Lepe Country Park
Lepe Country Park is located in the very south-eastern corner of the New Forest National Park, just several miles from Beaulieu. It's a very popular spot and gives perfect views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
The country park takes in about a mile of coast, predominantly shingle and mudflats at low tide. The sea is not particularly suitable for swimming, however, because of strong currents in this area.
The main area of Lepe Country Park is the large grassy lawn at the top of the cliff, lined with pine trees that do provide some degree of shelter. A number of benches can be found atop the cliff, providing some of the best views in the New Forest National Park!
The lawn is an ideal place to relax with a picnic, or to get a bit more active with a game of rounders or football. There is also a good size play area for the youngsters, including swings and monkey bars (see below).
There are two large Pay & Display car parks, one by the lawn and one on the beach. At the lower one there is the restaurant and tearooms and a park office. The restaurant building is open daily during the summer months.
Outside of the summer, Lepe Country Park can be a bracing place, especially for a walk along the shingle beach. For this reason, it's a very popular spot for windsurfers.
Lepe has a strong wartime history, especially with the D-Day Invasions, and remains of the defenses can be seen at the eastern end of the beach. On the side of the restaurant building is a series of information boards describing the important role that the beach and surrounding area played during the Second World War.
There is no admission charge into the park, but normal car parking rates do apply for both top and bottom car parks.
Lepe Country Park location map
GPS / SatNav information:
Lat/long:50.784,-1.354. OS grid ref: SU455985.