View one of the best surviving examples of Romantic and Picturesque architecture at this castle. Marvel at the medieval French masonry used in its construction.
Highcliffe Castle is a majestic mansion and a fine example of 19th-century Romantic design. Peruse the stately rooms to learn about its intriguing history and see photos from its past.
An English nobleman with a soft spot for the Christchurch Bay cliff views, had this castle built here in the 1830s. A large portion of medieval French masonry was shipped over for its construction, which helps give the castle its old-style appearance. It was a family home until the 1950s and is now a museum for the public.
On arrival, admire the picturesque grounds, which include paths that meander through well-trimmed lawns and a pretty rose garden. Take photos of the imposing mansion, with its square windows and castle-like appearance. A forest looms in the background, seemingly cutting off the house from the outside world.
Venture inside the Heritage Centre and begin your explorations in the spacious Great Hall, where displays detail the history of the castle.
After learning about the castle’s past, check out the other sumptuous rooms. Each room features an old black-and-white photo from 1942, which allows you to compare and contrast the present-day room with the old image. Be sure to stop by the library, where temporary art exhibitions are held year-round.
There are volunteer stewards in the house that are happy to answer questions and tell stories about the mansion. Guided tours are also available for a fee.If you’re touring independently, consider purchasing a Castle Guidebook for further information. The guidebook is available in the reception area and the gift shop, where you can also find souvenirs, jewelry, books and garden products. Take a break and enjoy refreshments in the tearooms beside the garden.
Find out if there are any fun events happening during your visit. The castle often hosts workshops, fairs and concerts. Car rallies and theater productions have been held in the grounds.
The grounds are free to enter, but there is a fee to enter the castle. Check opening hours prior to your visit as some castle rooms may be closed. Highcliffe Castle is located between Bournemouth and Hurst Castle on the south coast of the British Isles. Buses stop on nearby Lymington Road.