Our guide to holidays in Havant
This sunny corner of Hampshire could have been made for family breaks, and Hayling Island is the jewel in the area’s sandy crown. With the resorts of Hayling Island and Emsworth to its name, a stay in this happy Hampshire borough means you’ll have some of the region’s best-loved attractions within easy reach.
For one thing, there are the beaches. Hayling Island beach is every inch the traditional British stretch of seaside, and it has a Blue Flag to boot. The beach rolls on for three miles, so no matter how big your family you’ll be able to shake out your towels, pick a spot and enjoy your own space during your day on the sand…perfect.
And then there’s Funland….the noisiest attraction for miles, this amusement park has something for every age, and it’s the perfect all-weather attraction. Home to rides, games and good old fashioned amusements, Funland’s almost as much fun for the mums and dads amongst you as the kids (almost…).
Now, we mentioned Hayling Island’s beautiful beach, and it’s the first place to start if you’re looking for somewhere to while away a few hours of beachy bliss during a Havant holiday. With brightly coloured beach huts waiting to welcome beach lovers, this shingle beach also has a Seaside Award and it’s a favourite with young families looking for somewhere safe to let the kids enjoy the water. When the tide goes out you’ll be treated to a great big beach, so there’s plenty of space to teach the younger members of the family how to build the perfect sandcastle.
Just a little further along, West Beach is a good spot for a paddle, as the water at this end is shallower when the tide’s out and there’s a lagoon until it comes back in. Even better, on a sunny day, the water slowly warms up so it’s perfect for that afternoon dip. If you’re feeling energetic (and there’s no shame in it if you aren’t of course!), you can also try your hand at beach volleyball free of charge. Just take your own ball along and see who fancies a match.
Things to do in Havant
Havant’s something of a haven for walkers and cyclists, and you’ll find many a trail to help bring the landscape to life on those family outings. The Hayling Billy Coastal Path winds its way through a nature reserve on Hayling Island, and it starts in the centre of Havant so it’s a great way to discover some of the area’s picturesque scenery.
The harbour town of Emsworth could have been made for walkers, and the Staunton Way’s one of the best walks to start with if you want to take your time and amble your way through the countryside. If you want to take in some of the area’s history while you walk, the Shipwright’s Way runs all the way from Alice Holt Forest to Portsmouth’s historic dockyard, and it passes Hayling Island on the way.
We should point out that, not only is Hayling Island a popular spot for watersports, but it was the birthplace of windsurfing. Since then, the area’s played host to regular windsurfing marathons and sailing events throughout the year, so if you were hoping to see some action out on the water then check what’s on before you book.