Southsea Beach

Southsea, which got its name from the 16th century Southsea Castle, became a fashionable destination for bathing and other seaside leisure activities in the early 19th century.  Today, it remains a vibrant, traditional resort town with plenty of visitor attractions.

Southsea beach stretches from Old Portsmouth to Eastney. The beach itself is made up mainly of flinty shingle, although a stretch of sand is exposed at low tide.

The beach, which slopes fairly rapidly into the sea, is backed by a promenade and behind that a recreation area with a popular canoe lake. The lake gets its water from the sea and a variety of crabs, fish and other marine wildlife can be found here.  Children might enjoy dangling bacon tied with pieces of string into the water to see what creatures take the bait.

Southsea itself is home to some interesting museums including the D-Day Museum on the seafront and Cumberland House Natural History Museum.  The Blue Reef Aquarium is also worth a visit.

The beach lies less than a mile south of Portsmouth city centre, with its many shops, restaurants and bars.

From the beach there are views out across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight.  Also visible out to sea is “Palmerston’s Folly”, a series of four large forts built in the 1860’s to defend against the risk of an invasion which never happened.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

We do not have information on this beach but restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)

Hampshire dog friendly beaches »


  • Crazy golf/putting
  • Swimming/bathing


  • Pier

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SZ 6542 9807


Parking available though a fee is charged.

Water quality

Water quality star rating

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Southsea Beach Reviews

Our Beach

David Poulton
Jun 15th 2021

It’s a lovely beach with lovely views and clean and safe for families. There are Lifeguards on the beach, based near South Parade Pier. It’s a wonderful Pier and was Uk top pier recently. It’s just not the locals like me how love our beach, many visitor enjoy it when they come to stay or visit.


Feb 18th 2020

Along with Eastney Beach, very interesting. I grew up swimming each summer day between Eastney and South Parade Pier and what with the view of the IOW and the old fortifications, this beach really is interesting and pleasant to swim in and sit on!

Resident beach lover

Rebecca Denyer
May 12th 2019

I love living near Southsea beach. There is always something going on nearby. The Canoe Lake has a large play area for children; quiet and secluded rose garden; and Natural History Museum. The museum exhibits could do with updating. However, there is a bee hive observation case, new butterfly house and lovely quiet gardens; with plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds.
There are lots of local cafes, takeaway eateries, and ice cream parlours.
The Pier is newly refurbished. It is nice to walk along and look at the sea. It can be quite dramatic when stormy!
The entire seafront is interesting to walk along, with landmarks like the more natural looking beach at Eastney, Model Village,Southsea Castle, the bandstand and atmospheric Old Portsmouth.
I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else. Visitors seem to enjoy coming too.

What did we get wrong?