The Beach Guide

Highcliffe Beach

Highcliffe Beach - Dorset

© Stephen Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Highcliffe Beach is the most easterly beach in Dorset, sitting right on the border with Hampshire.

A series of breakwaters help to create a sand and shingle beach that is popular with swimmers and surfers, particularly body boarders. Not in keeping with its name, Highcliffe is backed by grassy dunes, bushes, trees and low-rise cliffs. The dunes and shrublands behind the beach are criss-crossed with a number of paths and at the western end there is the Steamer Point Nature Reserve.

From July to September there is a lifeguard service on the beach and the beach is cleaned daily during the high season and at regular intervals during the winter.

Car-parking for just over 600 cars is available at the top of Highcliffe cliff, a pay car park, including disabled parking as well as a café (The Cliffhanger Café) and toilet and baby changing facilities. From here there is a rather steep path descending down onto the beach that makes disabled access difficult. However, there is a surfaced wheelchair route from Waterford Road to Chewton Glen

Pubs, restaurants, and shops can be found a few hundred meters away in the centre of the town of Highcliffe.

The Dorset coastal path runs alongside the coast from nearby Chewton Bunny along to Mudeford Quay, providing a few miles of undisturbed paths for walkers to enjoy.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs banned between groynes H8 & H11 from 1st May to 30th Sept. Dogs are permitted on the gravel promenade if on a lead all year.

Dorset dog friendly beaches »


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Facilities

    • Disabled facilities

    Nearest town



    BH23 5DG

    OS grid ref.

    SZ 2052 9297

    Water quality

    Water quality star rating


    Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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