Much of local life is understandably centred around the prize-winning beach with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Sometimes it is even possible to see Queen Victoria’s beloved Osborne House from the beach. Whilst the beach is used all year round by dog walkers, swimmers and runners, there’s also plenty of watersports opportunities such as sailing, paddleboarding, kite and windsurfing.
With it’s location in the centre of England’s South Coast, Lee-on-the-Solent benefits from a milder climate than the rest of the UK. The town also plays host to the Hovercraft Museum which houses the world’s largest collection of rare hovercrafts. The compact shopping area located on the High Street is well equipped with a choice of everyday shops including two butchers, two pharmacies and a greengrocer in addition to the mini supermarkets, rather than touristy beach goods. There’s also a specialist craft shop, pet shop, book shop, plus several cafes and boutique shops to browse through.
The Solent is famed throughout the world for it’s sailing and Lee-on-the-Solent boasts its own Sailing Club founded in 1908. Hamble, Gosport and Port Solent offer their own sailing opportunities whilst Ocean Village Marina in Southampton is only a short drive away.
Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve is located just two miles away and encompasses 369 acres of the Meon Valley, where a variety of natural habitats are carefully managed to protect the wildlife.
Lee-on-the-Solent benefits from several pubs such as The Old Ship, The Bun Penny, and The Wyvern. In addition to the selection of cafes scattered around, there are several good local restaurants too offering a choice of Italian, Indian, seafood, vegetarian and of course, that traditionally British seaside fare of fish and chips.
The city of Portsmouth offers an array of retail, culinary and entertainment opportuntities. There are shopping centres at Commercial Road and Cascades Shopping Centre as well as the popular designer outlet at Gunwharf Quays with the Emirates Spinnaker Tower offering spectacular views across the city.
Education is well served in the area with Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ infant and ‘good’ junior schools in Lee-on-the-Solent and Stubbington. ‘Good’ senior schools are also located close-by with Crofton Secondary School (11-16 yrs) in Stubbington and Bay House School and Sixth Form (11-18 yrs) situated adjacent to Stokes Bay. Independent schools are available locally including Meoncross School (2.5 – 16yrs mixed), West Hill Park School (3-13yrs mixed) and Boundary Oak day and boarding (2-16yrs mixed). Fareham College and St Vincent Sixth Form College in Gosport both offer further education courses for those 16+. Indeed, all Automotive, Engineering and Manufacturing courses run by Fareham College are conducted at a new state-of-the-art facility
CEMAST campus rated ‘outstanding’ on the Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent.
AT HOME WITH HISTORY
Daedalus Village is built on part of the old HMS Daedalus, a Royal Naval Air Station since July 1917 when it opened as a seaplane training school. The airfield played an important part in World War II, training pilots, defending Southampton and Portsmouth and operating planes in the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Britain, D-Day and other air operations. Following the end of the war, HMS Daedalus continued to play an important military role, but by the 1980’s the Station had lost its operation status as commitments were relocated elsewhere until it eventually closed as a naval establishment in 1996, where after it fell into disrepair.
Naval gunfire spotters at HMS Daedalus being briefed on targets for missions over Normandy in 1944