If you’re searching for a waterside escape, Emsworth offers the perfect solution. Nestled between the South Downs and the sea, Emsworth offers the text-book example of bustling town life filled with locals who wouldn’t dream of living elsewhere and serene, meandering streets offering unrivalled harbour views. It’s simply no wonder why Emsworth remains ones of the most scenic towns to visit when in Hampshire.
This little town is less than a 10-minute drive from Langstone Quays Resort, and can also be reached from the hotel by taking a leisurely stroll via the pebbled paths that line Langstone Harbour.
Find out below some of the most-loved activities and sights to see, suggested by Emsworth residents themselves…
One For The Walkers
Watch locals and tourists flock to the Mill Pond to while away the hours and take in the fresh air and undeniably beautiful views. With photo-worthy views in all directions, the Mill Pond and its surrounding areas will awaken the inner photographer in you. Follow the Mill Pond and onto the beach, and if you walk far enough you’ll find yourself at Langstone Harbour (and a drink waiting for you in one or perhaps both of the two pubs that occupy it!).
For nature lovers and birdwatchers, a walk through Brook Meadow should be top of the list. Designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and also a Local Nature Reserve, Brook Meadow consists of 5 acres of grassland, surrounded by woodlands and two streams, and is home to a diverse population of wild birds, insects and wildflowers. You can find out more about Brook Meadow here.
And that's not all!
You can also follow the Oyster Trail which consists of a series of short walks exploring Emsworth’s maritime history and oyster industry. These series of short walks include the town walk, foreshore walk, and boatyard walk which highlights the tidal millponds and the oyster beds and old boatyards. There is also the smuggler’s walk to the west and wildlife walk to the east for those wanting to walk a little further.
Depending on the time of year of your visit you can enjoy The Emsworth Arts Trail. This trail offers the chance to meet designers, painters and makers in their own homes and studios. Churches, community halls, pubs and shops also act as exhibition spaces and a Trail Guide is produced which has a clear map and information about each of the artists taking part and transport links, leading visitors on a fascinating tour of a variety of arts throughout Emsworth.
Tired of Terra Firma?
It’s time to set sail. From May through to September you can book trips on Terror, the last remaining oyster boat from Emsworth's once-thriving fleet that has been restored and is now 125+ years old! Terror will give you the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the harbour and see up close the variety of wildlife from the water. The Terror takes up to six passengers on a fascinating, approximately two and a half hour trip where you will not only get a chance to help out but also learn about the history of this very special boat. And what’s more, every penny of your booking fee goes towards preserving Terror for the benefit of future generations.
If a sailing activity isn't available, or perhaps you wish to admire it from firm ground, Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Emsworth Sailing Club and Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club offer the perfect location to do this. All those who visit Emsworth can be sure of a warm welcome and this extends to the sailing clubs themselves.
Go Souvenir Searching
Emsworth offers a large number of small independent, many of which are pleasantly quirky! These include Bookends, a second-hand bookshop; Harbour Records, buying and selling vinyl, and a choice of antique, retro and vintage shops to delve into, such as Chalcrafts, Déjà vu and Emsworth Antiques.
A farmers’ market runs on the third Saturday of each month in St Peter’s Square and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the great taste of seasonal produce from within Hampshire. If your visit coincides with this market, this is a fantastic place to pick up some true 'Emsworthian' souvenirs.
The problem with history is that it's in the past...
So why not take a trip back in time to learn how Emsworth became steeped in boat-building, rope-making and oyster industry heritage, much of which is still visibly embedded into Emsworth life today. Emsworth Museum is a friendly little museum tucked away on North Street. It has been there for over 30 years now and has an impressive achievement for being one of the smallest museums in the country to be fully accredited by the Arts Council!
The museum includes a number of permanent exhibitions revealing the village’s rich history, and even a corner set up as a study in homage to PG Wodehouse who lived in Emsworth for a decade - who's work adds comic literature to Emsworth’s captivating culture.
Time for a rest and refreshment
To start your day, you can visit Heidi's, which is right in the town centre perfect for breakfasts and pastries. Across the square is the Greenhouse Cafe, which has been a cinema and a builder's yard in the past, and now offers a delightful sheltered sunny courtyard. And of course, there is Cafe Moka, away from the centre and a bit of community hub with families, and a fantastic base to start off your explorations through Brook Meadow. If you’re in the mood for a pick-me-up, Lullylash is next door and offers a wide range of beauty treatments to indulge in!
For lunch, you can find The Deck Café located in Emsworth Yacht Harbour, and for more waterside views, try Flintstones Tearooms which is situated in a flint barn with outside tables overlooking the quay. Just along from St Peter’s Square, Driftwood is popular, which is a café decorated in coastal hues and down West Street there’s Emsworth Deli which also has a little seating area where you can order tasty sandwiches and good coffee. But after all, a trip to Emsworth is not complete without a visit to the famous Mother Kellys fish and chip shop!
When the sun goes down
When dinner time comes around, there’s plentiful options to choose from. Is it Italian you’re after? Then Nicolino’s is the place to head to! Indian cuisine? There are 3 restaurants! If you want to dine closer to the water then head to Fat Olives (a 17th-century fisherman's cottage and offers freshly cooked with modern English and Mediterranean influences) or 36 On The Quay, which has held a Michelin star for over 15 years and is in the top 10% of all major food guides in the UK.
Emsworth offers a remarkable variety of pubs for a relatively small town! Only a few years ago, you could have explored the 14 pubs this town boasted. Nowadays, there are still 8 pubs to enjoy, many of which are dog-friendly and feature stunning backdrops. Why not try the back garden of The Lord Raglan and the seating outside the front of The Blue Bell? Come at the right time of the year and take full advantage of the mini-festivals a selection of the pubs put on for the locals – look for the CoalieFest provided by The Coal Exchange and KingsFest provided by The Kings Arms!
And that’s not all! Emsworth has so much to offer and many activities you can take part in. Langstone Quays Resort offers the perfect base to explore towns such as Emsworth – we hope to welcome you soon!