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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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Hurst Spit and Hurst Castle

Isle of Wight views, a historic castle, and a boat trip or a wonderful walk

The view to the Island from the base of Hurst Spit
The view to the Island
from the base of Hurst Spit

Hurst Spit and Hurst Castle
Distance from Lyndhurst - 13 miles (21 kilometres)

A ribbon of shingle, 3 kilometres (2 miles) long, curving gracefully out into the Solent, Hurst Spit has been created over many thousands of years by the actions of winds and tides.

Hurst Spit - magnificent sea views
Hurst Spit is a place for those who wish to experience magnificent sea views - over to the Needles, at the tip of the Isle of Wight; who appreciate the call of the wild; and maybe want what can often be a bracing coastal walk.

As a concession to the modern world, though, an ice cream van can sometimes be found in the warmer months, parked on the roadside at the landward end of the spit.

Hurst - a once thriving community
There is now little to suggest the extent of former habitation at the seaward end of Hurst Spit where once existed a bustling community of salt workers, fishermen, smugglers, preventive men, herring processors and soldiers who were all well-served by a series of public houses.

Hurst Castle west wing
Hurst Castle west wing

The lighthouse and castle
A lighthouse does, however, continue to provide a welcome warning to shipping of the dangers of the sea hereabouts; whilst nearby, prominent against the skyline, is the impressively fortified Hurst Castle, a structure dating back to the days of Henry VIII but much modified in later years.

Open daily from April to October, and at weekends from November to March (full details are here), Hurst Castle can be reached by walking along the shingle or by taking a ferry from Keyhaven.

In addition to its cafe, Hurst Castle features a number of displays and exhibitions including a World War Two theatre and guns, and a Trinity House lighthouse exhibition. Two of the huge 38-ton guns installed in the 1870’s can be viewed in their casemates, and an audio guide is available.

Hurst Spit is not suitable for bathing
Please note, this stretch of coast experiences strong currents, has no sandy beaches and is wholly unsuitable for bathing.

This 1943 Admiralty chart shows well Keyhaven, Hurst Spit and 'Hurst Fort'
This 1943 Admiralty chart shows
well Keyhaven, Hurst Spit and 'Hurst Fort'
The layout of Hurst Castle is perhaps best appreciated from above
The layout of Hurst Castle
is perhaps best appreciated from the air
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Other related links
Calshot Castle and Hurst Castle - lots more about Hurst Castle and Calshot Castle
Hurst Castle in old pictures


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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
The New Forest
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).

Here's just one horrific example - Three donkeys killed in collision with van at notorious New Forest blackspot (Advertiser and Times)
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley