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Hurst Castle provides a remote escape by the sea with plenty of things to see and do. Built by Henry VIII at the seaward end of a coastal spit, it was one of the most advanced artillery fortresses in England. Commanding the narrow entrance to the Solent, it offers stunning panoramic views.
The castle was used as a prison for eminent 17th century captives, including Charles I. It was later strengthened during the 19th and 20th centuries and played a role in defending the western Solent from invasion threats from the Napoleonic Wars to the Second World War.
Exhibitions around the castle provide you with a chance to piece together Hurst Castle's long history.
Climbing the steps to the first floor of the Tudor keep to see where Charles I was probably kept prisoner in 1648.
Enjoying the spectacular views from the roof of the Tudor keep across the Needles Passage to the Isle of Wight.
Travelling through time in the east and west wings, built in the 1860s, to glimpse into the living conditions of soldiers during the First and Second World Wars.
Visiting the Garrison Theatre, possibly the last surviving Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) theatre, used to provide entertainment for armed forces during the Second World War.
Discovering the history of the lighthouses on the spit in an exhibition managed by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers from the first one, built in 1786, to the High Light of 1867 which still functions today.
The opportunity to visit Osborne House on the Isle of Wight with local ferry crossings from Lymington to Yarmouth. Please note that ferry crossings are not under the care of English Heritage and extra charges apply. Phone 01590 642500 for more information.
ENGLISH HERITAGE INVESTS £1 MILLION TO PRESERVE HURST CASTLE. A wartime look-out tower and gun emplacements at Hurst Castle is at the centre of a new £1 million conservation project.