Dorset in focus

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Highcliffe beach, Dorset

Highcliffe is situated east of Christchurch and Hengistbury Head in the southeastern corner of Dorset and close to the border with Hampshire.

More correctly called Highcliffe-on-Sea, this is a very attractive area of coast where rock breakwaters or groynes have created a series of cove-like sand and shingle beaches. Their purpose to reduce erosion of the beach by longshore drift.

Southeast-facing and located just east of Friar's Cliff beach, Highcliffe is well known for body boarding and swimming. It is in fact the most easterly beach in Dorset. The adjacent beach to the east, Naish Beach, is in Hampshire.

The beach consists of a mixture of sand and stones and has a good range of facilities on the cliff above the beach. There is Lifeguard cover between July and September, a large car park and toilets.

There is parking for 600+ including disabled spaces, with parking fees applicable from 1st Mar to 31st Oct. For refreshments or something more substantial, The Cliffhanger Café lies above the eastern end of the beach, and offers breakfast, daytime, and evening meals.

The 2.4 mile Christchurch Coastal Path extends from Highcliffe cliff top to Highcliffe Castle, a magnificent Grade 1 listed mansion set in attractive cliff-top grounds, and then through Steamer Point Nature Reserve to Mudeford Quay.



 Sandy beach

 Cafe, shop or pub

 Lifeguard in summer


 Total dog ban


OS Explorer Map OL22: New Forest

OS Explorer Map OL22: New Forest

This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Other facilities covered include: camping and caravan sites, picnic areas and viewpoints, selected places of interest, rights of way information for England and Wales, National Trail and Recreational Path routes, and selected tourist information. The series is aimed mainly at the experienced map user but can be used by tourists and locals alike.

Local area

Local Accommodation


Cottage Holidays

There is a great choice of cottages for rent in the local area. Take a look at the beautiful cottages in Christchurch, Bournemouth, Ferndown and Sandbanks.

Holiday Parks

Holiday Parks

Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:







Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:






Caravan Holidays

In the vicinity is a choice of camping and caravan sites offering high quality, affordable holiday accommodation. Consider camps in Christchurch, Wimborne, Swanage and Poole.

Nearby Attractions




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