Barton On Sea is a coastal village at the very edge of the New Forest. It boasts a pebbly beach, beautiful views along the coast to Milford and the Isle of Wight and refreshing cliff top walks. Barton is one of my favourite New Forest spots, not only for the beach and views, but because it generally remains less busy at peak times than other beaches in the area (for example Avon Beach).
The perfect place for a family day out or to spend an hour by the sea, Barton has lots to offer.
Here are some of the reasons my family loves Barton On Sea:
You can access the beach via a sloping clifftop path. The beach itself isn’t very long, but there is enough space to relax and unwind or hunt for fossils and clamber over rocks. There are toilets down on the beach but no other amenities – make sure you take everything you need with you.
A buggy friendly path above the beach allows for a short walk, although where the path ends the only way to continue is to clamber round the rocks (and this is definitely not possible with a buggy).
My kids could spend hours on Barton beach, collecting stones and pebbles, paddling and rock climbing. When the tide is in, the waves can be fierce and thunderous. Only swim here if you are a strong swimmer and remember there is no lifeguard service.
If you like a cliff top walk, you can’t get much better than Barton. There is a huge green area on the cliff top, by the car parks, where my children love to run and roll on the grass (while I do my best to keep them away from the cliff edge).
For a longer walk, you can head along the path towards Milford, next to the golf course. This offers up more stunning views across the Solent. If you walk this way, please be careful. The cliff top at Barton is very unstable – never go near the edge. Due to recent landslides, much of the walk we used to enjoy has been cordoned off. This is for good reason, so ensure you pay attention to the safety notices and signs.
Barton is also a popular spot for para-gliders. If you’re lucky, you may see some floating over the cliff. This sight never fails to mesmerise my kids.
The Ice Cream
Barton’s most popular cafe, The Beachcomber, is also home to a fantastic ice-cream parlour. Here you can find almost any flavour you can dream of and trust me, it tastes good.
The cafe itself is a nice place to have a bite to eat and if you sit outside you may find Shrek watching over you!
The Beachcomber serves hot and cold food and drinks as well as alcohol and its famous ice-cream. Dogs are welcome and there is also a small shop full of beach necessities and other random items. It stays open later than your average cafe and is a popular venue for live music during the evenings.
So, if I’ve convinced you to head to Barton here is some more practical info:
Parking: There are three car-parks on the cliff top and its also free to park on the roadside. Even in the height of summer, you’ll be likely to find a space somewhere.
Safety: As I said earlier, the cliffs here are very unstable. Stay away from the edge and never go to an area that has been cordoned off. When on the beach, you can sometimes see rocks falling down so don’t go near the cliff at all if you can help it.
Facilities: There are toilets on the beach, but everything else you may need is on the cliff top. As well as the Beach Comber, there are a couple of other cafes, a very posh restaurant called Pebbles and a newsagent.
If you’re interested in finding out about other New Forest Beaches, please have a butchers at this post.
(I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this post and do not accept liability for any errors or omission. I do not accept any liability for you getting lost or encountering any other problems. )