Coast path stays open for Liberal Conference

The Liberal Democrat Party flag is flying above the Highcliff Hotel on Bournemouth’s West Cliff.  

The Liberal Conference is at Bournemouth this week until Wednesday but the cliff top path is remaining open. Unlike the Labour Conference here in 2006 and the Conservative Conference there is no security zone. 

This does not mean that you can wander into the hotel or conference centre but it does mean there is no coast path diversion this time. 

Delegates leaving the conference centre’s front door will find that the Punshon Memorial Church opposite has a sold sign on its nave wall. The building is to be demolished to make way for a hotel. 

The central gardens were flooded on the eve of conference when the River Bourne burst its banks following a severe cloud burst. The tide lines can be seen on the grass today. Nearby Braidley Road, built over a stream feeding the Bourne, returned to nature as water poured down the valley flooding the road.

The weather forecast is good so look out for views of the cliffs and bay on televison news over the next few days. If you are on the path you may spot Westminster’s lobby correspondents doing a shorter walk. 

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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