An image of Pumpkin and me enjoying a day ay Highcliffe Beach

Best Beaches near Southampton and Winchester

The summer holidays are just around the corner and although the British summer can be unpredictable we are here to help you plan for the warm days ahead. We live in beautiful Hampshire so I thought I’d share a few of our favourite beaches near Southampton and Winchester.

  1. Highcliffe Beach

An image looking down the cliff pat towards Highcliffe Beach

Distance from Southampton: 29 miles (approx 44 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 34 miles (approx 50 minutes)

We stumbled across this beautiful beach accidentally last year on a little trip celebrating the last day of the summer school term. There’s a lovely restaurant high up on the cliffs overlooking the most stunning Dorset coast. You can also get take away snacks, ice creams and drinks. A short walk down the cliff via steps you come to a safe and sandy/shingle beach perfect for families. There is parking available including blue badge spaces. Access at the eastern end via Chewton Bunny is mainly on tarmac paths.

Lifeguard Season Dates 2017

Daily 8th July – 3rd September (10am – 6pm)

2. Calshot Beach

Image of the shingle beach at Calshot, lined with pretty beach huts.
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Distance from Southampton: 16 miles (approx 32 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 30 miles (approx 45 minutes)

This shingle beach is not far from Southampton can be reached either by car or bus. For a nice little day out you can get the Hythe Ferry from Southampton to Hythe which connects to the oldest pier train in the world. From there you can get on a bus direct to Calshot beach, see here for timetable. There’s a small cafe for snacks, drinks and ice creams and although there is very little sand here it’s a very pretty little beach with views back over towards Southampton. There is parking available.

3. Alum Chime

An image looking down over the sandy beach of Alum Chime and the promenade

Distance from Southampton: 35 miles (approx 55 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 43 miles (approx 53 minutes)

We absolutely love this beach, it really does have a summer holiday feel to it. In our experience its a little quieter than the main beach in Bournemouth which is walkable. A fun way to reach it from Bournemouth though, is on the land rain which runs regularly from Boscombe to Alum Chime via Bournemouth main pier. Alum Chime is perfect for families as there are toilets, showers, a play park and cafe. There is also limited parking including blue badge spaces with easy access to the beach.

Lifeguard Season Dates 2017

1st May – 30th September on weekends and bank holidays.

4. Southsea Beach

View of Southsea beach and pier

Distance from Southampton: 22 miles (approx 40 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 33 miles (approx 40 minutes)

Southsea Beach is definitely worth a mention because of its lovely promenades for walking as well as a fun fair and numerous food outlets providing fish and chips with a view. It has a lovely British Seaside feel and just over the road there is a huge play park with a cafe, boating lake and cute little mini-village.

5. Royal Victoria Country Park

View of the beach at Royal Victoria Country Park, Southampton

Distance from Southampton: 5.3 miles (approx 15 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 19 miles (approx 33 minutes)

Probably the closest beach to Southampton is the one inside the Royal Victoria Country Park. I wanted to included it even though this beach is not necessarily great for sandcastles and sunbathing but it has so many other things to offer. It’s great for dog walking and the kids will love running around all the open space. In the grounds of the park there are BBQ areas, a cafe, play park, a miniature railway as well as a historical chapel, all that is left of The Royal Victoria Hospital which was a large military hospital in Netley. There is also a full calendar of events which can be seen here.

6. Lepe Country Park

Image of Lepe Country Park beach overlooking the Solent

Distance from Southampton: 16 miles (approx 32 minutes)

Distance from Winchester: 27 miles (approx 45 minutes)

I do only like to recommend places that I have been to but I felt this beach was definitely worth mentioning as I have heard great things about how beautiful it is. I also saw that they have recently opened a new sensory garden. We will definitely be venturing to Lepe this summer! Heres all the info.

* This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Pierre Terre and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.