On the shingle shores of Poole Bay lies the characterful village of Milford on Sea.
With its brightly-coloured beach huts and strolling promenade, this coastal parish is every bit the traditional seaside holiday destination. On a clear day, you’ll be able to gaze all the way to the chalky sea stacks known as the Needles which stand off the Isle of Wight, and under a blanket of twinkling stars on a dark night you’ll see the distant harbour lights of Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth.
The best thing about Milford on Sea is the ease at which you can swap the fresh sea air of the Solent for the leafy woodland glades of the majestic New Forest, making it the ideal base from which to explore the many wending ways of Hampshire.
One of Milford on Sea’s most popular local walks takes in a sweeping stretch along Hurst Spit between the saltmarshes and mudflats and the sparkling bay waters. The path leads you all the way to the medieval ramparts of Hurst Castle and the brilliant white cylindrical walls of Hurst Point Lighthouse, which was built in the 1860s.
You’ll have no problem keeping the whole family occupied during your holiday in Milford on Sea with action and adventure to be had on both land and water; from pony trekking and mountain biking to stand up paddle boarding and sailing, be prepared for some fun-filled excursions.
If you’d rather while away the hours and stay busy doing nothing, there are plenty of quiet benches and sun-dappled greens where you can sit and watch the world go by with an ice cream or some fish ‘n’ chips. There is a gentle pace to this charming coastal village, the kind that invites you for a leisurely paddle along the seashore, or perhaps you’d like to chance your arm with the local crustaceans and dangle a crab line off Sturt Pond Bridge followed by a mooch around the pretty high street with its quirky artisan shops, tempting delicatessens, inviting cafés and cosy tearooms.
Milford on Sea is renowned for its hospitality and boasts an array of lovely pubs and sumptuous restaurants, perfect for a lazy lunch or a slap-up evening meal accompanied by a stunning sea view. The village also runs a busy social calendar, the highlights of which include the annual May Day festival, a music and arts showcase, a summer carnival, and an ever-popular seafood week.
Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind or roam and explore, you’ll find the best of both worlds when you holiday at Milford on Sea. Have a look at our growing list of Milford on Sea holiday cottages and start planning your seaside escape.
A family run business showcasing the most exquisite gardens, Braxton Gardens is close to the sea and is a chance to relax outside and take in a spot of horticulture as well as having a cup of tea in their conservatory and entirely charming tea room. Cream tea and a stroll around the garden - isn’t that what holidays were made for?
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Bringing you sea fishing for small groups on the South Coast, Reel Easy Charters is modern sailing on the Solent from Keyhaven in Hampshire to the surrounding area including the Isle of Wight and Alderney. Evolution 33 is their trusty steed, and with more than 35 years of experience you’re in safe hands and excellent company.
Founded by people who are passionate about the beauty and preservation of the New Forest and surrounding area, More Than a Tour brings you a range of all inclusive New Forest tours, designed to show you around just as they would a friend. Walk, kayak and explore on a tailor made trip whether you’re looking for adrenaline, culture, history, or a mix of everything.
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Good selection of healthy plants for sale.
Built by Henry VIII and commanding the entrance to the Solent, Hurst Castle offers one of the best views in England. It played a part in the imprisonment of Charles I in the 17th century and defended England from invasion threats in the 19th and 20th centuries. With plenty of open space for children to explore and fantastic views of the Isle of the Wight from the top of the Tudor keep, Hurst Castle is a great day out for the whole family
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Very enjoyable visit to Hurst Castle. We had a return trip on the ferry. Lovely views to the Isle of Wight.
Delightful castle to roam around with breathtaking views of Isle of Wight. Lots to look at and enough stairs, tunnels and exhibitions to keep the children interested for a couple of hours. The ferry ride over wasn't too long either - about 15 minutes.
A former 18th Century coaching inn full of character and friendly atmosphere. There’s a large and very pretty beer garden, children’s play area and separate games room. For those who enjoy a good pint of real ale, there are up to four to choose from, alongside a good selection of wines and beverages. Daily specials enhance the popular classic pub bar menu. Dogs welcome.
The Red Lion (T: 01590 642236) 32 High Street, Milford on sea, SO41 0QD
We visited The Red Lion twice and found it to be a welcoming traditional pub with quick and efficient service and a nice cosy atmosphere.
Nice friendly village pub. Locals & publicans will make you very welcome. Paul & karen
An excellent Sunday roast (best to book). It is obviously used by "the locals" which is a recommendation in itself
Had Sunday roast, very disappointed. The potatoes were hard and what little veg they gave us was also hard.
An award winning, fine dining restaurant run by Head Chef Sam Hughes, of Professional Masterchef fame. After honing his skills in the kitchens of Kensington Palace, aswell as under Raymond Blanc and Mark Broadbent, Sam came back to his Hampshire roots and opened La Perle. Here you can expect some exceptional food, beautifully presented with an exciting wine list to match.
La Perle (T: 01590 643557) Milford on Sea SO41 0QD
Wonderful three courses on French night.
An excellent lunch time experience. If you like fish and high class cooking you'll love it!
With 2 AA rosettes and a recomendation in the Michelin guide, you're in for a treat at Verveine Fishmarket. This innovative seafood restaurant with it's own in-house fishmongers offer menus brimming with superb local produce, served in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
Verveine Fishmarket (T: 01590 642176) Milford on Sea SO41 0QE
Right in the middle of the pretty village of Milford-on Sea is the Smugglers. Inside, decor is characterful with comfy seating and cosy log fires. In warmer months, venture outside to the large and pretty beer garden with super children’s kids play area. Menus are a varied with a collection of pub classics and a daily specials board. Portions are generous and service with a smile. Dogs welcome.
The Smugglers Inn (T:01590 644414) High Street, Milford On Sea SO41 0QE
Wonderful food, great desserts and very dog-friendly.
We were made very welcome considering we didn't book and turned up during a busy period. The bar staff accommodated us by finding us a table for four and our dogs. The food was lovely and all the staff were very friendly. We came back on our third night and had the same treatment! Lovely pub!
Great pub and good food
Nice pub for families.
Great food and drinks!! We love it! The staff is very friendly. And also the garden is wonderful to sit and enjoy the weather.
Lovely food, staff were very friendly. Would recommend this
Lovely food, staff and atmosphere.
A very warm welcome awaits when you visit this historic little pub, believed to date back to 1720. Outside is a roomy beer garden with large play area children will love. Inside you’ll find lots of gnarled beams, pillars and posts, little alcoves and oodles of character. Menus are creative, fun and well executed, highlighting the regions produce and season. There’s also a specials board and very popular carvery. Dogs welcome.
The White Horse (T:01590 642360) 16 Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea SO41 0QY
Lovely friendly pub but must get the menu sorted. Didn't have steak or burgers available. Did eat there and enjoyed the one and only special on the board. 4 stars.
A beautiful shingle beach with pretty painted beach huts, plenty of parking, and excellent coastal walks along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle with clear views of the Isle of Wight and needles. The superb Raft Rocks Restaurant is worth a visit with its Art deco style and roof terrace. You can also walk across the wildlife marshes to Keyhaven harbour and (in season) take the boat to Hurst Castle or the Isle of Wight.
Lovely village, plenty of shops and places to eat - no post office though.
Fantastic sea location with goods pubs, shops etc
Great for a dog walk along the spit to Hurst Castle. Needles Eye cafe is a welcome break, quite good food but very busy and a bit basic.
A stony beach with sandy areas as the tide goes out, and a great spot to do some fossil hunting. The cliffs are subject to considerable coastal erosion and at times parts of the beach can be cordoned off. The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top is one of the most popular cafés in the region. Plenty of parking in car parks along the cliff top as well as on-road parking.
A picturesque, tree-lined beach of shingle, and sand at low tide. Good facilities on the cliff top including an excellent tea room, award winning public toilets, baby change and a children’s play area in the Castle gardens. Plenty of parking, but there is no disabled access and quite a few steps to get down to the beach. Lifeguard cover from July to Sept. No dogs allowed.
Lovely clean sandy beach and a really i would highly recommend this spot for your car to break down takes the ouch out of waiting for the recovery truck
This is one of the most scenic of New Forest beaches. Lined with some of the most picturesque and expensive beach huts in the country! There’s no parking next to the beach, as it’s a traffic-free zone, but there’s pay and display parking at Hengistbury Head from where you can catch a little train to the sandbank, and Mudeford Quay which runs a small ferry (5 mins) over to the sandbank. Can also be reached on foot and by bicycle.
Beautiful place, our favourite beach in south of England. It feels like an island, when you go over on the ferry and at times (off-season!) on sunny days it can feel like a little piece of Heaven, it's so peaceful and beautiful- bit of a sense of New England. There's a super little 'restaurant', the Beach Hut, which does great breakfasts, meals all day and some evenings. Also takeaway eg pizzas, you can eat on the beach. Very simple surroundings, with a sheltered veranda that can be uncovered in fine weather, and amazing views. Quite pricey and often very busy (and you are best to ring and check opening times and book since often weather and ferry-dependant) but the quality of the food and those stunning views make it more than worthwhile!