Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle stands magnificently at the end of a long, narrow spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford on Sea. The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. The Tudor fort at its heart still looks much as it did in the 16th century. It is one of the best preserved of Henry VIII’s castles and one of very few of them to have been successively updated and strengthened, allowing it to retain an active military role in the 20th century.

The castle remained little changed from 1544 until the outbreak of war with Revolutionary France in 1793. During the Civil War (1642-51) the castle was held for Parliament. It was never attacked but achieved fame shortly afterwards when Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 after his arrest by Cromwell’s roundheads. He was at first taken to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight but he kept trying to escape so they needed somewhere more secure and Hurst provided the answer. He spent 19 days here before he was taken to London for his execution. 

29th March 2018 - 30th September 2018 daily – 10.30am to 5.30pm
1 October – 31st October – 10.30am to 4pm
1 November – 1 April 2019 – winter weekend opening, weather permitting – call for details

Admission price 

Adult:
£5.00

Concession:
£4.50

Child (5-15 yrs):
£3.00

Family (2 adults & 3 children):
£15.00

English Heritage members & Child under 5:
FREE

Why should I visit?

    • Step inside the heart of Hurst Castle to its Tudor fort, which retains much of its original 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.
    • 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 exhibition (managed by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers), from its first light built in 1786 to the High Light of 1867, which still functions today.

Facilities

Assistance dogs allowed
Cafe
Dogs accepted
Gift shop
Suitable for ages 12 and above
Suitable for ages 5 and above
Suitable for ages 8 and above
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Where to find us

Address

Hurst Castle
Hampshire
SO41 0TP

Find us online

By car

There is no vehicle access to Hurst Castle. Parking is available at Keyhaven Pay & Display car park. Access to the castle can be via ferry from Keyhaven, which departs from 10.15am then approximately every 20 minutes. The last ferry from Keyhaven is at 5.30pm (Apr-Sep) or 4pm (Oct). The ferry operates daily from 29 March 2018 to 31 October 2018. It is also possible to walk to Hurst Castle; it is a 1.5 mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit).

By train

There is no vehicle access to Hurst Castle. Parking is available at Keyhaven Pay & Display car park. Access to the castle can be via ferry from Keyhaven, which departs from 10.15am then approximately every 20 minutes. The last ferry from Keyhaven is at 5.30pm (Apr-Sep) or 4pm (Oct). The ferry operates daily from 29 March 2018 to 31 October 2018. It is also possible to walk to Hurst Castle; it is a 1.5 mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit).

By bus

There is no vehicle access to Hurst Castle. Parking is available at Keyhaven Pay & Display car park. Access to the castle can be via ferry from Keyhaven, which departs from 10.15am then approximately every 20 minutes. The last ferry from Keyhaven is at 5.30pm (Apr-Sep) or 4pm (Oct). The ferry operates daily from 29 March 2018 to 31 October 2018. It is also possible to walk to Hurst Castle; it is a 1.5 mile walk along Hurst Spit (please note this is a shingle spit).

Kids activities

harry hampshire

  • Plenty of open space for the children to run free.
  • Climb the stairs of the Tudor Castle to its roof to see the amazing view of the Needles and the Isle of Wight.
  • Take a visit to the darkness of the Tudor keep basement, which was used for the storage of food, fuel, weapons and gunpowder.
  • Look out for the collection of guns around the castle, which would have turned this part of the coast into one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world.
  • Travel through time to the East & West wings, built in the 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.