Top Things to Do in Milford on Sea 2023
New Year is a great time for making plans to get away, whether you’d like to go in the next few weeks, over Springtime or if you are looking forward to those long summer days. Whenever you choose to visit, Milford on Sea is a special treat, whatever the time of year.
With a friendly welcome and plenty to see and do now is the time to book your visit to this wonderful village nestled between the New Forest and the sea.
So if you’re looking for a relaxed break or want to keep yourself busy with a choice of activities, attractions or events here you will find our Top Things to do in 2023 in and around Milford on Sea.
Fancy spending your days relaxing in the village where you can pop into the many independent shops that surround our village green? Milford on Sea is home to many businesses, including homeware, clothing shops, antique shops and gift shops – you’ll find there’s plenty of shops to have a browse.
One of our favourite independent shops is No64 Biscuit House, an interior lifestyle business that is home to the most gorgeous products, sourced by husband and wife team, Clare and Glenn. The shop never stands still as the owner and stylist Clare is always revamping her shop to give it the wow factor.
Timeless Fabrics is another great stop, Claire and her team are always on hand to offer friendly advice and beautiful fabrics. Carry on down to Noah Valentine Antiques, hidden away at the back of No 9 High Street and while away the hours looking at the antiques over two floors.
You’ll notice the beautiful display at the village florist New Seasons so drop in to see Nichola to pick up a pop of colour with either a bouquet or one of her planted pots. There’s always something new depending on the time of year and owner, Nichola is a wealth of knowledge and will be pleased to help you.
If you fancy trying some delicious cheese for yourself whilst staying here or to take home, then pop into our friends at Rockpool Cheese. Owners, Peter and Gilly offer an amazing selection of the finest handpicked cheeses from the British Isles (and sometimes further afield) from their shop in the heart of the village.
Finally on the shopping front, if you are lucky enough to have one then don’t forget your four-legged friend. Your constant companion will find all they need at Paddy’s Pool. Not only is it a canine hydrotherapy centre, it also offers a dog grooming and teeth cleaning service and a well-stocked pet shop with plenty of non-food items too, such as the Ruff and Tumble drying coats.
Food and Drink
After all this shopping you’ll no doubt be after somewhere to sit down, relax and have a drink or bite to eat. The village will not disappoint you!
Usually wafting around the village you can smell many treats from a few of our favourites The Coastal Bakery, its cakes, pastries and breads are so good that it often gets a plug by Chris Evans, a regular to Milford on Sea on his Virgin Radio breakfast show. They have recently added seating inside, so on a cold and blustery day you can enjoy your treats in the warm! And be sure to stop by at the Pickled Weasel for its takeaway pasties, scotch eggs and salads and its neighbour, Polly’s Pantry for its delicious cream teas, lovely lunches and a warm, friendly welcome.
Cravings for flat whites and sourdough can be best met at Saltwater cafe, voted Tripadvisor’s best café in Hampshire and also The Paddle on the Green, dominating its prime position overlooking the village green. On a warm day The Paddle will serve you whilst sitting on the village green – a lovely way to spend an hour or so watching our bustling village.
Big on flavour and taste is Ray’s Italian Kitchen run by local restaurateur, Stacey Crouch. Known for its cheeses, characturie and speciality salads from its deli, you can also enjoy coffee and brunch or their traditional pasta dishes and pizzas within its sun-drenched courtyard or inside the tasteful restaurant.
Never to disappoint is Britannia Thai, a family run establishment that brings the authentic taste of Thailand to Milford on Sea. Its experienced chefs will ensure that you enjoy the fresh flavours of authentic Thai food in wonderful surroundings.
A trip to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without a portion of fish and chips. You’ll probably see the queues in the summer for the top place in the village for this – Mister Pink’s – definitely worth the wait.
Many wash down their fish and chips with a drink from our independent bar – The Cave, known for their speciality beers and ales, wines and cocktails.
If you’ve ventured up to the seafront and are looking for a bite to eat, then pop in to see our friends at the Needles Eye cafe with the best sea view or its sister establishment, The Kiosk at Hordle Cliff.
Also, on the seafront and featured in the Times as one of the best UK seaside restaurants is The Lighthouse. An independent seaside bar and restaurant, it serves up fresh, local dishes 7 days a week across breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the bits in between! It’s passionate about great food and drink, coupled with the best hospitality so you’ll be sure to have a fun, laid back time with them.
Just on the edges of the village we also have 3 options depending which way you are headed! In Keyhaven The Gun Inn, a Grade II listed pub has been sympathetically renovated to create beautiful surroundings, serving the best in seasonal and local produce. Run by Head Chef, Mark Young, known as the ‘New Forest Chef’, you’ll find Mark behind the three-metre outdoor grill!
Heading through the village up to Hordle Cliff you’ll discover The Beach House which has two beautiful dining rooms with sea views, a cosy snug and a chilled out lounge with roaring fire. It also has over 200 outside covers with its fantastic, raised patio areas and extensive gardens and offers great views across to The Needles and the Isle of Wight on a clear, sunny day. It has an extensive family friendly menu and is known for its favourites like the Steak & Tangle Foot Pie, Forum Lager Battered Fish & Chips and its famous Chargrilled Double Cheese Burger.
And finally just as you enter the village is the South Lawn Hotel with its Cedar Tree restaurant, popular with locals and visitors.
With so many independent establishments you’ll be spoilt for choice!
If you are searching for an activity during your 2023 visit to the village there’s plenty on offer. Walks are the best way to explore, you can check out our recommended walks here.
If you’d like to join a Guided Walk we have two on offer for you to book on – running from April -September our knowledgeable, local guides will provide plenty of information whilst guiding you around the village.
Fancy the two-wheel option? There are a number of cycle routes if you’d like to explore by bike, and if you can’t bring your own bike New Forest Bikes provides bike hire. You can book online or by phone and the bikes can be dropped to your accommodation. It’s a great way to explore the local area or if you would like a guide, they offer a number of packages to suit.
The standout attraction in Milford on Sea is Hurst Castle, built in 1544. Commanding the entrance to the Solent, it offers one of the best views in England. Hurst Castle played a part in the imprisonment of Charles I in the 17th century and defended England from threats in the 19th and 20th centuries. Open from 1 April – 31 October, it’s a great day out for the whole family with activities taking place throughout all the school holidays.
Access to the castle is a leisurely ferry ride from Keyhaven (charges apply) or a 2-mile walk along Hurst Spit. The café is open daily (Apr-Oct) and dogs on leads are welcome in the castle and on the ferry.
The village boosts two playparks for your little ones or why not have a go at crabbing – it’s a fun activity to keep you busy for an hour or so.
If you fancy getting on the water, there are two options locally for you – The New Forest Paddle Sport Company based down in Keyhaven are a great choice for starting your paddling adventure. Here you can have a private or group lesson or hire your own kayak or stand up paddle board to explore the stunning Keyhaven River and salt marshes.
If you are looking for a day out with a difference, try the Hurst Castle experience or take a lesson in Wingfoil or Wingsurf. Or try your hand at sailing, as they also offer private dinghy sailing tuition at Keyhaven Quay with an experienced RYA Instructor.
Or if you would like to try Rowing, our friends at Rowing Adventures can help you discover the wonderful sport of coastal rowing. Sessions are suitable for all ages 8+ and there is an entry point for all abilities. The Try Rowing session is the perfect way to be introduced to this sport.
If water isn’t your thing, then you could visit Vinegar Hill Pottery, their owners Lucy and Dave offer one-day and long weekend pottery courses. With only 8 places per pottery course it can tailor the class to suit all levels of skill and creativity. The courses are all based on the potter’s wheel – learning the basic techniques of throwing the perfect pot!
Or do you fancy hitting a golf ball? Then head over to Barton on Sea Golf Club situated on the coastal cliff where you can enjoy this spectacular 27-hole golf course. With the added advantage of a choice of 3 18-hole combinations and unparalleled views of the sea over to the Isle of Wight on every hole.
From June-September you can leave your car and enjoy grandstand views of the New Forest National Park from the top deck of the open-top New Forest Tour bus. Sit back and enjoy a spectacular, panoramic perspective whilst listening to an audio commentary telling the story of the history and heritage of the landscape, its people and culture and some fascinating facts about its flora and fauna. There are three routes – Blue, Green, Red – which cover different parts of beautiful countryside and coast. Interchange points: Blue/Green at Brockenhurst and Lymington, Blue/Red at Burley, Green/Red at Lyndhurst.
The Blue route takes in the coast and stops at Hurst Road and Sea Road in Milford on Sea. One ticket allows you to travel everywhere. If you plan your day, you can experience all three routes in one day, hopping on and off along the way. Or, if you prefer, you can remain on the same route without changing. You choose!
Finally, our wonderful Milford on Sea Community Centre located in the heart of the village on Sea Road, provides a wide variety of events and entertainment for all ages to enhance your visit. Check out what they have going on throughout 2023 here.
The New Forest and surrounding towns and villages offer an exciting calendar of events for your enjoyment – check out some of our favourites and book your stay in Milford on Sea around them.
Beaulieu is a marvellous day out and is approximately a 20-minute drive from Milford on Sea . It includes the National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey, World of Top Gear and a new adventure play area, Little Beaulieu.
It also has a whole host of events, starting in February with guest speak Maurice Hamilton talking about his 40 years in Formula 1 there is a whole host of motoring events throughout the year. A special mention must be for the ever-popular BBC Gardeners World Spring Fair on 28, 29 and 30 April 2023. Best to head over to their website to see what is on offer and then book your visit to Milford on Sea around what takes your fancy!
Paultons Park, the UK’s Number 1 Family Theme Park and home to Peppa Pig will run seasonal events throughout 2023. The Park is a great day out and just a short drive from the village. Here you can enjoy rollercoaster rides, flumes, many play areas and meeting the characters from Peppa Pig.
The New Forest and Hampshire Show is also one event not to miss, taking place on 25th 26th and 27th July 2023 at the New Park Showground, Brockenhurst it is approximately a 20-minute drive from Milford on Sea. The New Forest Show has a long and varied history starting as a small, one-day agricultural show in 1920 and developing into the 3-day spectacular event of today.
With main ring attractions, family fun area, over 600 shopping and trade stands and local produce market to name just a few there’s something here for everyone.
In neighbouring Lymington, you’ll discover The Lymington Seafood Festival – taking place on the 14, 15 and 16 July 2023. This little boutique festival brings together food, drink and live music alongside the beautiful Solent views of Lymington.
With over 80 stands selling every fish delight, craft ale, award winning English sparkling from Hattingley Valley together with gins and rums to sample, you can enjoy food and drink while enjoying the live music across the weekend with soul, Motown, blues, rock and pop. With capped visitor figures be sure to secure your tickets to this popular event early.
Bringing your dog? Well, a visit to Dogstival is a must – taking place on the 3 & 4 June in Broadlands Estate in Romsey, your hound will love you for it. The event is crammed full of canine approved entertainment with dog-shows, activities, talks, assault courses, live music and lots of local food for your dog and you!
So, whatever the reason or time of year you choose to Visit Milford on Sea there’s plenty to do in 2023! We look forward to welcoming you soon.