The sun was shining at the weekend so I decided to pootle off to the seaside. A few weeks ago I spotted an interesting fort due east of Milford so I decided to go back there and see what it was. Turns out that the building wasn't a fort after all but rather a castle, Hurst Castle, originally built by Henry the VIII. The castle seems to have seen us through several turbulent points in history including The Napoleonic, First and Second World Wars, as well as serving to protect England from the threat of invasion by the Spanish. There's a short history of the castle at Hurst_Castle.
Hurst Castle is currently with English Heritage so if you have a membership with them it would make a great day out. Even if you don't you can still visit the castle but you have to pay. There's also a light house near the castle, which is worth taking in, for more information about the light house, the castle, and an awesome aerial shot of the area see http://www.hurstcastle.co.uk
The spit and castle are inaccessible by car so to get there you have two choices, park up in Saltgrass Lane (or one of the other nearby roads) and walk down the long spit, or catch Hurst Castle Ferry, which is not really a ferry, it's just a wee boat. We decided to walk down the shingle spit and enjoy the sunshine. It's quite a distance to the castle, not miles but you might want to use the ferry, especially as it quite uneven terrain. A word of warning, if you walk along the spit and bear right at the castle you will meet a large groyne, the only way over this is to climb a ladder! So only use this route if you're agile. Otherwise bear left as you approach the castle to get to the entrance.
The best thing about this area is that it's quiet, despite how beautiful it is. I think the walk puts a lot of people off, it's also largely shingle so not many 'beach goers' would want to bathe there. It does seem to be very popular with fisherfolk and we passed several dotted along the spit merrily fishing away, some camped out ready for the night. I took some photos along the way, it was a lovely day but very bright so I decided to shot in black and white, to add a bit of drama.
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