Eastney beach is a peaceful, natural, shingle beach, popular with couples and individuals. It is relaxing and very natural, with the unusual backdrop of a disused former MOD site.
Because Eastney beach is in England, it’s only busy with naturists in the late spring and summer. Dog walkers use the beach all year as it’s the only part of the beach where dogs are allowed between May and September, but they are very used to seeing people browning their white bits and keeping to themselves. People at the beach are welcoming but respectful. You will get a lot of cheery “hello”s but won’t be disturbed by strangers. People will keep an eye on your things if you want a dip in the sea but bear in mind, the Solent is very cold all year round and you’ll need flip flops to protect your feet from the lumpy stones.
There are refreshments and toilets a short walk away on Southsea beach. A particular joy is the Southsea deli van selling incredible coffee and gorgeous homemade sweet and savoury baked goods. The van is usually parked on the road not far from the toilets between 10ish and 3ish. The Coffee Cup a bit further up sells ok coffee and mediocre snacks. If you’re looking for a snack and the van isn’t there, I’d recommend walking up to the pier. For a very good meal, Southsea Beach Cafe is a little further along the beach. (Take away food, ice creams and cocktails are available.) Eastney beach is about a mile and a half long and is situated at the Western end of the much larger, (non-naturist) Southsea beach. As the Western end of Eastney joins onto Southsea beach which is very popular with families, people are expected to remain clothed until they’re a little way onto the beach at Eastney.
Eastney is a stretch of shingle beach at the Eastern end of Southsea seafront. The views across the solent are lovely: the Isle of Wight and Hayling Island are visible as is Spitbank Fort. Because no road runs parallel with Eastney beach, it has a lovely private feeling. It’s separated from Southsea beach with a row of large boulders and from the nearby housing estate by an imposing former Ministry of Defence property. If you fancy pulling your clothes back on and going for a stroll, Southsea beach has two piers with arcades, street food vendors and fairground rides. Canoe lake is also close by with a cafe, a tennis club and pedalos for hire. Just outside of Canoe lake, you’ll usually find local legend Dagastino’s ice cream van, selling freshly made italian ice cream.
Eastney beach would be a great beach for first timers. As nudity is optional, you can get used to being around nude people with no pressure to be nude yourself unless you want to. Along the top of the beach, there are some really large rocks. These are perfect for providing either a bit of shade or a bit of privacy.
This is not the place to come if you have visions of wide stretches of sandy shores. Eastney is shingle and has lots of vegetation along the border with the abandoned building behind the beach. Also, the current can be strong, particularly at the Eastern tip and because there are no lifeguards at this end of the beach so swimming is only recommended in fair conditions. It’s also not uncommon for jet skiers to come very close to this end of the beach, no doubt hoping for a glimpse of the ‘local scenery’. If you stay up the beach, they will not bother you at all. On a lucky day at low tide, you may find small stretches of sand just big enough for a couple of people and their towels.
Eastney beach is dog friendly year round and family friendly. In addition to naturist sunbathers, it is used by fishermen, dog walkers and sometimes jet skiers coming over from a nearby jetty.
The solent is a busy stretch of the English channel so the views out to sea are always interesting. Being part of Portsea island means that there are often naval ships passing by, there are regular ferries to France, Spain and the Isle of Wight and occasional cruise ships. When the weather is good, the Southsea end of the beach gets really busy but Eastney is always quieter. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from Eastney beach to the toilets on Southsea beach, but you must always be clothed on Southsea beach.
Contributor Review – Laura Stevenson
Local Expert. Visited 2023
The closest train station to Eastney beach is Fratton (please don’t be fooled into thinking Portsmouth and Southsea will be closer - it’s not!). There is a taxi rank directly outside the station and a bus stop.
Buses run regularly from all over Portsmouth to the seafront and to Bransbury park. If you catch a bus to the seafront, follow the beach east as far as you can and then step down onto the shingle, keep walking East and you’ll be on Eastney beach once you pass the big boulders. If you catch a bus to Bransbury park, when you get off, follow Bransbury park all the way to the end and you’ll arrive at the beach.
Parking on Southsea Seafront. There is pay and display parking all the way along Southsea Esplanade.
Parking at Fort Cumberland. There is a large, free car park at Fort Cumberland (the derelict former MOD building). A footpath has been worn alongside the building which winds past Southsea caravan park about 200 metres to the beach. This would be a tricky route for those with mobility issues who would find parking on Southsea Esplanade easier.
If you’re here for a while and fancy a little getaway, there are nearby ferries to Hayling Island and the Isle of Wight.