Lepe Beach and Country Park lies at the mouth of Beaulieu River. It’s a gently shelving sand and shingle beach best in W to SW winds, but also very good in E to SE. The beach car park (one of three) is the main launch point and the maximum shore dump here is between half to one metre even in gale force winds. There’s a strong ebb tide from E to W (up to 5 knots), which makes it unsuitable for novices at certain states of the tide. Summer winds are increased by sea breezes that can push a force three up to five. The shingle bar on the E of the beach generates a speed run with mirror flat water in E and SE, sail on the W side of it. Good launch points for trips to the Isle of Wight and can take about 5 minutes, but this trip should not be undertaken alone and preferably with on or two locals. Take care when crossing the shipping lane marked with two red buoys, just over half way. Solent rescue are onsite for advice. The mud flats and beach on the S bank of the river are a bird sanctuary. If you have to land there make sure you walk below the high water mark or face a fine. Specialised Sailing is in nearby Fawley village (Tel: 02380 894583).
Getting there: Take A326 from Southampton to Holbury, follow the signs for Exbury then Lepe
Parking: Pay & Display
Ideal Wind: W to SW
Accomodation: Plenty of B&B’s, camping/caravan site
Amenities: On site information office, toilets, restaurant, full rescue cover
Suitable for: Most abilities (see above)