Please click on the links below to see more information about Stokes Bay.
Gosport Borough Council have recently (2020) updated changed their website. Please report any broken links.
There are three large public car parks and two smaller ones, all Pay and Display.
Class of vehicles:
- Motor Vehicle
- Motor Cycles
- NOT Public Service Vehicles
Please Note: Height restriction barriers may be in force:
At the west end of the Bay is No.2 Battery West.
The following charges apply:
(Subject to change so check on Gosport Council Website links)
- Motor Vehicle £1 per hour
- Trailer £1 per hour
- Over 5 hours £6 per day
- Motor Cycles Free
- Disabled Persons
- Badge Holders Exempt
- Long Stay Car Park
- Permit Holders Exempt
- Seafront Car Park
- Permit Holders Exempt
- Medical Permit
- Holders Exempt
In addition No.2 Battery East has spaces for Bay House School Permit User Pass Holder Exempt (Term Time Monday to Friday Only)
For families who regularly park at the seafront, an annual parking permit could save cash and time. A seafront permit is £75, which is only £1.44 a week. Without one, drivers can pay 90p an hour.
And if the splash park’s car park is full, permit-holders can use the other long-stay car parks at Stokes Bay, which are only a short walk away.
To apply, go here . The permit is virtual, which means there is no piece of paper to display in the windscreen. Instead, council officers can see from a car’s licence number that a permit is in effect.
For details of Stokes Bay sea front car park permits visit:
Gosport Borough Council: Stokes Bay Car Parking Permits
For details of all car parks, visit:
Gosport Borough Council Car Parks
GAFIRS is an independent Inshore Rescue Service that was founded in 1969. The service provides free marine rescue cover in the Solent, from Portsmouth Harbour to Titchfield Haven. The crews are on call with HM Coastguard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Their purpose built Lifeboat Station and Headquarters is at the Eastern end of the promenade.
Visit their website: GAFIRS
Royan Twinning Pétanque
Gosport is twinned with Royan in France and to commemorate the 50th anniversary two pétanque pitches were laid. You will find them on the seaward side of the promenade next to Pebble Beach Cafe. The flower beds are now maintained by volunteers from The Friends of Stokes Bay.
No2 Battery was part of the Stokes Bay Lines which were built to defend the naval dockyard in Portsmouth Harbour from a possible French invasion.
It now houses the Historical Diving Society’s diving museum which opened to the public on 30th April 2011.
Children’s Splash Park and Play Area
Daily opening hours
Summer (March-October) 10a.m. – 7p.m.
Winter (October-March) 10a.m. – 4p.m.
Water features operate in summer only (weather permitting) and may be switched off for short periods during opening hours whilst regular water quality treatment works are undertaken.
Gosport Splash Park has been designed and provided by Gosport Borough Council as a free outside play facility with traditional all year round play equipment and water features which are open in the Summer only.
Located on the sea front at Stokes Bay there are public pay and display car parks adjacent and nearby public toilet facilities within approx. 128 metres.
For details visit:
Gosport Borough Council Splash Park
Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club
Formed in 1885, this is a 9 hole links course, with 18 tees, to test all abilities. You will find it at the Gilkicker end of the Bay. The greens are either side of Gilkicker Lake. The club HQ is next to the Mason Boys Tower in Fort Road. The course offers unrivalled panoramic views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight and it was on this course that the term “bogey” originated.
For more information go to their website: Stokes Bay Golf Club
Solent Adventure Golf Ltd have a crazy gold course at the centre of the Bay, north of the Pebble Beach car park.
For details visit their facebook site:
Solent Adventure Golf Ltd
Stokes Bay Tennis Courts
The tennis courts are also operated by Solent Adventure Golf Limited and can be used by obtaining a ticket from the Crazy Golf office.
Fees are £5 per court per hour. Tennis equipment is available for hire from the golf reception. Access to the courts can be available 24/7.
They are open weekends and school holidays from April to September usually from 10:30am until 5:30pm. For more info call 07973 309770
Bayside Cabin Café and Pebble Beach Café & Wine Bar
There are two privately run refreshment facilities at Stokes Bay selling light refreshments, teas, ice creams etc,
Pebble Beach Café is situated at the centre of the Bay.
Fort details visit their websites:
Pebble Beach Café on Facebook
At the east end is Bayside Cabin.
Some refreshments can also be obtained at the Crazy Golf offices.
Gosport Borough Council have provided picnic benches at three points along the Bay:
One at the west end near to the Diving Museum, another close to the children’s play area and splash pool and a third at the Gilkicker end on the field used by kite fliers. In April 2013 Stokes Bay was voted one of the top picnic areas in the UK.
In 2020 new barbecue areas were created along the seafront, with new BBQ and picnic equipment donated by the Rotary club, to celebrate their centenary in 2019.
There are toilet facilities at three locations along the sea front:
- at the west end of the Bay in the car park next to the Diving Museum and Bayside Cabin,
- at the east end of the Bay by the entrance to the Gilkicker car park near to GAFIRS
- in the centre of the Bay on the promenade next to the Stokes Bay Sailing Club and Pebble Beach Cafe.
Fishing at Stokes Bay
Along the beach at Stokes Bay you can catch:
Summer Species: Bass, rays, sole, smoothhounds, mackerel and bream.
Winter Species: Whiting, pouting, codling, and flatties.
Sometimes dab. Occasionally Conger Eel.
Fishing at the Browndown end of the Bay may reward you with the following catches:
Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, smoothhounds, rays, dogfish, bream, plaice, and sole.
Winter Species: Whiting, codling, rockling and flatties.
Visit the Fishing Guide for Stokes Bay for an up-to-date list.
Gosport & District Angling Club
The club was formed in 1949 with the club house and boat yard located close to the shore line at the Gilkicker end of the Bay.
For more information go to their website: Gosport & District Angling Club
Swimming, Windsurfing and Water Sports
Stokes Bay received a Water Quality classification of ‘Excellent’ with three stars in 2015 the highest classification meaning the water is cleanest.
Stokes Bay: Good Beach Guide.
Stokes Bay Beach Guide
There are three warnings for Stokes Bay beach due to Strong winds, tidal cut-off and a deep shelving beach. Swimmers are advised to stay between signs that show the safe areas for swimming. There are no beach life guards on duty at Stokes Bay but GAFIRS have a lifeboat station at the east end of the beach.
Stokes Bay Beach Safety
Stokes Bay has two maintained slipways for public use with a third at the western end of the Bay.
This is a public slipway but it is often hidden with shingle.
For: Windsurfing, Kitesurfing
SLIPWAY SB2 – Please note the following arrangements
This is a public slipway adjacent to Stokes Bay Sailing Club.
For: Dinghies, Motor Boats with hand trailers.
SLIPWAY SB3 – Please note the following arrangements
The West side is reserved for G.A.F.I.R.S Inshore Rescue.
Please respect and leave this clear for emergency use at all times.
The East side is for public use.
For: Motor Boats, Canoes and Kayaks.
The Bay is zoned for water sports.
You are not permitted to launch Jet Skis from the public slipways at Stokes Bay
and those wishing to use them are advised to go to Lee on the Solent for launching, which is the designated site.
More information here:
Gosport Borough Council Watersports Information
Download a Water Activity Leaflet at Stokes Bay, including a map.
According to Windsurf Magazine:
Stokes Bay is :Probably the safest place to sail on this stretch of coast and suitable for beginners. The ideal wind direction for Stoke Bay are SW and SE which produce the cleanest wind but can also be sailed in anything from E to WNW. The tidal range is small, the most furthest you have to walk to the water is 10 metres and launching is easy even in very strong winds. It’s a very good place to practice short board technique. In an E just about every windsurfer in the area sails here as the wind funnels between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.
A speed limit of 10 knots is applicable within half a mile of the Solent shoreline at Stokes Bay and Lee-on-the-Solent.
17. KITES AND KITE BUGGIES
No person shall on the seashore fly any kite, set up kitesurfing equipment, practice kitesurfing or drive any vehicle powered by a kite in such a manner as to cause danger, nuisance or annoyance to any other person on the seashore.
The user is legally responsible for the safe conduct of each flight and failure to follow the rules can lead to criminal prosecution.
Rules for those who are flying any drone:
- Make sure you can see your drone at all times and don’t fly higher than 400 feet
- Check the drone before each flight to ensure everything is in working order
- Always keep your drone away from aircrafts, helicopters, airports and airfields
- Use common sense and fly safely; do not fly your aircraft in a way that could endanger people or property
- It is illegal to fly your unmanned aircraft over an congested area such as streets, towns and cities
Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown:
- Within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures
- Over congested areas or large gatherings such as concerts and sports events
Stokes Bay is close to the restricted areas of Fleetlands and Daedalus airfield, so check the current no-fly zones here:
No Fly Drones
Safe Cycling and the Cycle Paths
A shared cycle path runs alongside the Stokes Bay Road from the east end of the Bay to the west end. Cyclists are advised to use this cycle path in preference to cycling on the Stokes Bay Road, which can be very busy in Summer months. Cycling is not permitted along the promenade itself. From Stokes Bay you can cycle west to Lee on the Solent – a traditional seaside town offering clean safe bathing, grassy cliff tops, a long promenade and a shopping centre with shops, cafés and restaurants.
There are three sets of cycle racks along the promenade with three cycle hoops at each point for securing your cycle while you visit. The first is at the extreme west end of the promenade close to the slip road to the No.2 Battery car park. The second is next to the children’s play park and the third is between the shelter and the beach huts at the east end of the promenade. The Friends of Stokes Bay hope to persuade Gosport Council to provided more.
Cycling in Gosport
Seats and Shelters
There are two large shelters along the promenade at the east end of the Bay where you can sit and enjoy the views out of the wind. These are actively maintained by The Friends of Stokes Bay in conjunction with Gosport Borough Council.
In addition there are many benches along the promenade mostly donated by Gosport residents in commemoration of family members.
There are two rows of concrete beach huts on the east section of promenade at Stokes Bay, close to the GAFIRS headquarters. These are owned and administered by Gosport Borough Council.
To be eligible to rent a hut you must be resident in Gosport or Lee-on-The-Solent (proof to be provided). Huts are rented on a three year term and re-entry on the waiting lists, for both Stokes bay and Lee on the Solent, can be requested after this period. Rents are charged annually on the anniversary of the date of occupation. Charges are £830 per annum, £630 per annum for senior citizens and £530 per annum for disabled persons (proof to be provided and the disabled person must be named on the tenancy).
Disabled residents are able to hire a hut at Stokes Bay from late spring bank holiday in May to August bank holiday at a cost of £18.00 per week. A refundable security key deposit of £5 is required.
At present the waiting list for a beach hut at Stokes Bay is around ten years.
For details and an application form visit the Gosport Borough Council website: Beach Huts
You will find the start of the Golden Mile run on the promenade at Stokes Bay just past the GAFIRS slipway.
The end of the Golden Mile run can be found at the western end of the Bay just before the promenade ends at No.2 Battery.
This event takes place once a year in June.
In 2016 this will be on 19th June.
Time: 9.30 am Junior Golden Mile:
10.00 am for 1 Mile Race:
10.45 am for 5K Race:
Wheelchair events from 9.00 am:
Of course you can run the Golden Mile on your own, or with friends, at any time just for the fun of it.
The race is managed by Nice Work on behalf of Absolute Running.
Gosport Golden Mile Website
Nice Work website
The exercise bars on the green by the raised path from Anglesey Road is proving to be a popular and well used piece of gym equipment in supporting the health and well-being of our many running and exercising enthusiasts. At the G.B.C. Community Board meeting on September 11th 2019, plans to install a further four pieces of gym equipment along the promenade were passed.
In July 2020 four new pieces of equipment were installed, either side of the sailing club area.
Details of this initiative can be downloaded here:
Provision of Gym Equipment at Stokes Bay
Stokes Bay Dog Free beach areas.
Dogs are not allowed in signed controlled areas between 1st May – 30th September. The Dog Free beach area extends from Pebble Beach to GAFIRS.
There are ample dog bins along the promenade for responsible owners to deposit their dog waste.
Dog walkers and their dogs enjoy the open areas at the east end of the Bay towards Gilkicker.
A Public Spaces Protection Dog Control Order came into force for three years from 1 May 2020. It can be viewed here.
Here at Stokes Bay we pride ourselves in the way that we keep our environment clean from rubbish and waste. Nobody wants to walk along the promenade and see discarded litter, which can be blown around by the frequent winds and anything left on the beach may enter the sea. We urge visitors to make use of the many litter bins and to take their rubbish home with them for recycling where possible. There are also a large variety of recycling bins located in the car park north of the Splash Park. The Friends of Stokes Bay organise Litter Picks throughout the year, details here:
FOSB Next Litter Pick
In 2020 a popular visitor was seen at Stokes Bay for a short stay to encourage recycling of plastic bottles:
Nellie the Final Fat Fish.
‘Final Straw Solent’, whose purpose is to Encourage communities, businesses and individuals to stop using single-use plastic products to protect our oceans, countryside and wildlife, have kindly agreed to let the ‘Gosport and Fareham Wombles’ borrow ‘Nellie’.
Gilkicker has special interest for bird watchers, being a feeding station for many migrating birds in spring and autumn.
The following species of birds have been recorded by birdwatchers at Gilkicker Point:
- Common Gull
- Black Tailed Godwit
- Reed Bunting
- Tree Pipit
Kestrels are frequent visitors, hovering over the grassland while hunting. The gorse and bramble provide valuable cover for nesting sites for birds among them stonechats, skylarks and pipits.
The following have been seen here:
At the extreme western end of Stokes Bay is an area of coastline that has for many years been used by the Military for training purposes. It started life as a camping ground but was also used as a rifle and small arms firing range. Its large shingle mounds (butts) can be seen at the ends of each of the firing ranges and among the shingle you may also find remains of the old targets and the railway that served them.
Browndown Ranges, is an unusual shingle habitat, like nowhere else in southern Britain except perhaps Dungeness.A series of low parallel shingle ridges, created by storms, carries a patchy cover of silty peat with Ling and Gorse and occasional stunted Oaks. Pebbles and bare peat carry a rich assortment of ground-living Cladonia lichens. There is an unusual flora too, with Burnet Rose, Slender-flowered Thistle and a plentiful population of Nottingham Catchfly with its delicate drooping white flowers. The red threads of Lesser Dodder can also be found, parasitic on the Ling and producing tiny pink flowers in summer. The Browndown coastal area is designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England. Details of the site Here:You may walk from Stokes Bay to Lee on the Solent, following the The Solent Way Coastal Path, at times when the Red Flags are not flying at the entrances, indicating that the Military are not present and the training ground is not in use. Do not enter when the Red flags are flying. Times that the ranges are in use are usually pinned at the entrance gate from Stokes Bay.Closure days for Browndown Military Training Area (South) are often posted on the Alver Valley Facebook Page:
Alver Valley Facebook