Highcliffe Castle path closed again

The path from the grounds of Highcliffe Castle down towards the beach, part of the Christchurch Coastal Path, is again closed.

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) and the church (left).

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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The Time of Their Lives: coastal film scenes

The Time of Their Lives film, starring Joan Collins and Pauline Collins, is released this week.

There was much excitement last summer when shooting took place around Boscombe Pier.

The Boscombe clifftop and Hengistbury Head feature in the final footage along with other local locations.

The Guardian has a trailer.

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Leslie Ward’s Twenties coast at the Russell-Cotes

The Bay from Durley Chine c1925 by Leslie Ward

I still find admission charges at the Russell-Cotes Art Galley & Museum on the Bournemouth East Cliff to be confusing.

On arriving this week I was told that entry was £6. But it turned out this is not the cheapest ticket. But it’s £6 if you make it gift aided and give your name and address.

Rather bureaucratic for  quick visit.

But the good news is that you can visit the shop, cafe and even see a lovely film about the house without paying the entry charge.

The cafe is probably a better refreshment stop for a coast walker than anywhere around the Pier.

One reason for paying an entry fee is to gain access to the current special exhibition Meeting Modernism featuring 20th-century paintings.

There are famous local artists such as Henry Lamb, Eustace Nash and Leslie Ward.

If paying for the exhibition do allow time to enjoy the house too.

The exhibition at the Russell-Cotes continues until Easter time, Monday 24 April.

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Solent Way: Hythe Ferry future uncertain

The future of Hythe Ferry remains uncertain with with Blue Funnel still considering a proposed purchase from White Horse Ferries.

Meanwhile the Hythe Pier Train & Ferry Action Group is hopeful that a solution can be found even if the community has to run the service as well as look after the pier.

The ferry is a vital link on the Solent Way coast path running east from Milford on Sea via Lymington.

The one-way ferry ticket is expected to rise from £5.50 to £6 according to a report in today’s New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times.

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Hordle Cliff closure date

The coast path between Becton Bunny, east of Barton-on-Sea, and Milford-on-Sea clifftop remains closed.

In addition, the inland path to and from Taddiford Gap has also been closed.

The closure order has been made on safety grounds following cliff erosion and is due to stay in force until 28 April which is shortly after the Easter weekend.

Walking along the B3058 Cliff Road is not recommended.

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New cafe at Milford-on-Sea

A new cafe has opened on the green in Milford-on-Sea.

The maybe confusing name of Hurst on the Hill is the result of the venture being run by former Hurst Castle keeper Jason Crane and former castle chefs Jesse Wells and Alex Cummings.

Jason’s grandfather was an earlier keeper and his uncle was lighthouse keeper.

The new venture claims to be a cafe with realistic prices. Sadly not yet open at teatime but obviously a possible stop for breakfast or lunch.

Hurst on the Hill is next to the butcher at 4 Church Hill SO41 0QH; open daily 9am-4.30pm.

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High buildings plan for Sandbanks

Poole Harbour will have a twenty storey block of flats at its entrance if a planning application is successful.

The proposal to replace the Haven Hotel next to Sandbanks Ferry by the tower block is being submitted to Poole Council early next year.

The Haven Hotel, which is now owned by FJB Hotels, dates from 1887. Twelve years later Guglielmo Marconi transmitted some of the first wireless messages from the building.

FJB Hotels also wishes to redevelop the nearby Sandbanks Hotel just below Poole Head and at the start of the Sandbanks peninsula.

The images published in the Bournemouth Daily Echo suggest that the proposed replacement building would look like London’s City Hall.

The Sandbanks Hotel at present incorporates the late 19th-century Sand Acres which was the beach house of Edwina Mountbatten’s grandfather Sir Ernest Cassel.

Building was slow in Victorian times due to a fear that the sea might break through the sandbank. This year’s flooding in Shore Road is a reminder of the rising sea level which could leave Sandbanks under water sometime in the next century. Sea defences are already being abandoned at Studland.

The two planned buildings, both by architect Bradley Cheer of ARC Architects at Christchurch, will raise questions about a precedent for taller buildings on the coast and the impact on views from Poole Bay, Poole Harbour, Studland and Shell Bay.




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Sandbanks Ferry is back

Sandbanks Ferry is operating again from Tuesday 22 November after an annual refit which has only taken two weeks.

This year the work was a undertaken at Poole rather than Southampton.

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Hordle Path still closed

The New Milton Advertiser today reports that the  ‘path closed’ notices on the coast path each side of Hordle Manor Farm have been removed.

Hampshire County Council confirms that the path remains closed due to erosion.

Although the footpath down Taddiford Gap to the sea is open there is at present no public coast footpath to Milford-on-Sea cliff.

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Sandbanks Ferry: November refit

Sandbanks Ferry will not be operating from Monday 7 November to allow for the 23 year old vessel Bramble Bush Bay to have its annual refit.

This year the work is being undertaken at Poole rather than Southampton so the closure should only last about three weeks.

Bournemouth-Swanage bus route 50 will have a special timetable for a Bournemouth-Studland service via Swanage.

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