Lifeboat, beach & fort walk

The Gilkicker Walk in Alverstoke, Hampshire starts at Lifeboat Lane, home to the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service or GAFIRS. In the summer months when you visit the lifeboat sits outside, ready for action, and our boys used to love to see it.

It’s an easy stroll along a path adjacent to the beach with large expanses of green which are perfect for dogs and picnics. There’s good beach fishing here too.

On one side you have the beach with panoramic views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and Fawley. On the other is a green which looks across to the historic Alverstoke Church and Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower in the distance.

It’s a walk which is special at any time of year, never muddy although often windy.


The 1.5-mile walk takes you to the fort, around its perimeter to the beach where the views are at their best, directly opposite Ryde and across to Southsea. Walk along the beach and then back on the path for the loop back to the car park (pay and display). An easy stroll, perfect with children.

It takes you past Fort Gilkicker, built in the 1860s to protect the coast from the threat of French invasion. It’s now derelict although destined at some point to be converted into the most amazing heritage beachfront apartments.

gilkicker long

Rather than turning back on yourself at the fort, you can walk further alongside the golf course for a comfortable 2.25mile walk.


The Solent is one of the busiest waterways in the UK – there’s always something to see. Yachts, cruise liners, fishing boats, ferries or rescue training.

This awesome shot of training by HM Coastguard, helicopter from Lee-on-Solent was from @johnqdiver

The walk is especially great for dogs off-lead as there are no roads to worry about and plenty of space. There’s also plenty of other dog-walkers so lots to make friends with.

Beware though – there’s some boggy marshland as you approach the fort that my dogs love but the car doesn’t!