Local Information: Lepe

The Lookout Cafe

Lepe Country Park is a marvellous place to visit... with an attractive coastline, nature reserves, country walks and a unique historic heritage. The futuristic restaurant, "The Lookout", provides fascinating views over the western Solent. For full information on things to do and exciting events to attend please view the Lepe Country Park web site. However, if you are thinking of going into the water or out on the sea there are some things you should know...

gas pipe warningDoes the Isle of Wight look very close? If you answered "yes" you are correct! Between Stansore Point in Lepe Park and Gurnard on the Isle of Wight the Solent is much narrower than almost anywhere else. That is why lots of cables and gas pipes between the mainland and the Isle of Wight cross the Solent off Lepe. You can see the pairs of yellow "leading marks" that show how they are aligned. It is illegal to anchor a boat in this part of the Solent.

Because the Solent is narrow off Lepe the tides are very strong. As the tides come in and out, all that water has to squeeze through the narrow gap between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. This causes very strong currents quite close inshore to the Lepe beaches. Take care; if you swim too far out or go out in a boat you might find yourself being swept along by the tide. If that does happen, don't try to fight the current; head for the shore and walk back! At Stansore Point and Lepe Spit there are very strong currents right up to the beach edge. To find out more about the currents look at our page "Currents off Lepe Country Park".

map of sea feature off Lepe


Avoid swimming or wading off Lepe Spit. While it is interesting to walk along Lepe Spit when it is dry, it can be dangerous even to paddle in shallow water if it is flowing rapidly over the spit. The currents are very strong and there is deep water to either side of the spit - especially to the west. It would be very easy to stumble or be simply swept off ones feet - and when the current is at its strongest even an Olympic swimmer would struggle to make any headway against it. 

The "Family Beach" in front of "The Lookout" cafe is more gently shelving than elsewhere in the park, but even here you should "Respect the Water". Children should be supervised - remember there are no Lifeguards on duty!

More Questions? please view our "FAQs" page!

[Page maintained by / Contact: Calshot Webmaster]



Currently almost 60 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Filey in North Yorkshire. 

NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies offering a variety of skills and experience, and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.








The words National Coastwatch Institution and Eyes Along the Coast and the NCI logos are Registered Trademarks of NCI.

Contact Details

0300 111 1202
[email protected]


0845 460 1202
[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB