Living in Emsworth

Considering a move to Emsworth? In addition to a summary of the local services on offer, our Living in Emsworth guide will give you a true flavour for what life is like in the area – its history, its culture and all the types of recreational and leisure activities on offer.

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What Is Life Like In Emsworth?

Emsworth is a pretty Hampshire town, which lies close to the picturesque Chichester Harbour, making it a favourite destination for sailors, artists, walkers and families to explore. Emsworth has a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and boasts stunning streets of architecture from throughout the ages, high walled gardens and breathtaking views across the harbour.

Located just eight miles away from Portsmouth, Emsworth offers a small town lifestyle, within close distance to all the amenities of the famous naval city.

History Of Emsworth

Linked with Warblington, just over a mile away, Emsworth began life as a Saxon village. Over time it grew to be a larger settlement and in 1239, the town was granted rights to hold a market and an annual fair (these were large, desirable markets where people would flock from far-a-field to attend and sell at). The port was also a hub of activity during the Middle Ages, as wine was imported from Europe through Emsworth.

The port continued to be busy throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, with the introduction of mills turning grain into flour. This flour was then distributed to Portsmouth and London. During this time, the area also became well-known for shipbuilding, boat building and rope building. In fact, King Street, which leads from the High Street, down to the sea, was named after a Mr King, who started a shipbuilding business in the 18th century!

In the 20th century, the population grew rapidly and Emsworth became a resort for pleasure boats. However, it’s once famous oyster industry started to decline. It now has a population of over 10,000 – making it a substantial sized town, but still with a historic and laid-back feel.

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Days Out In Emsworth

Don’t let the town’s postcard-pretty image fool you into thinking that there’s not plenty to do! Wander down to the harbour-side, during the summer and board The Terror (the last remaining oyster boat from Emsworth fleet, restored and manned by local volunteers) for a two-hour boat trip on the 125 year old vessel.

Continuing the look-back at Emsworth’s past, take a trip into the Emsworth Museum (in North Street) with its collection of articles, books, pictures and ship models, all from the local area. There are also displays devoted to Emsworth’s sea-faring families and well-known author and resident; P.G.Wodehouse, who even included local names within his work!

Further afield day out ideas include visiting the nearby towns of Portsmouth and Chichester. Both are just a short distance away and have plenty to offer – be it walks, history, culture, food or family-fun!

The community-focused town holds various events throughout the year including the Arts Trail, Artists’ Show and British Food Fortnight, guaranteed to get local residents enjoying days out!

Things To Do In Emsworth

Emsworth retains an independent, local feel with monthly farmers’ markets and traditional services such as a greengrocers, a fishmongers, two butchers, a delicatessen, florists, hairdressers, a newsagents and more specialist shops – which together have the highest shopper approval rating throughout the borough of Havant!

Walks also rate highly for many residents, who want to take in the scenic beauty and fresh sea air on offer. Find local walking trails around the town and at the harbour.

It’s estimated there are up to 60 local voluntary groups running in Emsworth - including Emsworth Residents Association, The Meridian Singers and Emsworth Sea Angling Club – so you’ll never be short of choice to meet other local people and get involved!

Schools In Emsworth

Emsworth has a number of excellent schools and educational facilities within close proximity.

Primary schools include:
  • Emsworth Primary School
  • Southbourne Infant School
  • Southbourne Junior School
  • St James' CofE Primary School
  • Thorney Island Community Primary School
  • Westbourne Primary School
Secondary schools include:
  • Bourne Community College
  • Glenwood School
  • Warblington School

Transport In Emsworth

Emsworth is well connected and has a range of transport links.

Train links

Emsworth has regular services to both Portsmouth and Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations in approximately 25 minutes, Southampton Central in 45 minutes, London Victoria in 1hr 45 minutes and Brighton in around an hour.

Buses and coaches

The town is on the route for Stagecoach’s 700 service running every thirty minutes between Brighton and Portsmouth. More local routes which include nearby towns such as Southbourne and Havant are operated by Emsworth and District buses.


The closest airport to Emsworth is Southampton Airport, just 24 miles away. Shoreham airport can be reached in an hour and Gatwick in 1hr and 20 minutes.


Portsmouth can be reached (via the A259 and A27) in 15 minutes, Chichester in 20 minutes (A27 or A259) Southampton is easily accessible in just under 40 minutes, via the M27, Brighton is only 1hr and 15 minutes’ drive from Emsworth (via the A27) and London is just 1hr 45 minutes from the town (A3).

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Emsworth Branch
Opening times

  • Mon-Fri: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 5pm
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