The Solent Way from The Hamble through to Lee-on-Solent and Gosport presents some great views, and photography view points, for the Solent and the entrances to Southampton Water and Portsmouth Harbour.
This area is also great for walking with a wide range of walks suitable for the quick stroll or serious hike!
Solent Way Warsash
An excellent view of Fawley and passing vessels at Southampton Water. (See photo below of the beach path towards the entrance to The Hamble).
Like most of the views here it is south facing so light can be an issue.
Various options for parking and walking depending how energetic you are feeling.
The map shows a footpath leading from Cowes Lane - there is a circular route back to the car if you walk to the end of the beach path.
Ship Finder on my iPhone really helps here as I can see marine traffic departing Southampton Docks and also travelling towards Southampton and Fawley.
Depending on the situation when I leave my house I often choose whether to Park in Cowes Lane or for a longer walk (and shorter drive) at Chilling Lane.
Follow perimeter path of Solent Breezes to get to the waterfront.
Good views of vessels at the entrance to Southampton Water.
Parking is easiest off Chilling Lane and walking through which takes about 15 minutes.
If time permits I will take the walk along the Solent Way towards Warsash to get closer shots of the tankers at Fawley.
Meon Shore - Parking and Photo Point
Not the best view point but okay on a clear day with a good lens.
It's right next to the nature reserve and many cameras are pointing north whilst mine aims south!
Nice base to take a walk towards Southampton Water. Solent Breezes blocks a clear coastal walk but there is a footpath around it.
I often just pull up here to grab a quick photo of a ship not yet present in the Ship Finder database.
Lee-on-Solent - Parking and Photo Point
Paid car parks or free on the main road - Not the best place but okay with a reasonable lens for vessels in the Solent. Sometimes vessels use the anchorage near here too. Another good spot for a drive-by if short of time!
Stokes Bay - Parking and Photo Point
Paid car parks and a good photo point or base for a walk.
Good for anchored vessels - USS and British Navy sometime anchor up near here including the visiting US aircraft carriers too big to enter Portsmouth Harbour! Also a very good spot for a drive-by if short of time!
From the paid car parks you can walk around Kilckicker point as far as the MOD fencing.
There are often interesting shots along all of this area.
Haslar Sea Wall
Not as good as the Gosport Millennium Pier or the Portsmouth and Southsea view points but you can still get some good shots of ships entering and leaving Portsmouth Harbour.
Also long shots to passing vessels on the Solent. Can't walk the full length due to the immigration centre and the naval facilities with fencing down to the water.
Gosport Millennium Pier
Great pace for photography of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. Second only to the Round Tower in Portsmouth.
Also a popular place for fishing.
The Gosport Ferry can be a great place to get some decent ship photographs - especially of the navy ships alongside Portsmouth Harbour.
Cost £2.70 for a return. Ferries are typically every 15 minutes or 7.5 minutes during the weekday commute.