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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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 and exhibitions around the castle will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about its long history.

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 Castle Cafe 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.

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 facilities to explore.

Don't miss the Garrison Theatre, possibly the last theatre constructed 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.



Guide Prices

Hurst Castle Prices:
Adult: £5.50
Concession: £5.00
Child: £3.50
Family: £17.00 (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
  • 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

    * Hurst Castle is currently closed to visitors.

    1st April 2021 - 31st October 2021: ferry departs daily from Keyhaven quay at 10am and then approximately every 30 minutes

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