Strong Currents

At Lepe Country Park, the distance from the mainland across to the Isle of Wight is less than elsewhere in the Solent. This creates strong tidal currents close to the shore at both Lepe Spit and at Stansore Point (near the start of the D-Day remains) …TAKE CARE!

It is inadvisable to Swim or Wade in the water at Lepe Spit. At some states of the tide the currents are very strong and the sea bed shelves rapidly to the side of the spit, particularly on the western side.  Children should be discouraged from paddling there, and should be supervised if entering the water elsewhere in the park.

The photo shows the current rushing past Stansore Point.

DO NOT encourage your dog to enter the water at Lepe Spit or Stansore Point. If your dog does get swept away, DO NOT enter the water after your dog. DO walk along the beach keeping pace with your dog which will then swim towards the shore where you are rather than trying to fight the current.


The Day’s Tide Times for Portsmouth are displayed on a board outside the NCI Stone Point station. High tide at Lepe occurs about 15 to 20 minute before high tide at Portsmouth. Alternatively, you can find the times for high tide at Lepe (Stansore Point) from the TideTimes website.

  • Following low tide water starts to flow into the Solent towards the east  (so looking from Lepe across to the Isle of Wight, the water is flowing from right to left). Maxium eastward current occurs between 5 and 4 hours before high tide at Portsmouth.
  • About two hours before high tide, the inshore currents start to flow towards the west (so looking from Lepe across to the Isle of Wight, the water is now flowing from left to right).
  • At high tide , and for a few hours after, there is a VERY STRONG westward flow off Lepe. Maximum westward current occurs about an hour after high tide and the current remains strong until close to low tide. .
  • At Lepe Spit and the Stansore Point area very strong currents occur straight off the beach.

The video below demonstrates how the currents change during a tidal cycle using the calculations from a computer model of the tidal flow. While the currents shown are typical of what might occur, on a particular day the strength and exact timing will vary. The results shown should not be used for navigation!

More detailed plots of currents at Lepe Country Park are available in a pdf document which may be viewed or downloaded.

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