New Forest, England

Calshot Beach and Activity Centre

Take a break from the horses and countryside and visit a beach with stacks of activities available. Great for kids of all ages!

Panoramic view of Calshot Beach

Calshot can be found on a narrow spit of land where Southampton Water opens out into the Solent. It is a modest beach which has everything you might need without being over-developed. There are a row of pretty beach huts, toilets, and a cafe, as well as an activity centre offering a range of activities (although these will need pre-booking).

There is plenty of parking (not too expensive) which is immediately adjacent to the beach. You may well also spot cars parked on a grassy verge being the row of beach huts, but this parking is for the beach hut owners only. The beach is mainly pebbly, although at low tide if you are playing in the sea you will be walking on sand.

Facilities include toilet blocks in both car parks, and a beach cafe at the western end of the beach, and there is usually an ice cream van to be found in the second car park during the summer season.

The Activity Centre is housed in a large hangar at the end of the spit which was left behind at the end of the second world war. Today it offers day and residential courses, primarily for school children, but in school holidays the facilities are often open to the public. These facilities include extensive climbing walls, a dry ski slope and a velodrome! There are also water sport lessons on offer throughout the year, including a thriving kite-surfing community.

Activities include:

  • Rock climbing
  • Track Cycling
  • Bike Maintenance
  • Archery
  • Snowsports
  • Watersports
  • Family/Group activities
  • Calshot Castle

There is also a well-kept secret in the form of The Cafe Bar which can be found inside the hangar. It’s unfussy food with a great view which can be depended on for cheap and cheerful baguettes and sausage-and-chip type meals if you need to fill up a hoard of hungry children without breaking the bank.