Pictures of Highcliffe
in the county of Dorset
Highcliffe is dominated by the fine castle built there in the early part of the 19th century. It was built by Lord Stuart de Rothsay on the site of a former mansion which was the home of the 3rd Earl of Bute. The mansion, called High Cliff was set in spectacular grounds laid out by Capability Brown. Little remains of this now, save for two entrance lodges used as a restaurant. Highcliffe castle, after quite a chequered history, was purchased by Christchurch Borough Council in 1977. Together, with English Heritage in partnership, the castle is being restored, and is fast becoming one of Dorset's most popular attractions.
That being said, Highcliffe itself is an extremely attractive resort town which unsurprisingly has been the recipient of the Village in Bloom award on a number of occasions. The village is surrounded by sweeping beaches backed by gorse-clad low cliffs from which the visitor can enjoy superb vista's of rolling frothy waves tumbling into Christchurch Bay.
Looking around the village you can see a pleasant mix of attractive properties, these include The Old Schoolhouse - the oldest building here, the Globe a pub which possibly originated in the 18th century, several pretty cottages and some older handsome houses. The village has shops and a market. The church in Hinton Wood Avenue was built in 1843 by the generosity of the de Rothsay family, it is dedicated to St.Mark, and makes an interesting visit.
This whole region offers a wealth of interest for everyone, there are pleasant walks along magnificent cliffs, numerous nature reserves, all showing rich wildlife habitation, flora and fauna. Activities include; sailing, boating, walking and fishing.
There are many seafaring traditions kept alive here, these include the annual blessing of the waters, an old custom continued to this day intended to keep the fishermen safe from any harm which may befall them in seas more turbulent than the quiet waters of the bay.
From here there is easy access to the historic paths and villages of the New Forest, and from Lymington, a short drive away the Puffin line offers morning, afternoon and full day sea trips.
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