Lepe Country Park
New Forest National Park
What is it?
A country park containing archaeological and historic features, from 200,000 years ago to the Cold War.
Why it is special?
With over a mile of beach, pine-fringed cliffs and historic D-Day remains Lepe is a great day out. Examples of its varied geology, archaeology and history include:
- Low shingle cliffs, part of the chalk ridge that extended from Dorset to the Needles, containing gravel deposited by from 200,000 to 40,000 years ago
- A water channel containing plant remains from 120,000 years ago
- Bronze Age burial mounds and Iron Age settlement sites, and part of a Roman road to the Isle of Wight
- Tudor castles at Hurst and Calshot
- 19th century coastguard cottages and a watch tower at Lepe harbour
- Remains of Lady Scarborough’s early 20th century garden, from when the land was part of the Cadland Estate
- Cold War underground nuclear monitoring post with contents largely intact
Tell us something we didn’t know
Lepe was a centre for the construction of Mulberry harbours during the Second World War, the concrete floating harbours used in France during the D-Day Landings. It was also a major departure point for troops.
The New Forest National Park have created a special audio trail about Lepe and D-Day, which takes you around the area and includes memories from veterans.
What else can I do there?
The park is open from 7.30am until dusk for walking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing and bird or boat watching. There is a children’s play area, picnic areas, barbecues for hire, toilets and a café open from March to September.
How to get there
Lepe Country Park is in the south eastern corner of the New Forest National Park. It's approximately 18 miles from Southampton and around 12 miles from Lydhurst.
Lepe, near Exbury, Hampshire, SO45 1AD
Tel: 02380 899108.
Grid ref: 455985