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Beaches

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Hampshire's coastline stretches from Highcliffe in the west of the county to Chichester Harbour in the east. The country parks, nature reserves and open spaces of Hampshire's Solent coastline provide a welcome retreat for beach goers, walkers and nature lovers, but there's also plenty to see and do.

Many country parks border the shoreline and offer scenic views, such as Manor Farm Country Park on the Hamble River, Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley Abbey and Lepe at Exbury.

The coastal nature reserve at Titchfield Haven provides tranquillity for birdwatchers, walkers and horse riders while Hampshire's role in the D-Day invasions can be seen in the remains of mulberry harbours at Lepe and Hayling Island.

There are a anumber of lovely coastal walks along the Hamble Valley, take in woodland, salt marsh and river views and you may see birds such as oystercatchers, cormorants and kingfishers.

Highcliffe, Barton on Sea and Milford on Sea
Highcliffe, Barton on Sea and Milford on Sea are all located to the west of Hampshire in the New Forest National Park. With a mixture of sand and stone beaches they are fantastic for relaxing, swimming and are also popular with kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Hayling Island Beaches
With child-friendly and clean beaches head to Hayling Island near Chichester which holds a European Blue Flag beach award. Hayling Island was the birthplace of windsurfing and remains a popular destination for watersport lovers, perfect for a day out by the seaside and great if you fancy a paddle or a swim.  Its five mile long seaside shore along the south of the island is divided into West Beachlands and Beachlands.

Lepe
Lepe is a coastal country park in the New Forest National Park. It has nature reserves all around and you can also watch the ships passing in and out of Southampton Water. It played an important role in the D-Day preparations and was a major departure point for troops, vehicles and supplies. An audio trail is available plus there is a 5 mile circular walk with views over the salt marsh and Beaulieu estate.

Calshot
Close by to Lepe, Calshot Spit is lined with brightly coloured beach huts, leading up to the Calshot Activities Centre, one of the south's biggest outdoors centres offering sailing, rock climbing, a velodrome and indoor skiing. On a clear day you can see the Spinnaker Tower across the water.

Netley
Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley overlooks approaches to the port as well as the dramatic Fawley oil refinery - popular with young families for picnics, woodland walks and kite flying. Former site of the Royal Victoria military hospital, all that remains is the old chapel, now a visitor centre.

Chichester Harbour
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has many unspoilt villages, beaches and inlets and is popular with walkers and birdwatchers.

Southsea
For a traditional seaside experience head to Southsea seafont in the city of Portsmouth. This long pebble stretches along the Solent. The beach offers save water to swim in with areas manned by life guards, a tradtional pier and a number of food outlets dotted along the beach serving seaside favourites. 

Dog Friendly Beaches
Why not take your dog for a walk along Hampshire's dog friendly beaches? Historic Hurst Castle, behind Keyhaven River, has dramatic views over the Solent and is an ideal place for picnics and walks.