Helen Pollard By Helen Pollard


15 km / 9 miles


2 hrs  0 m

Cycling adventure

Easy difficulty

In the village at Pennington

Pennington to Hurst Castle Loop. Just under 10 miles of easy going bike trail, quiet roads and shingle/pebble beach. A great all year ride, suitable for families however the final spit section maybe a challenge for smaller legs and wheels.

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Riding alongside shingle spit

Starting from our holiday cottage in Pennington we quickly moved onto very quiet local roads which led us easily onto a designated cycle tracks. The tracks ended at Keyhaven and you follow the road to the shingle spit on quiet roads.

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Where the road meets the spit is a fabulous spot to stop and watch the bird life and other estuary wild life. Part of the New Forest National Park but very different from the woodland area we had explored the previous day.

Swans in the estuary

The end of the spit is only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight and the views from the top of the Tudor castle are spectacular.

The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London to his trial and execution.

Single estuary bank

Hurst Castle is managed on behalf of English Heritage.


  • 29th March to 31st October – every day from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.
  • Winter season, weekends only; weather dependent

Entry – Adult £5.00: Child £3.00: Concession £4.50: Family (2 adults & 3 children) £15.00. Season tickets available Friendly dogs on leads welcome.

Cycling across the headland

The return journey can be achieved in two ways. You can either catch the ferry back to Keyhaven, this runs in summer months or just cycle retracing your previous route.

There is a cafe at the castle or a pub in Keyhaven for refreshment stops. Alternative routes can be accessed from Milford on Sea.

The lighthouse

It’s a great ride, very different from the cycle rides we would normally do and felt like a true adventure arriving at the castle.

The fantastic weather certainly helped the enjoyment of the day.

Views at the headland



Helen Pollard By Helen Pollard


Helen spends her days, managing a cycling business, chasing her daughter Daisy, running with dogs, falling off her bike, and hopefully encouraging others to do something similar.

Find out more about Helen Pollard.


OS maps:

OS Explorer OL22: New Forest (Southampton, Ringwood, Ferndown, Lymington, Christchurch and Bournemouth)