Visit Hamphire
Catergories: Activitiesthings to do

With an extensive coastline, Hampshire has many places along it that are ideal crabbing spots. A free activity (especially if you have left over bacon or bate) – crabbing can be a fun-filled family day out.

Bring your bucket, a line and a net or pick up supplies from a nearby fishing tackle shop. Crabbing tends to be best done in the summer months when the sea is warmer and the crabs are more likely to be out and about. 

There are several places where you can go crabbing in Hampshire – from sea walls to beaches.

Here are some of our best crabbing spots in Hampshire…

Lymington, New Forest National Park

Crabbing at Lymington, Hampshire

Lymington is one of Hampshire’s top crabbing spots. Head to the harbour wall (near to Lymington Sea Water Baths) for the best place to catch them – it’s just a short walk from Lymington Quay. From here, you can also expect stunning views across Lymington Marina.

River Hamble Country Park, Southampton

River Hamble, Hampshire

On the outskirts of Southampton, River Hamble Country Park is a scenic point from which to go crabbing. Catch crabs from the jetty with a line or along the riverbank using a net. 

Crab lines and bait are available to buy from the Cafe at the Barn – the Country Park’s onsite cafe. 


Emsworth, Hampshire

Picturesque Emsworth sits on the edge of Chichester Harbour and is a historic fishing village. The harbour here has shallow waters making it an ideal spot for crabbing. You’ll often find families in the summer months casting their lines from the harbour walls. Plus, if you need crabbing supplies – Emsworth Home Hardware usually stocks nets and lines. 

Lepe Country Park, New Forest National Park

Crabbing at Lepe beach, Hampshire

Lepe beach is a good spot for turning over rocks and casting your net into the shallow waters to find crabs lurking in the sand.

Look out for events being run by Lepe’s rangers – including marine wildlife walks where you can learn more about the crabs and other marine creatures that can be found here.

At Lepe, you’ll also find The Lookout, Lepe’s café (which also offers some amazing views out across the Solent). 

Goatee beach, near Southampton

Goatee beach, Hampshire

Goatee beach can be found on Southampton Water, on the outskirts of Eling. 

Park up at the cemetery car park and take the short walk to the shoreline. There’s also a little shop over the bridge that sells buckets and lines.

Milford-on-Sea, New Forest National Park

Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire

Take a walk along from Milford-on-Sea towards Hurst Spit and stop at the bridge crossing the river for another great Hampshire crabbing spot. 

Buckler’s Hard, New Forest National Park

Buckler's Hard, Hampshire

Buckler’s Hard is a small maritime village located beside the Beaulieu river. Make your way down to the water’s edge for a spot of crabbing near the jetty. 

You could also combine your visit with a visit to the Maritime Museum or a boat trip along the river.

Looking after the crabs

Crabs in bucket

It’s really important to take care of any crabs that you catch and to re-release them back into the water afterwards. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust have put together a handy guide of how to go crabbing in an eco-friendly way.

Discover other free or low cost things to do

If you are looking for other low cost things to do with your family, we have produced some handy blogs:

10 things to do under £10 in Hampshire
20 things to do under £20 in Hampshire 

Keep an eye on our summer events page for details of what’s on, including other nature-based activities such as pond dipping, nature walks and wildlife activities. 


Buckler's Hard
Buckler's Hard

Escape to the beauty spot of Buckler’s Hard, where history and stunning scenery come together for an unforgettable trip out in the New Forest countryside. Once a bustling shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson’s Navy were built, the charming village of Buckler’s Hard now a peaceful haven. Relax with a cuppa and a slice of cake, take a ramble beside the Beaulieu River, or delve into the village’s history in the Buckler’s Hard Museum.

Towns & Villages
Emsworth Harbour

Emsworth is popular with sailors, artists, naturalists and walkers. The two tidal millponds to east and west are host to a variety of wild life. Emsworth has a long history connected with oyster fishing and boat building and still boasts traditional shipwrights and chandleries. Its attractive streets are lined with a mixture of architectural styles and high walled gardens and a walk around the town gives a genuine feel for the past, with exceptional harbour views.

Towns & Villages

The Georgian market town of Lymington is set on the coast in the beautiful New Forest National Park, between Southampton and Bournemouth. Famous for its sailing history, there are two large marinas filled with fishing boats and yachts, as well as two sailing clubs. The town’s narrow streets are lined with pretty period cottages and houses, as well as plenty of local pubs and restaurants.

Lepe Country Park
Country / Royal Park
Lepe Country Park Visitor Centre

Lepe Country Park has something for everyone. The long stretch of shingle beach is popular with kite surfers and wind surfers, families and holidaymakers. From the shoreline you can look across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Watch yachts, ferries and cargo ships on their way to and from the harbours and marinas dotted along the south coast.