Salty skin. Windswept hair. Cosy jumpers. The defining elements of 22 years of British seaside memories imprinted on my skin. A place that immediately fills you with that sense of a smile curling escape of a home away from home.
31 years ago my Grandparents bought a holiday home in the quaint town of Highcliffe, Dorset; after falling in love with the area their close friends had decided to choose as their place of relaxation, happy memories & their own little escape. With my Mum visiting here throughout her childhood amongst their family of 7, to bringing it into the family for every Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Sister, Brother, Partner, Lover, Friend all the way to Great-Grandchildren to walk through & sprinkle their own everlasting memories in the sand - this special place is now firmly ground into our family DNA. It is our happy place. & for me it will forever be a place brimming with Ice-Cream (& Hot Chocolate!), the smell of seaside Fish 'n' Chips, belly aching laughter, good books, contentment, love & family.
So places to recommend, things to do & memoires to share? Hmm I think it is safe to say I can name but a few - maybe not on the accommodation front quite yet but having said that this may just be a good place to start. . .
Two very nice places to have a drink with very lovely views are. . .
& although I have not personally vetted out the rooms, if they are half as nice as the rest of the Hotel with there edge of luxury & class then I would recommend!
But for a more rustic, hearty & cosy trip perfect for families & groups of friends then the 5 Star holiday home site of Hoburne park is perfect
with caravans for up to 8 people or luxury lodges (some even with hot tubs) it is the perfect spot to set up camp for a week of walking down to the beach or a long weekend of getting cosy by the fire hearing the therapeutic sound of rain pitter pattering outside - it is an every season kind of place!
Sea Walk at Hengistbury Head
What To Do
A family favourite & a first thing to do - visit Hengistbury Head. Words can not do it justice to the tranquillity of the picture perfect beach huts & soft white sands with hill top views of the Isle of Wight & Seaside strolls with the tide tickling your toes - for this one I must simply say, go & take a look for yourself.
If you fancy something more adventurous then cycle through the New Forest! or more recently Bike it everywhere you go with a new version of London's 'Boris Bikes' called Beryl. Super simple & super cheap, you can easily get around. But following the routes from Burley (within the New Forest) to the nearby tea rooms & beyond, getting lost amidst the sky high trees & donkeys, it is certainly your daily dose of countryside adventure.
Visiting Highcliffe Castle, exploring nearby Lymington town or strolling the promenade at Milford-on-Sea the list is endless with with something for everyone in & around the surrounding areas of Christchurch!
Where To Eat
Number One is The Boathouse. It is a must go when visiting Christchurch, I'm not sure if it is the buzz of live music on a Friday night & the sentiment of a million memories or the friendly service when sitting out on the deck, soaking up the sun, watching the boats bobbing in the quay - but something about this place just ticks all of the boxes.
'We will have the Olives & Edamame Beans as well as the Rustic Bread Board with one pint of Amstel & one Cocco Locco please!'
This is mine & my boyfriend's, Jack, go to order at The Boathouse whether it is 1.30 on a Thursday Afternoon or 5pm on a Saturday. (I promise you the warm saltiness of Edamame with a literal sip of summer in their unique Cocco Locco cocktail is to die for!)
Number Two is James & White. Another cocktail haven with a wooden industrial meets beach hut interior, you can settle into a night of half a dozen Country Cosmo's (me please!) but this time with a Moroccan Board of Falafel & Couscous followed by your very own chocolate pot of heaven with warm waffle & fresh fruit galore.
& thirdly the one along the sea front of Avon Beach which this blog would not be complete without mentioning (it is also walking distance from Hoburne park) - The Noisy Lobster. From Sunday brunches on the sea front to fresh takeaway Fish 'n' Chip's in 'The Lobster Hatch' next door (doing delicious Vegan Fish 'n' Chips of Banana Blossom - you have got to give it a try if you haven't already!). This place has it all!
Christchurch, Highcliffe, Dorset, whatever you want to call it! Always has & always will hold a very special place in my heart, it is my home away from home. It's untouched traditionally British seaside town is full of friendly faces, sea-kissed skin & a complete breath of fresh air whenever you are in need of a simple seaside escape. . .
All photos are copyright of ellacharlotte.