Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea. The end of the spit, only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight, and the views from the top of the centre keep are spectacular.
The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. The Tudor fort at its heart still looks much as it did in the 16th century. It is one of the best preserved of Henry VIII’s castles and one of very few of them to have been successively updated and strengthened, allowing it to retain an active military role in the 20th century.
Since 1786, there have been a series of lighthouses at Hurst that have guided shipping through the Solent’s treacherous waters and helped save many lives. The first two, built on the spit in 1786 and 1812, have been demolished, but the Low Light of the 1860s and the metal light of 1911 survive. Both, now decommissioned, can be seen on the rear wall of the castle’s west wing. The High Light of 1867, sited beyond the end of the east wing, still functions.
Hurst Castle offer visitors an audio tour to help you navigate, fantastic views of the Isle of Wight from the top of the Tudor keep and there are plenty of open spaces for children to explore. It’s a great day out for the whole family.
Access to the castle is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply) or a 1.5 mile walk along Hurst Spit.
There is a small café in the castle grounds for refreshments. Dogs on leads welcome.
|April - September (1 Apr 2019 - 30 Sept 2019)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:30||- 17:30|
|October - November (1 Oct 2019 - 31 Oct 2019)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:30||- 16:00|
* 2 November 2019 – 31 March 2020: Winter weekend opening, weather permitting – call Hurst Castle for details.
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