Things to do and places to visit in Milford on Sea
PUBLISHED: 09:01 13 July 2015
Milford on Sea is all about life's simple pleasures: cliff-top walks, rows of beautiful beach huts and the chance to devour a bag of chips whilst staring at the sea… says Natalie French
As seaside escapes go, Milford on Sea in the New Forest is a good one. This traditional English village has some of the South’s best coastline, perfect for a good bracing walk. Follow the cliff-top path for one hour along to neighbouring Barton-on-Sea to soak up dramatic coastal views of the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which sits just three quarters of a mile away.
A visit would not be complete without a stroll along the 1.5 mile shingle spit to take in the historic Hurst Castle (www.hurst-castle.co.uk). Built on the orders of Henry VIII in 1544, the castle was used to defend the western approach to the Solent. Along with the breathtaking outlook you can also explore The Trinity House Lighthouse exhibition or enjoy a cuppa in the small café.
Many visitors choose to walk one way, then hop on the Hurst Castle Ferry, which runs daily to the Keyhaven quayside. This is a great chance to enjoy this protected landscape and spot incredible birdlife.
After all that sea air, The Beach House is the perfect place to put your feet up. Just 200 yards from the beach, you can still enjoy the knock-out sea-views from one of the 15 en-suite rooms.
This Grade II listed Victorian mansion has restored oak-panelled interior, impressive stained glass windows and vintage furniture. Make sure you ask for the room with the beautiful free-standing copper bath and, if you don’t want your pooch to miss out on all the action, there are even a few dog-friendly rooms.
A double room B&B starts from £100, visit www.beachhousemilfordonsea.co.uk to book.
Families will love Milford on Sea - come armed with scooters and bikes and let the little ones burn off some energy as they whizz along the cliff-top path. Point them in the direction of Sturt Pond Bridge, at the start of Hurst Spit, to partake in another seaside classic – crabbing. Novices can pick up nets, buckets and crab lines from the local ice cream van. Once you’ve got the gear, just tie on your bait, drop your line in the water and wait! Patience is the secret ingredient, along with a nice chunk of smoked bacon! After five minutes, slowly raise your line and, if you’re lucky, you may have scooped up a prize catch! Pop him into the bucket of water carefully by holding with your finger and thumb by the shell, behind the pincers, to avoid a nasty nip. Once you’ve celebrated the champion crab catcher, reward all of your efforts with a delicious New Forest ice cream before setting your ten-legged crustacean friends free to bag more bacon!
Fish & chips are standard seaside staples - best devoured fresh from the bag whilst you watch the waves crash below, and the seagulls circle brazenly above. Parky’s Snack Bar by Hordle Cliff Car Park is a great spot for everyone’s favourite pastime. If you’re looking to sample Milford on Sea’s finer dining, book a table at award-winning fish restaurant, Verveine (www.verveine.co.uk). Chef/Patron, David Wykes takes inspiration for his dishes from nostalgic experiences of a childhood growing up by the seaside and uses the best, freshest, local ingredients from the land and sea. For pre-drinks, head to The Cave (www.thecavemos.co.uk) – a relaxed wine bar where your favourite tipple can be bagged up and ready to take home in the combined wine shop. Or if it’s a laid back lunch you are looking for…The Raft (www.theraftmos.co.uk) offers a ‘bistro chic’ dining experience at the end of the high street.
• Hampshire walk - Barton on Sea - Steve Davison heads to Barton on Sea for a coastal walk with views across to the Isle of Wight