Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, Hampshire

Keyhaven is a hamlet on the south coast of England in the county of Hampshire. It is a fishing village, but the trade has been in decline for a period of years and its main draw now is tourism, especially sailing. The name "Keyhaven" means ‘Harbour where cows are shipped’; OE cū (genitive cȳ) + hæfen. Cattle and sheep were transported from the Isle of Wight to the water meadows of the Avon around Christchurch. The village has been considerably influenced by the eastwards movement of Hurst spit. Keyhaven lies in the district of the New Forest and is just within the borders of the New Forest National Park. It draws visitors through its outstanding natural beauty, from the views over the Solent to the abundance of open farm land. To the east of Keyhaven lie Keyhaven marshes. Like the rest of the West Solent area, a considerable salt industry developed soon after the Conquest. This had disappeared by 1400 but was revived in the 17th century with the introduction of new techniques.