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The Old Post Office

Keyhaven, Hampshire

  • 8 + 2 babies
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Close to Coast
  • Family Friendly
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly

The Old Post Office is a seaside and pet holiday home in Keyhaven near Milford on Sea.

Sleek and chic, the Old Post Office is surrounded on two sides by seaside-y views. To the left, the little blue boats in the Keyhaven boat harbour, and to the front the bird-filled salt marshes of  the Solent. The WWII fort Hurst Castle, and the chalky Isle of Wight Needles are two miles away in the distance.

The style is cool, calm and muted. There are lots of sea greens, royal blues, cream and stripes abound, nothing competes with the pretty view, which is with you in almost every room.

Curious families with small children will love the boat yard, crabbing and beaches, the ferry trip to Hurst Castle for hide and seek, history, views and the café. Best of all is the sandy beach that is revealed as the tide goes out. For those with teens, this is one of our best houses because the cycling from here is so safe to Lymington on the back tracks, and the Lymington Salt Water pools (20 mins away) with a floating 110 metre assault course is completely brilliant and mad.

Foodies are spoilt here with good options in every direction. You can walk to all of them.

Dog walking is superb here. The coastal paths go east and west, the nearest beaches allow dogs and so does Hurst Castle.

A parcel of seaside loveliness, this house is great for anyone who likes to be out and about. You are on the coastal walk trail here and 2 hours meander to the east will take you along pebble beaches, past marinas, bird reserves, freshwater lakes, into the town. 

In summer the lane in front is popular for cyclists and walkers passing by. It’s a short walk to vast pebbly beaches, with secret sandy bits that are revealed as the tide retreats. The house is a stone’s throw from smarty-pants Lymington, and even closer to the quirky, foodie little village of Milford on Sea.

Curious families will be hard pushed to choose where to go first. Adults will love great seaside walking to good restaurants and the numerous places for quiet relaxing. Families with kids will love the little sandy beach nearby (walk there in a 10 minutes), wandering through the next-door boat yard, the sounds of boat masts tinkling in the wind whilst they read in the sunsets that warm the house on summer nights. Little children will love coming home to build their beach-found treasures into jewellery and pirate accessories.

Keyhaven and it’s marshes are named ‘cû hæfen’ in Old English and is a harbour where cows and sheep were shipped to and from the Isle of Wight. Now this pretty hamlet is still a time-zone behind the rest of the world. Not much moves quickly here, except passing flights of birds settling for the evening on the tidal marshes.


A walk to Hurst Castle is blustery and has great views of The Needles and the castle takes some beating for hide and seek games. There’s a little café there too. Keyhaven is also a great area for kayaking and paddle boarding – great fun for all ages. For younger kids there is great crabbing down the lane on the Hurst Castle footbridge. In the house we provide 1 travel cot and 1 high chair. All bedrooms are suitable for  travel cots.

Best for…

Anyone wanting to escape but still be part of village action. Great people watching here in summer. Families with very small, or slightly older children (who are safe enough to explore the coastal tracks, cycle on the bridle tracks and trails to Lymington).

If you need an extra 4 beds, then look at out our property just a few doors down – Coastguards Cottage which sleeps 4.

What are the quirks here? (We like to be brutally honest)…

The cottage was the Post Office and therefore is in the village centre. The little lane to the front and side is tiny, and looks bigger in the pictures. It’s not even a two-way road really and the only medium sized traffic on it are boats going to the boat yard.

When you walk to the beach, (toward Hurst Castle) there is car parking for walkers, this is flooded by the tide twice a day, you can still walk by on a raised footpath.

The cottage is family friendly but please be aware that there isn’t a play room and if it’s rainy, the downstairs areas of the house will feel small if you have 8 people there.  This house is for outdoor loving people who want to get out come rain or shine. The front garden is very small, big enough  and enclosed, so small children can wander about freely, but definitely not big enough for riding bikes, or ball games. The terrace at the back is bigger but it’s still a terrace. Anyone with kids who are wanting freedom is best to walk to Hurst Castle beach where you can go as wild as you like, make sandcastles and generally romp about.


The access to the cottage is flat and there are a few small steps in the  little courtyard garden. There is a downstairs bedroom here which has bunks in it and a shower opposite.

So if you are organising a group with less mobile people then read our ideas (and tested excursions) here in our blog ‘Holidaying with less mobile folk? Here’s where to go, what to do!’

And if you are organising a celebration for those in their 60’s + please visit our blog post ‘Four easy ideas for memorable 60th, 70th & 80th birthdays’

read more

What makes this special...

The special factor here is upped by the awesome view.

This picture is the same view from the house and the Needles on the Isle of Wight are clearly visible from both front bedrooms, the kitchen and the sitting room.

We love that teens can cycle on the back lanes to Lymington so easily and get themselves to the Saltwater Pools. Read more about why your teens will love them in our blog here. 

all theEssential details...


  • Bedroom 1 : Double bed, facing south towards the water
  • Bedroom 2 : Double bed, overlooking the water
  • Bedroom 3 : Twin room overlooking the private courtyard garden
  • Bedroom 4 : Bunk beds, on the ground floor
  • Floorplan : Click to view


  • One : Downstairs shower room
  • Two : Family bathroom with roll top bath and separate shower
  • Three : Shower room

All the rest...

  • Garden : Pretty and private paved courtyard garden for al fresco dining
  • Kitchen : Aga / Electric Hob / Fridge Freezer/ Microwave / Coffee machine /Dishwasher / Washing machine / Tumble Dryer
  • Mod Cons : Bose speaker system, Smart TV, BT Freeview
  • Keeping Connected : Free WiFi and mobile signal is ok
  • Parking : Two spaces, public car park nearby for extra cars (pay & display)
  • Pets : On Request.
  • Arrival & Departure : Arrivals from 3.30pm and departures by 10am

What we love

The beach is 5 – 10 mins walk, and access to the water couldn’t be better for paddle boarding/kayaking. The Lymington Saltwater Pools, with floating obstacle course, is 20 mins walk or 5 cycle, perfect for teens in summer.

Bird life is excellent here too. You can also get the little Hurst Castle Ferry back to Keyhaven. Don’t miss a top reading spot: take your book and walk out to Hurst Castle. Find a spot out of the wind and boat watch and read in the peace and quiet out there. Heaven.


Sleepy, small and very boaty, Keyhaven was a port in 1206 and is a fishing hamlet now, although this has been on the decline for years with tourism taking over gradually.

Keyhaven is fronted by the the Keyhaven Marshes, a low lying area of wetland grasses. It’s an important bird reserve and across this you can clearly see the Isle of Wight Needles. If you walk up on the coastal path here you can watch fabulous sunsets from several park benches built just for the job.

The hamlet lies at one end of an extraordinary shingle bank, Hurst Spit. The mile long shingle bar reaches out to the south dividing the turbulent Solent waters and creating a calm lagoon on the eastern side.

top picksTo do whilst you're here...

  • Hurst Castle
    Hurst Castle

    Jump on the ferry or take a brisk stroll on the 1.5 mile long shingle spit to the famous Hurst Castle where a £1 million renovation is currently taking place to keep it ship shape.

    This place is just the best for hide and seek. The view from the top is superb to the Isle of Wight. Anyone who likes history will love it here. Charles I was imprisoned here. The cafe is excellent. Read our blog for more info on Jason Crane, 3rd generation born here at Hurst. There is a small entry fee. Boat trips are about a fiver for a return trip.

    For holiday events for kids of all ages so check out their website at www.hurstcastle.co.uk

  • Lymington Sea Water Baths
    Lymington Sea Water Baths

    Open over the summer months, this place is an eccentric joy. The water is cold, so hire a wetsuit or brave it. You can swim or go mad on the 110 metres floating obstacle course (bit like Top Gear on water) – perfect for teens. There is also a smaller splash pool and sand pit for little kids. Good changing room options and fabulous ice cream too. Charges are very reasonable.

    Remember, New Forest Escapees receive one free coffee for each group from the kiosk too!

    For opening time and entry charges visit www.lymingtonseawaterbaths.org.uk

  • The Sea Wall Coastal Walk
    The Sea Wall Coastal Walk

    A fantastic walk on fairly level, gravel paths with amazing sea views. Also v good for bird spotting. The total walk is 9 miles but you can make it much shorter. The full walk takes approx’ 2 hours. Lots of cafe’s and pubs on the way. Walk back or jump on the bus!

    It can be windy so make sure you wear suitable clothing!

    For more information visit the trip advisor page.

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The Old Post Office

Keyhaven, Hampshire

New Forest Escapes, Brinkley, Middle Road, Lymington, SO41 6FX.

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