|* Beach Life
||Relax on the safe and award winning beaches. (Highcliffe Castle beach allows dogs
all year around - almost unique in this area.) Here are a few pictures.
|* Walking or cycling
||In addition to our own beaches and paths,
the New Forest is on our doorstep,
perfect for cycling, walking, or simply
Cycle hire is available from many places
in the Forest, including from Adventure Cycles,
97 Station Road, New Milton 01425-615960
To find out more about the New Forest, check
out the many websites on the links page.
||Our area of the South Coast has a huge range
of things and places to see and visit, and
is in easy reach of many more. The list is
endless, but here is a taster:
|Hengistbury Head - inhabited by man for at least 12,000 years
|Christchurch - historical town, going back to Saxon times
|Highcliffe Castle - grade 1 listed building, and always something
going on there
|Hurst Castle - one of Henry VIII's coastal forts. Either take a boat, or walk along
|Museum of Electricity - MUCH more interesting than it sounds
|Aviation Museum - at Hurn Airport (or Bournemouth International,
as they like to call it)
|Beaulieu - world famous motor museum, Palace House,
|Motorcycle Museum - Sammy Miller's excellent museum
|Red House Museum - in Christchurch, with lovely gardens as well
|Christchurch Priory - ancient, and rightly famous worldwide
|Exbury Gardens - got to be visited if you are interested
|Buckler's Hard - see how shipwrights and their families
lived in Nelson's times
|Dorset Belles - go cruising the River Stour from Christchurch
|There is a lot more besides - come and explore
||The views across Christchurch bay in any
direction are spectacular (see the PICTURES page for a taste)
|To the South are the Needles at the Western end of The Isle of Wight
|To the East is the dramatic Hurst Spit, with Hurst Castle perched on it's tip
|To the West is Hengistbury Head, with the Purbeck Hills looming in the distance.
|Just inland is the New Forest, with all it's wonderful deep forests and
|There are 16 nature reserves, wildlife sites,
and SSSIs in the area, including several
right in and around the village.
Steamer Point Nature Reserve, 32 acres of
woodland, concentrates on conservation and
habitat restoration. It has an Information
centre, clifftop views, and picnic areas.
Nearby Stanpit Marsh (yet another local
SSSI) is 150 acres of wetland adjacent to
the Harbour. Bird watchers in particular
will see a range of bird life rarely equalled.
Mude Valley Nature Reserve is a woodland
corridor along the River Mude, and forms
a barrier between the industrial and residential
areas of the Airfield Estate.
Check out all the details at the Council's
|Mudeford Quay is worth a visit, with views across Christchurch
Harbour, the Bay, and Mudeford Sandbank
|And of course, our own unspoiled cliffs and beaches are a joy in themselves
|To really appreciate the area, you need to
come and see for yourselves
||There are all kinds of fishing available
|Rivers Avon and Stour. Permits, and lots
of local information and expertise, from
Davis Tackle Bargates, Christchurch, 01202
485169. Or go to their website, or email them.
Davis Tackle also run a site about the Royalty Fishery, which gives diabled access to the Avon.
Christchurch Angling Club also have loads of local knowledge and information.
|Right in the village, we have the lake at
Nea Meadows, and Mudeford Wood Lake is very close by. Permits available from
Christchurch Angling Club, 01425 279710.
Their website gives plenty of information about fishing
in this area - excellent site.
|There are also many other freshwater sites
in the area. For example:
Winkton Fishery - 01202 485169
Avon Tyrell Lakes - 01425 672347
Orchard Lakes - 01425 612404
There are lots of others in the New Forest area
|There is the unique Run at Mudeford, a narrow
tidal channel running in and out Christchurch
Harbour, where large numbers of both sea
and fresh water feed together, giving the
opportunity to fish for such species as bass,
sea trout, mullet, and flounder, at the same
time as roach, dace, and bream. Again, contact Davis Tackle for more details and advice.
|Sea fishing is of course a major attraction
for fishermen. You can fish from the beach,
and there are several companies and individuals offering fishing trips by boat in the area, including:
- Mudeford Quay. (From the Fish Stall)
- Bill Foster (out of Christchurch) 01202-473458
- Tim Doswell (out of Keyhaven on The Ocean Lass) 01425 620057 or 07944 660889.
See his website for all the details www.keyhavencharters.co.uk
- Ray Pitt (out of Keyhaven) 01425-612896.
See their website for all the details www.raypittseafishing.co.uk
- Puffin Cruises (Lymington Quay 01590-644004)
- M Cottingham (out of Lymington) 01425-619358
|* Fossil hunting
||The soft cliffs to the East of the village
are famous for their fossils from the Eocene
period (40 million years ago). The area is
a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest)
which means that they are protected by law,
and you cannot actually dig for them. Don't
be deterred though, they are easy to find
laying on the surface, as they get eroded
from the soft cliffs by rain and sea. There
are many web sites with information on this
subject, for example, Dr Ian West's superb pages.
This is the UK Fossils Info (Hampshire) website.
There is also a wealth of information on
the site owned by a regular visitors from
Germany, the Dykes Family.
||Our location ensures that sailing is a very
popular pastime and sport in the area. Lymington, Christchurch, Keyhaven, are popular
centres, but just about every village have
clubs, and Highcliffe is no exception. Contact
Highcliffe Sailing Club for more information,
on 01202- 484230, or see their website.
You can also charter Christchurch Yatching's
32 foot, 6 berth yatch. A full range of services
available. From novice to expert; from captained
to bareboat; from a few hours (perhaps an
evening) to a whole weekend; for corporate
or private charter - see their website.
Avonmouth Watersports (formerly Christchurch sailing Centre) offer
tuition and hire.
||Bournemouth Boating Services, based at Tuckton,
have a range of options for both adults and
children. My favourites are the vintage United
Ferry, which you can ride out to Mudeford
Sandbank, and the self-drive motor boats,
which allow you to boat up the River Stour,
or around the Harbour. Their tearooms are
a well known watering hole as well.
To see all their services, see their website.
|* Other watersports
||With our beautiful safe beaches, great climate,and
seas warmed by the effects of the Gulf Stream,
messing about on and in the water is extremely
popular, and visitors are well catered for.
There are areas designated for sail boarders,
for skiers, and for jet skiers. CrazyWater
in the village is a good friendly place for
more local infomation. See the PLAN for their location. You can also email them.
|You can learn to boardsail locally, including with South Coast Windsurfing, who not only will teach you, but will arrange accomodation if required. Why not spend a couple of days with them. Learn to sail with expert tuition, and have some social fun as well.
|How about an exhilarating high speed trip around the Bay?
Rib Charter Solent have everything from exciting RIB trips, and luxury motor boats, to sailboards. See their website www.ribchartersolent.co.uk
|The local boardsailing club is the Christchurch Windsurfing Club, based
at Steamer Point. This club is well known in UK windsurfing circles, and
host many UK championship events. See their website www.christchurchwindsurfingclub.co.uk
|There a couple of rowing clubs, including
one based in Highcliffe. No website, but
you can phone 01425 278639. Christchurch
Rowing Club has a website.
|Diving is also popular in the area, but unfortunately
our local dive school has moved out of the
area. The SubAqua UK website lists all clubs in Dorset and Hampshire.
||Our local cliffs, especially at nearby Barton-On-Sea,
and Southbourne, are very popular with paragliders,
and with the people who gather to watch them.
However, I understand there are local regulations,
and flyers should contact Bournemouth ATC
(01202-364150) before flying these sites.
A lot more information, and local photos,
can be seen at the area's club website.
Another useful contact is Flying Frenzy paragliding.
See their webpage, or email them.
||There are several golf courses in the area,
including Highcliffe Castle Golf Club
|* Ski slopes
||It's true! The Christchurch Ski Centre is Britain's Number 1. They also have an
Alpine Adventure Park, and much more besides.
||We are surrounded by ferries, both large
and small, and even the locals use them -
often just for the pleasure of it.
See the Useful links page for details of the big companies, like
the cross channel ferries from Poole and
Portsmouth, and to the Isle of Wight.
But we also have the following small local
Christchurch Quay to Mudeford and Mudeford
Mudeford Quay to Mudeford Sandbank (see more
The Wick Ferry - reputedly one of the oldest
in the country, across the River Stour between
Christchurch and Wick.
- Mudeford Quay to Mudeford Sandbank - Derham
Marine, 07968 334441. See their website for information about their services, including
many cruises - well worth a look. They also
organise special trips, including 'scattering of ashes'.
- Christchurch Quay, Tuckton Bridge, Wick ferry, Mudeford
Sandbank - Bournemouth Boating Services, 01202 429119. Wick ferry is one
of the oldest running ferriy services in Britain.
- Puffin Cruises, operating from Lymington Quay. Regular cruises, both sea and river, plus special events.
- Keyhaven, Hurst Castle, Yarmouth, cruises
- Hurst Castle Ferries, website, 01590 642500
||See the SHOPPING page for the wide range of outlets in Highcliffe
village, and elsewhere in the area. See the
PLAN of Highcliffe High Street
|* Eating and drinking
||The area spoils you for choice. See the Eating Out page, and the Pubs and Bars page. As you would expect, most of the pubs
also provide food, and many have their own
restaurants. In particular, look out for
|* Going out
||See the What's On page for activities in the village.
The Borough Council tourist website, and the Daily Echo Going Out site, are both good places to see what's
going on in a wider area, and if you're interested
in live music of any kind, the Livewire site is a must see.