Southampton is a city that has a whole lot to offer, but if you wanted to visit a beach you would have to travel a little further afield.
Luckily with the city being so close to the coast, there is an abundance of options within a reasonable driving distance.
Whether it's Dorset or elsewhere in Hampshire, there are many great choices if you want a day out at the beach.
Here are five of the best to visit within an hour's drive of Southampton.
5 of the best beaches within an hour's drive of Southampton
Located approximately a 35-minute drive away from Southampton is Calshot Beach which offers panoramic views of the Solent, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.
It forms part of a mile-long shingle spit where you can view ships entering and exiting the Southampton water on their way to the harbour.
The beach is also the site of the 16th-Century Calshot Castle and home to one of the UK’s largest watersports centres where you can take part in windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing among other things.
Additionally, the beach is dog-friendly and it has a 4/5 rating on Tripadvisor.
Going more into East Hampshire this time is Southsea Beach, which takes around 40-45 minutes to drive to.
This is a very popular location for a day trip, with a shingle beach that slopes fairly steeply and also a promenade.
Additionally, just behind the beach is a canoe lake which The Beach Guide says gets its water from the sea.
A variety of crabs, fish and other marine wildlife can be found here also.
The beach also has a 4/5 rating on Tripadvisor from 323 reviews.
Hayling Island Beach
At around a 50-55 minute drive away from Southampton, you can find Hayling Island Beach.
According to Visit Hampshire, the Hayling seafront is primarily a shingle beach above the high tide mark, with long stretches of sand below this line.
As a mark of praise, the three main beaches of the Island have won both the European Blue Flag and the Keep Britain Tidy Group – Seaside Award Flag for cleanliness and management.
The beach is also considered excellent for swimming at low tide as the water is at a perfectly shallow depth.
Hill Head Beach
Another shingle beach can be found near Fareham at Hill Head Beach which is around a 30-minute drive from Southampton.
The shingle beach is divided up by wooden groynes and is backed by a tarmac walkway.
Additionally, it is popular with watersports enthusiasts offering good sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Dogs are not allowed on the main part of the beach from May 1 to September 30, but there is a small part of the beach to the west of the main car park where dogs can go all year.
Tanners Lane Beach
Out near Lymington in the New Forest is Tanners Lane, and at the end of that road, you can find a quiet, picturesque beach.
It's around a 45-50 minute drive away from Southampton and is made up of pebbles.
This sort of beach is perfect for a more relaxed day out for sunbathing, walking and watching the boats go by.