Your starting point is Lepe Country Park car park, SO45 1AD
Length of route:
Walking (there are also cycle routes available)
- OS Explorer Map (1:25 000) – OL22 New Forest
Country park information:
This is a beautiful spot with the New Forest behind you and views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and to the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. The car park charges all year round, reduced rates over winter, and there is a picnic area, children’s play area, toilets, café and barbecue hire also available. If you aren’t driving to the area, there is a local cycle route and the Bluestar bus line stops around a mile from the country park. There’s more information via the link above.
There are a number of options for a walk in this area, but we’re taking you on a loop along the beach and then circling back through the lovely countryside, giving the best of both worlds. Bear in mind that if it is high tide, you’ll need to cut out much of the beach walk and head inland on the road instead – so it is worth checking tides in advance.
Start out from the car park with the sea and Isle of Wight to your left. You may well pass people fishing and crabbing as you head along the coastal road before you step off the pavement onto a stony path following the coast. You’ll see the Watch House between you and the sea before coming onto the main beach path, just in front of Lepe House on your right.*
*High tide route – at this point, if it is high tide, you’ll need to head right after Lepe House and turn left onto Inchmery Lane. Follow this past Inchemery House and follow it down to the salt marsh before heading inland.
Otherwise, keep heading along the beach at the base of the cliffs, taking care over any fallen stones and trees. There is a lot of clay in the area, so be prepared! When you reach the salt marsh, follow the foreshore along the treeline until you meet the road, turning left once you do.
Follow the road until you come to a hard left turn and at this point go through the small gate on your right and follow the footpath. When you reach a footbridge, cross over and bear left as you head uphill towards a second footbridge. Turn left along the edge of a field until you reach woodland. Bear right from here, crossing two fields with the woodland remaining on your left.
When you reach a T-junction in the footpath, turn right and follow the fence until you reach the road. Cross over and follow the gravel track to East Hill Farm. When the track ends, follow the footpath into the woods and turn right at the next T-junctions, taking this footpath around the woodland.
When you reach the open fields, go straight on before crossing a stile and following the fence downhill and through a gate, joining a track. Follow this track over a small stream before bearing left uphill and through two gates. Turn right to cross the field at a diagonal line, towards two gates to the left of the row of cottages. The gates take you to a small car park before you can continue along the sea front, retracing your steps to the Lepe Country Park car park.
You can head up onto the hill to enjoy the views, or have a sandwich at the lovely café – or both!