The Beach House at Milford-on-Sea

The Beach House seen from the coast path

The Beach House seen from the coast path

The Beach House appears behind a line of protective evergreen trees as you approach Milford-on-Sea.

At last I have been inside.

When on the path running down to The White House turn off on the second rough path to the left to walk up to the terrace.

What is now a Hall & Woodhouse pub was until recently one of the UK’s top fifty hotels. But it was not easy just to walk in and look around.

The house was built in 1897 for electricity pioneer Alexander Siemans. He called it Westover but the family referred to their holiday home as ‘the beach house’.

The architect was Arnold Mitchell. After Siemans died here in 1928, the house was bought by motor pioneer Lord Nuffield who stayed in 1930 to 1932.

The building became a pub in 2012. The atmosphere is informal.

The bar is in the hall beneath the stained glass which Siemans’ wife preferred to net curtains. In the front room there is a huge fireplace decorated with de Morgan tiles.

The best place to eat is on the terrace with a view of The Needles. You order at the bar and the food arrives at your table.

The menu includes sandwiches with honey and mustard coleslaw from £3.99. Soup is an extra £2.75.

From the blackboard I chose grilled sardines with new potatoes, rocket and roast tomato sauce (£9.95).

And there are plenty of puddings from £4.55.

Food is served from noon to 9pm. Breakfast is 8am-10am.

Seeing the cakes on the counter as I left it might be worth calling in for tea if you cannot wait to get to the Needles Eye Cafe on the promenade or Polly’s Pantry in the village.

The Beach House at Milford-on-Sea is open daily.

Part of the entrance hall window

Part of the entrance hall window

View from terrace at lunchtime

View from terrace at lunchtime

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Milford-on-Sea path diversion

Diversion notice

Diversion notice

The path in front of the White House at Milford-on-Sea is closed from today.

Work is due to begin on the controversial beach hut replacement scheme.

A diversion will run along Ravens Way, Westover Road and Hurst Road at the back of the White House.

The work, made necessary by the 2014 St Valentine’s Day Storm, will continue until February next year.

The diversion is to the left at the end of this path. The White House is ahead.

The diversion is to the left at the end of this path. The White House is ahead.

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Hordle Cliff closed

Closed path is marked in red

Closed path is marked in red

The Hordle Cliff path has been closed.

The one mile between Barton-on-Sea and Milford-on-Sea has suffered further erosion.

An inspection from the beach suggests that the path has now been undermined east of Taddiford Gap in addition to other places.

Closure notices warning of danger have been posted by Hampshire County Council. The text points out that the right of way has fallen into the sea and the recently used path was a permissive one provided by the landowner.

The intention is reopen the coast path within maybe two years under new legislation which allows for a path to be moved inland. A team is already working on the local proposals.

The closed cliff top is from just west of Beckton Bunny to just east of Taddiford Gap. But the effective line is from the gates by the golf club in Barton-on-Sea (at the end of Marine  Drive East) to the start of the open land on the edge of Milford-on-Sea.

The best advice for long distance walkers is to take the X1 bus from Barton-on-Sea cafe to Milford-on-Sea.

Warning notice on the path

Warning notice on the path

 

Erosion of the path

Erosion of the path

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Victoria’s doctor James Clark lived on Bournemouth coast

In ITV’s Victoria on Sunday night we saw the Queen’s doctor Sir James Clark called in to examine Lady Flora Hastings.

The year was 1839 although the drama suggests it was 1838 and at the time of the Coronation.

That was the year that Sir James’s house was being built in Bournemouth. Eagles Nest had a good sea view as it stood on the site of today’s Purbeck Hall at the back of the BIC.

In 1863 Sir James Clark was visited there by Victoria’s 15 year old daughter Princess Louise who sailed over from the Isle of Wight. The doctor welcomed her at the pier.

In 1860 ‘the father of Russian socialism’ Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen had rented the house for his summer holiday and written the long dedication to his memoirs. His visitors included the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev.

Arts and Crafts artist Heywood Sumner rented it for three months in 1903 before moving into his New Forest home.

The second part of the Victoria series continues on ITV on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

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Path closed at Highcliffe Castle

The coast path at Highcliffe has been closed at the point where it leaves the castle grounds to run east along the cliff towards Chewton Bunny.

The closure of the castle’s zig-zag path is now expected to be in place for several months.

The cause is an unsafe wall. Christchurch Council is considering a new line of path which involves felling listed trees. This means that work cannot take place at once as at first planned.

There are two alternatives for walkers.

If you do not wish to visit Highcliffe Castle then cliff steps to the west by the former warden’s lodge in Steamer Point Woods can be used.

If you reach the castle grounds then you should leave by the main entrance and go right at Lymington Road. You will have the pleasure of passing the original castle gateway with its lodges (now the Lord Bute hotel; right). Go right into Wharncliffe Road and after the road has turned left go right along a footpath leading to the cliff top.

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Bournemouth Air Festival Thursday 2016

Bournemouth Air Festival starts this Thursday 18 August and runs until Sunday.

Flying takes places between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers every afternoon.

Bournemouth’s East Cliff will be packed but many walkers enjoy watching from further east or west or even from the Isle of Purbeck where you can see some action without the noise.

 

 

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Southbourne has a top fish and chip shop

Ashley’s Fish and Chips shop at Southbourne has been shortlisted for the 2017 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award.

The Southbourne shop one of six in the South and West of England to appear on the judges’ list.

The national winner is being announced in London at the end of January. Meanwhile the shop will visited by mystery shoppers.

Ashley’s is by the bus stop in Belle Vue Road BH6 3DJ.

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Highcliffe beach hut plan shelved

An horrendous plan to build 12 overnight beach huts on concrete rafts along the natural cliff at Highcliffe has been cancelled.

The decisive action was taken not by Christchurch Council but Plum Pictures television company. The huts were to have been built as part of the television series George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

Highcliffe residents, walkers and conservationists including Bill Bryson have campaigned against the scheme.

It is understood that Plum Pictures will not be seeking costs from Christchurch Council as a result of the termination.

This is victory for the Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs which was formed by worried residents last May.  Members will be celebrating on the cliff between Highcliffe Castle and Chewton Bunny at 3.45pm today.

The ‘We are disappointed’ reaction by Christchurch chief executive David Macintosh is puzzling. A lot of people are relieved.

 

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Bournemouth Coast Path or Cote d’Azur

The coast path is proving a delight to walk this sunny weekend.

The path between Flaghead Chine and Branksome Chine suddenly has the feel of the South of France with lush growth, bright sun, blue sky and a little breeze. There are even some blackberries out early.

Path down to Branksome Chine

Path down to Branksome Chine

Poole Bay looking east from Canford Cliffs

Poole Bay looking east from Canford Cliffs

The Isle of Purbeck from Canford Cliffs

The Isle of Purbeck from Canford Cliffs

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Transfiguration summer fete

This Saturday 6 August is The Transfiguration and the Church of The Transfiguration at Poole Head is having a Summer Fete at 2pm.

The church is in Chaddesley Glen off Shore Road. There is a footpath up from the promenade.

**The Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor marked the moment Christ’s teaching ministry gave way to the start of his long journey to Jerusalem and crucifixion.

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