Calshot Beach Walk
Calshot Beach Walk

Calshot Beach Walk

New Forest National Park
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Calshot Beach Walk

Calshot Beach Walk

Distance: 5.6mi
Elevation: 184ft
Time: 2-2.5h

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When you want a change from the woods of New Forest, head down to Calshot Beach for a lovely coastal walk. Head east along the beach, and explore the fascinating history of the Calshot Castle, which guards the entrance to Southampton. Walk north among the rich marshes home to plenty of wildlife, then return along the coast. Don’t be afraid to stop for a swim if the weather is pleasant! There’s plenty of opportunities to customize your day on Calshot Beach and enjoy some time by the sea.

Calshot Beach Walk Map

Getting there

To get to the Calshot Beach Walk, head for the village of Calshot. Take the main Calshot Road all the way down towards the coast, where a circular road encloses a handful of cottages. Follow this towards the beach, and just before the road curves to the right, you’ll spot a car park on your right. Turn into this and park to begin the walk.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Calshot Beach Walk
Elevation Graph

Calshot Beach Walk Description

A stroll along Calshot Beach provides a fun coastal alternative to the wooded walks of the New Forest National Park. Like any coastal walk, the weather will play a role in how enjoyable your outing is – there isn’t much protection from the elements out here!

From the car park, cross the road to reach the beach, then turn left to walk along the shore. Calshot Beach is a shingle spit with some sand mixed in, extending into the Southampton Water estuary. Views over the Isle of Wight accompany you as you stroll along the beach. You’ll pass a series of beach huts on your left, with a marsh on the other side of the road behind them. There’s also a water sports shop if you’re feeling like adding an adventurous twist to your day!

As you approach the end of the spit, the beach will dwindle until you’re walking along firmer ground. Pass a large activity centre, which offers indoor climbing walls, velodrome cycling, and even dry slope skiing! You’ll finally come to Calshot Castle, a round artillery fort built by Henry VIII in the 16th century to defend the passage to Southampton. The perfect place to take in the sweeping views up to Southampton and over The Solent.

From the castle, loop around and follow the road back the way you came, on the other side of the peninsula. Pass by the campgrounds, and when you reach the base of the spit, turn right onto a footpath that leads in a northwest bearing. There should be a pond on your left, and marshes extending away to your right. Follow this narrow strip of land, keeping an eye out for the many species of birds that call these wetlands home. The decommissioned Fawley Power Station emerges on your left. Continue past this, and then along a stretch of forest before reaching a clearing. Stay left along the path, or cut diagonally across this clearing to reach your halfway point: the Jolly Sailor pub in Ashlett Creek.

Stop here for refreshments, or turn around and start the return portion of the walk the way you came. Follow the same path through the marshes to the base of the Calshot spit; this time, cross the road and turn right to walk west back along the beach. Enjoy the final stretch of your walk back to the car park.

Trail Highlights

Calshot Castle

Built in the mid-16th century by Henry VIII, Calshot Castle is a fantastically preserved example of the forts constructed in its time. Its strategic use wasn’t limited to the Renaissance age; the Castle and its grounds were employed during both World Wars, primarily as an airbase. Five boats from the base were employed in the Dunkirk evacuation. It’s rich history alone is worth a visit to the Calshot area!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim at Calshot Beach?

Yes, you can swim at Calshot Beach. It’s quite popular for watersports of all kinds!

Are dogs allowed on Calshot Beach?

Dogs are allowed at Calshot Beach, but they should be kept on a lead at all times.

Does Calshot Beach have toilets?

Yes, visitors to Calshot Beach can make use of the public toilets at the Calshot Activities Centre.

Insider Hints

  • Reaching Calshot Beach by bus is a simple task. From Southampton, hop on the 8 bus, which takes you all the way to Calshot. The bus stop is practically on the beach itself!

  • Your halfway point of the walk is the Jolly Sailor pub, which provides the type of good honest refreshment you’d expect from the name. If you’re looking for something a bit different, the Bluebird Cafe near the very start of the walk is a good option for a bite and a hot beverage to enjoy with the views.



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