as this spectacular experience only runs on a few select dates on high tide evenings when the moon is full.

Southampton’s Titanic Story, Seacity Museum

Southampton’s Titanic Story offers an opportunity to connect with the past and discover the enormous impact the disaster had on the city. Experience the true tale of the ‘unsinkable’ ship as it made its final voyage from Southampton Docks – you’ll see first-hand items connected to the disaster and hear the real-life voices of its survivors.

Wild swimming

Whether it’s the mental health benefits or the chance to meet like-minded people, more and more people are falling in love with wild swimming; some are even pushing for cold water swimming to be available on a health prescription. If you’re eager to see what all the fuss is about, Calshot Beach is a popular spot, along with Lepe Country Park. Check out The Bluetits Chill Swimmers or Mental Health Swims to find your local tribe. or


When the tide goes out, a whole variety of ocean life lingers in the rock pools. Clamber across a rock-strewn beach, net in hand, and peer into hidden corners to discovers the wonders that live along the shore. According to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Bembridge is a rock-pooling heaven; besides many a skulking crab, the shallow ledges here are home to rare species such as seahorses, stalked jellyfish and peacock’s tail seaweed.

Beach Dubbin’

The ultimate VW show by the sea is making its return to Southsea Common this summer. Beach Dubbin’ is a not-for-profit event raising funds for local charities. Expect to see a huge variety of Volkswagens, vintage and classic vehicles, along with local food stalls and family area. What’s more its free if you’re travelling by foot!

August 6,

The Andark Sunday Dive

With over 30 years’ experience, Andark Diving School run a Sunday Dive Event for both beginners and seasoned pros. During the summer local sea temperatures are around 18ºC and there’s always plenty of marine life on display from crabs and anemones to sponges and cuttlefish. Non-divers are also welcome to come along and watch,

Mackerel fishing

Hop onboard the Osprey II for a day of sightseeing and sea fishing. Sail out of Keyhaven, down the river, and out into the Solent passing Hurst Castle to the Needles Rock and Lighthouse. After soaking up the scenery, it’s time to try and catch some mackerel; while numbers have dropped in the area you may still be lucky enough to leave the trip with the freshest fish supper, straight from the Hampshire shore.

The Lighthouse - Summer Sundowners

Situated on the sea front in Milford, The Lighthouse is an independent seaside bar and restaurant, serving up fresh, local dishes seven days a week. Every Friday evening, from June to September (weather dependent) you can enjoy Summer Sundowners: live music on the terrace. There’s no need to book, just grab a drink and a spot on the sea wall and kick start your weekend in style.