Highcliffe on Sea (usually simply called Highcliffe) is a small, leafy coastal town on the Hampshire/Dorset border. West of Barton on Sea and east of Mudeford, Highcliffe is perfectly positioned for those in search of a relaxed yet smart beach lifestyle.
Features include secluded Highcliffe Beach which has panoramic views over Christchurch Bay to the Isle of Wight and Hengistbury Head. It’s a favourite with locals for walking, paddleboarding and surfing and can be reached via a pathway zig-zagging down through the gardens of Highcliffe Castle, once home to Mr Selfridge and now the venue for varied concerts, exhibitions and fairs.
Further outstanding amenities include Highcliffe Castle Golf Club and Steamer Point Nature Reserve. In addition Highcliffe has foodie appeal thanks to the annual Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival, and a good selection of independents and eateries, such as family-owned butcher’s, beachfront cafes, Raymond Blanc’s brasserie-style gastropub The Oaks and, just up the road on the edge of the New Forest, luxurious Chewton Glen Country House Hotel.
Families are also drawn by the schooling. Local primaries and secondaries are judged to be at least ‘good’ according to Ofsted – including Highcliffe St Mark’s Primary and Highcliffe Secondary School and Sixth Form. Meanwhile local independents include Durlston Court and Ballard, both rated ‘excellent’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
The New Forest lies three miles to the north, the nearest sizable town is Christchurch (also three miles), and there is good accessibility via the road network to Lymington (nine miles), Bournemouth (10 miles), and Southampton (21 miles). A mainline railway station at nearby Hinton Admiral provides services to London Waterloo in approximately two hours.
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