Lepe Beach is a popular, Hampshire County Council run, country park which offers a superb launch point for Sea Kayakers providing the start to four possible routes. Facilities include a slipway, car parking, toilet facilities, a cafe/kiosk for food & drinks, children’s playground as well a tourist information centre. Lepe Beach is also home to ‘Solent Rescue‘, and independent lifeboat organisation covering 20% of the solent area.
With car parking less than a metre from the water at high tide, Lepe is a superb place to start a paddle. Sitting opposite the Isle of Wight, a few hundred feet from the entrance to the Beaulieu River you are given a number of options for a route, depending on the tide, time and wind.
- Cafe & take away kiosk
- Tourist information centre
- Pay and Display Car Park (accepts coins)
One option is to head the 2km or so west along the shore into the mouth of the Beaulieu River. From here, you can either continue along the coast to Lymington or head up the river, past Bucklers Hard and into the heart of Beaulieu itself.
If you head East along the coast, you soon reach Calshot Spit and can either cross Southampton water to continue along the coast to Gosport or head up the Hamble Estuary. Alternatively sticking to the shore takes you up Southampton water towards Hythe marina.
For the more experienced paddler, with good understanding of tides, wind and an appreciation of how busy the Solent gets, Lepe offers the chance to paddle across to the Isle of Wight.
During the summer months, the car park is open from 7am until dusk. However, it is possible to park outside the gates of the car parks should you wish to be out longer.