Hurst Castle & Hurst Castle Ferry

Type:Museum - Military

Hurst Castle & Hurst Castle Ferry, Keyhaven, Milford on Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0TP

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Hurst Castle & Hurst Castle Ferry

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Henry VIII’s Tudor castle will be opening to visitors from 29th May to explore daily.  The Victorian east and west wings remain closed while English Heritage’s conservation and repair work is ongoing, with the entrance fee reduced accordingly.

In February 2021, a section of wall on the 19th-century east wing of the castle collapsed, after the sea exposed and undercut its foundations. English Heritage is now coordinating a major project to protect and bring stability to this part of the castle.

Whilst English Heritage’s conservation and repair work is ongoing, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Tudor castle built by Henry VIII. A visit to Hurst Castle is one of the best days out in the New Forest with plenty of open space for children to explore and fantastic views of the Isle of Wight. It is a must for visitors to this area.

Nestled within the New Forest National Park, come and discover this artillery fortress built by Henry VIII, at the seaward end of a coastal spit offering one of the best views in England. Commanding the entrance to the Solent, its strategic location has developed the castle into a powerful fortress, steeped in centuries of military history.

From its beginnings in 1544, as one of Henry VIII's chain of artillery defences, Hurst Castle, unusually for a Tudor castle, remained in military use until 1956, playing an active role through both world wars.   On occasion it was also used as a prison, most famously in the imprisonment of Charles I in the 17th century, during the Civil War.  Hurst Castle defended England from invasion threats in the 19th and 20th centuries.

With spectacular views of the Solent and 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. The 'Hurst Mess' takeaway offers hot and cold drinks, homemade food and cakes.  Dogs on leads are very welcome too.

Access to Hurst Castle, is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply) or a 2-mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit).

For more information, please visit:

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 fantastic 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.




Guide Prices

Hurst Castle Prices:
Adult: £4.00
Concession: £3.50
Child: £2.00

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
  • Contactless payment possible
  • 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
  • Face mask essential (not provided)
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Food available during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Hygiene screens in place
  • Interactive displays closed
  • One way system
  • Online booking possible
  • Outside seating
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • 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 arrive at Keyhaven

      There is no road access along Hurst spit so it is not possible to directly reach Hurst Castle by car.  Parking is available at the pay-and-display car park at Keyhaven (postcode SO41 0TP).  From there either use the ferry to the castle (see Ferry details below) or walk approximately 2 miles along the shingle spit from Milford on Sea (sturdy footwear required).

      There is an alternative pay-and-display car park at Milford on Sea seafront (postcode SO41 0PY) where it is possible to walk to Hurst spit or Keyhaven for the ferry..


      Access to Hurst Castle is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply).  The ferry operates daily from 1st April – 31st October, approximately every 20 minutes.  For more information please visit How to get to Hurst Castle | Hurst Castle Ferry or Walking  

      Public Transport Directions

      Public Transport Directions

      The nearest railway station is New Milton, which is 4 miles away.

      To use the Bus, the More X1 to Milford on Sea is within 2 1⁄2 miles , or 1 mile to ferry.

      Access to Hurst Castle is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply) or a 2-mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit).  Ferry service operates daily from 1st April-31 October, approximately every 20 minutes.  For more information please visit How to get to Hurst Castle | Hurst Castle Ferry or Walking


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

      Opening Times

      * 1st April - 30 September (daily) 10am - 5.30pm
      1st October - 31st October (daily) 10am - 4pm
      1st November - 31st March: Closed
      1st April - 31st October (daily) 10am - Keyhaven quay, then approx every 30 mins

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