If you fancy taking to the water then why not try one of the many different boat trips available from Milford on Sea, Keyhaven and some of the other surrounding places like Lymington. We all look out at the lucky few with great envy as they cruise around the wide open sea of Christchurch Harbour or the bustling strip of water called the Solent (between the mainland and the Isle of Wight).
Getting out on the water to join them is easier than you may think - there are plenty of boat trips on offer; from sedate, scenic ferry trips to Hurst Castle or across the Solent, to faster more exciting blasts on high-speed powerboats, to fishing and sea-angling.
Disclaimer: All information on this website is correct to the best of my knowledge. If anything is incorrect or needs updating please feel free to contact me.
Visitor's Guide to Milford
One of the most popular boat trips in the area; the Hurst Castle Ferries run a 20 minute shuttle service from the quayside in Keyhaven, taking you along the Keyhaven river up to Hurst Castle at the end of Hurst Spit. Many people choose to take the ferry one way and walk the other - this way you get to enjoy the best of both worlds and see the scenery on both sides of the spit.
The ferries run a regular service in the summer and a weather-dependant weekend service in the winter. If you wish to take the ferry from either Keyhaven or Hurst Castle (or both) there is a small jetty where passengers should wait to be asked onboard. Tickets are bought from the skiipper on the ferry.
Rather than list the prices here, you can check their website for the current prices and timetable.
If you would like to take a boat trip a little further afield and fancy exploring the Isle of Wight, there is a larger boat that does cruises from Keyhaven to Yarmouth. Solent Rose operates day-trip services during Spring and Summer, from Spring bank holiday to mid-September.
Crossings take approximately 40 minutes and are subject to weather conditions. These trips are a fantastic way to relax and see the stunning scenery of Keyhaven river and marshes, the Solent and Yarmouth harbour on the Isle of Wight; if the weather conditions are good you'll also get a stunning view of Hurst Castle and the Needles rocks off the Isle of Wight.
For their schedule and prices you're best checking out their website.
Solent Rose is also available for private hire, for parties from 4 to 94 people - contact them to find out prices and availability.
For those with a slightly more adventurous spirit who want to go fast and get wet (possibly) why not try a fast rigid inflatable boat ride. Rigid inflatable boats or RIBs are essentially rubber dinghy's with a rigid hull and large engine - they're the sports cars of the sea and can reach impressive speeds very quickly!
Blasting around the Solent in a RIB is a very exhilerating experience and being so close to the water gives everything a very real feeling of being "on the water".
RIB rides run daily in high season (from May to mid-September) at 11am from the quay-side in Keyhaven. They also run private charters and childrens party specials. Contact them for details.
This is the shortest and fastest vehicle route to the Isle of Wight. However, you can also travel as a foot passenger and enjoy the pretty town of Yarmouth or make use of the Island's excellent bus service. The 40 minute route is served by 3 new passenger ferries where you can relax in the comfortable lounge while enjoying the view! Visit their website...