Best Places to SUP and Kayak in Milford on Sea

There are many ways to explore the dramatic Hampshire coast but for a truly unique and different perspective of the coastline take to the water.

There’s nothing quite like paddling and enjoying the peace and tranquillity away from the summer crowds, discovering secluded spots and spotting all kinds of wildlife and sea life.

Milford on Sea has a fantastic beginner spot, location wise you’ll find it hard to beat anywhere in the country and a place to rent kayaks and paddle boards. Plus, if you’re an advanced paddler, you won’t be disappointed with the recommendation of the best place to paddle in Milford on Sea.

Keyhaven River

The perfect spot for beginner paddle boarding or kayaking is at the Keyhaven River (sat nav SO41 0TR), a largely sheltered piece of water, just one mile from Milford on Sea.

If you are totally new to paddle boarding or kayaking, then join our friends at New Forest Paddle Sport Company for one of their taster sessions. A one-hour group session, perfect for families is £30 per person and during the session, either kayaking or paddle boarding, you’ll learn the basics to get you paddling safely and confidently in no time.

If you get the appetite for more paddling adventures, then you can also hire equipment from New Forest Paddle Sport Company and start your paddling obsession whilst on holiday here.

It is best to check the tide times here as the best time to go paddle boarding and kayaking at Keyhaven is at high tide.

The Keyhaven River is also home to much wildlife and here you can spot many waders, wildfowl and other birds as the Keyhaven marshes is home to a wide range of habitat, including grassland, scrub, saltmarsh, shingle, fresh and saltwater and reed beds.

Important fauna includes breeding colonies of Terns (often on shingle islands on the face of saltmarshes), Ringed Plover, Black Headed, Mediterranean Gull and nationally rare invertebrates.

The saltmarshes also support an internationally significant feeding population of dark-bellied Brent Geese.

There are launch fees to be paid here – £10.80 for a single launch or a seasonal launch fee of £32.30. Please visit the River Wardens office at Keyhaven, call 01590 645695 or email

Hordle Cliff Beach

This is a fantastic spot at low tide as the shallow waters and sand bar make it perfect for families. However, be aware when the tide starts coming in, the currents pick up fast and when windy the water gets very choppy, so best left for the more experienced paddler/kayaker.

Hurst Road

You can launch just off the beach at Needles Eye café on Hurst Road, probably best again on calm days as the sea can become choppy on windy days.

Unique Experiences

Also check out the unique paddling experiences offered by our friends at The New Forest Paddle Sport Company from a paddling adventure to The Needles off the Isle of Wight, sunset paddle picnics, SUP polo and a Hurst Castle visit with paddle.

Paddling and kayaking are great fun sports but remember to respect the water. Here are some key safety points to consider before you start your paddling adventures:

  • Always wear a leash (if you fall in/out on a windy day or in a strong current your inflatable will be out of reach in no time).
  • Always wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD). This will make it easier for you to stay afloat and be seen should you get in trouble.
  • Can you swim? Sounds a daft question but can you swim in the sea? Swimming a 25m length of your local pool will equate to about 10m in the sea. If you fall in and lose your kit, can you confidently swim back to shore? If not, then you are at a high risk of drowning.
  • If I’m in water out of my depth and fall off my SUP/out my kayak, can I get myself back on/in? Half the rescues performed are on people who are either unable to get back on their SUP or back into an inflatable kayak. The more you attempt this, the harder it becomes as the tiredness kicks in.
  • Always inflate to the correct pressure. Soft SUPs are incredibly difficult to manoeuvre when they are under inflated and bent in the middle.
  • If you are beginner, then never venture out alone. Tell people where you are going and for how long. The sooner the rescue services can be alerted if you are in trouble or missing the better chance you will have.

So stay safe and happy paddling!