New Forest Events and Attractions

Hurst Castle

Built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses, is located at the end of a shingle spit which extends 1.5 miles from Keyhaven.

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Hurst Castle

A potted history...

  • The original keep of Hurst Castle was completed in 1544 by Henry VIII.
  • In 1648, Charles I was imprisoned here before being taken to London for his trial and execution.
  • During the Napoleonic wars and again in the 1860s, the castle was modernised and enormous armoured wings were added.
  • Two of the huge 38 ton guns installed in the 1870s can still be viewed in their casemates.
  • During World War II, the castle was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights.

Aerial photograph of Hurst Castle

Aerial photograph of Hurst Castle - Image courtesy

Hurst Castle battlements

Hurst Castle battlements

Hurst Spit

The end of Hurst Spit is only three quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight; the closest point to the island from the mainland. Access is achieved either on foot from Keyhaven or Milford-on-Sea, or by ferry from Keyhaven (or from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight). On foot, we've beaten the ferry a couple of times, but only because it was delayed and we were moving as quickly as possible!

Hurst Castle Lighthouse

Hurst Castle Lighthouse - Image courtesy

Educational and group visits

Educational and group visits are welcomed at the castle which is open daily between April and October.

Castle Café

Open daily from 10.45 AM to 4.45 PM for delicious cakes, baked on the premises, sandwiches and baguettes freshly prepared to order and daily specials. Inside and outside seating within the West Wing of the Castle.

More Information

For enquiries about Hurst Castle and the ferry, telephone: 01590 642500 or 01590 642344, or visit the Hurst castle website.

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