Hurst Castle & Ferry

Type:Museum - Military

Hurst Castle & Ferry, Keyhaven, Lymington, SO41 0TP

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Tel01590 642500

An artillery cannon in the grounds of Hurst Castle

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Even though we’re closed at the moment, you can still enjoy this beautiful coastline with a walk to Hurst Castle.

Refreshments will be available outside the castle Saturday and Sunday.


Come and discover this artillery fortress built by Henry VIII at the seaward end of a spit. Commanding the entrance to the Solent, it offers one of the best views in England.

From its beginings as one of Henry VIII's chain of military fortresses in 1544, Hurst Castle, unusually for a Tudor castle, remained in active role through both world wards. It played a part in the imprisonment of Charles I in the 17th century and defended England from invasion threats in the 19th and 20th centuries. Exhibitions around the castle provide you with a chance to piece together Hurst Castle's long history.

With fantastic views of the Isle of the Wight from the top of the Tudor Keep and plenty of open spaces for children to explore, it's a great day out for the whole family. There's also a cafe offering homemade food.

Castle highlights include:

Step inside the heart of Hurst Castle to its Tudor fort, which retains much of its 16th century appearance.

Follow the steps to the first floor of the Tudor keep, where it was probably here that Charles I was kept prisoner in 1648.

Enjoy the spectacular views from the roof of the Tudor keep across the Needles Passage to the Isle of Wight.

Take a visit to the basement of the Tudor keep, used for storage of food, fuel, weapons and gunpowder.

Travel through time to the East and West wings, built in 1860s and take a glimpse into the living conditions of a soldier in the First and Second World Wars, with living quarters and washing facilites to explore.

Don't miss the Garrison Theatre, possibly the last theatre constucted by the garrison to survive from the Second World War.

Discover the history of the lighthouses on the spit within the Lighthouse exhibition in the West Wing, from the first light built in 1786 to the High Light of 1867, which still functions today.

To get to Hurst Castle, there is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply) or a 2-mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit). Cafe open daily and dogs on leads welcome.




Guide Prices

Hurst Castle Prices:
Adult: £5.50
Concession: £5.00
Child: £3.50
Family: £17 (2 Adults and 3 Children)
English Heritage Members, Child under 5: FREE

Ferry Prices
Return Fare:
Adult: £7.00
Child: £4.00 (children under 3 free)

Single Fare:
Adult: £4.00
Child: £3.00


Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)


  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site


  • Children welcome

COVID-19 Response

  • 2m distancing in place
  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 refund and cancellation policy in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Currently closed
  • Food available during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • One way system
  • Outside seating
  • Pets welcome during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Queuing system
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Socially distanced spaced seating
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality
  • Grounds for outdoor activities
  • Helicopter landing
  • Sole use of venue
  • Wedding planner available
  • Wedding receptions


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Onsite Catering
  • Public toilets
  • Smoking not allowed

Site Features

  • English Heritage Property

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted



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    Map & Directions

    Road Directions

    From A337 take the turning for Milford on Sea. Hurst Castle will be sign posted in this direction. Follow the road into Milford on Sea village. Turn left into the village centre and turn left at the staggered crossroads. Follow this road to the end and you will find yourself at Keyhaven car park.The ferry and Hurst Spit are within walking distance from Keyhaven car park.The nearest railway station is New Milton, which is 4 miles away.

    Public Transport Directions

    Access to Hurst Castle is a 2-mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit) or alternatively catch a ferry from Keyhaven.  Ferry service operates daily from 1st April to 1st November from 9.45am and then approximately every 20 minutes.


    • Other AwardsGo New Forest Card Go New Forest Card 2020
    • Other AwardsGo New Forest Member Go New Forest Member 2018

    Opening Times

    * Hurst Castle Opening Times:
    2nd November 2020 - 31st March 2021: Closed
    1st April 2021 - 30th September 2021: 10.00am - 5.30pm
    1st October 2021 - 1st November 2021: 10.00am - 4.00pm

    2nd November 2020 - 31st March 2021: ferry is currently not running.
    1st April 2021 - 1st November 2021: ferry departs daily from Keyhaven quay at 9.45am and then approximately every 20 minutes

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