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Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle, Hampshire, SO41 0TP

Tel: 01590 642500
Visit Milford on Sea - Hurst-Castle over to the Isle of Wight


We look forward to welcoming you back to the Tudor castle, built by Henry VIII, from Friday 1st April when we open for the season. The Victorian east and west wings will remain closed, while English Heritage’s conservation and repair work is ongoing, with the entrance fee reduced accordingly.

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.

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’ offers takeaway hot and cold drinks, homemade food and cakes. Dogs on leads are very welcome too.

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.

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).

Opening Times

  • 1st April-30th September (daily): 10.00am-5.30pm
  • 1st October-31st October (daily): 10.00am-4.00pm
  • 1st November-31st March: Closed
  • Prices

    Adult: £4.00
    Concession: £3.50
    Child (5-17 yrs) £2.00
    English Heritage members: FREE
    Children under 5: FREE