Highcliffe, Dorset

Highcliffe is one of those places on the south coast that will pick up swell, when it is small everywhere else. Between Southampton and Bournemouth, it is probably one of the best beaches in the area for jumping and wave riding. If it is too onshore for neighbouring beaches Boscombe and Southbourne then this is probably your best bet. Set at the foot of the cliffs, it is a walk down to the beach, where you can then rig up. There are two options for launching, as you look out to sea, to the left or right. To the right benefits from constant wind, but a heavy shorebreak.To the left the waves are well spaced, but because it is set back and sheltered it may be a bit of a wobble out.

Beach Faces:

South

Best Wind Direction:

SW,W

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

South westerly winds bring the best swell and they are reasonably spaced out. Even at high tide there can be good jumping and some fat waves to ride. As the tide approaches high, the waves tend to round off a bit and lose their peak.

Not Good:

N/NW but then you are better off going down the road to Kimmeridge or Milford on the way to Lymington.

Tide:

Incoming tide is best, pushing the waves up.

What’s On The Bottom:

Sand and pebbles.

Any Hazards:

A strong shorebreak and try to stay clear of any rocky breakwater encounters.

Other Water Users:

The odd kitesurfer and sometimes surfers if the wind is offshore.

Suitability / Levels:

Advanced intermediate and above if the swell is pumping.If it is flat then every level.

Wipeout Factor:

Pretty high, lose your rig in the wrong place on a big swell and you could be in for a swim. Nothing to worry about if no swell.

Instruction:

None

Kit Hire:

None

Friendly Factor:

Always a few regulars out but never heaving.

No Wind Alternatives:

Always a few regulars out but never heaving.

Surfable?:

In the right conditions, yes. However, it can be quite a chunky unsheltered wave. Boscombe pier down the road might be a better bet.

Facilities:

Toilets

Yes

Shower

No

Windsurfing Shop

Spot on Water is the nearest:
312 Lymington Road
Highcliffe
BH23 5ET
Telephone: 01425 272509

Food

Not on site, Highcliffe town is the nearest.

Parking

Yes, but there is a charge.

Pub

Plenty in Christchurch, not far away.

Accommodation:

Go to www.christchurchdorset.co.uk Or email info@bournemouth.co.uk Tel.01202 451700 for the Bournemouth Tourist Board.

Local Hotshots:

Andy King, James Cox, Matt Wemms and the Spot On Water crew.

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

This spot is much more open to swell than Avon Beach and usually quieter. (Not now though!)
It is not always a wave spot. Like anywhere it has flat days but the car park fee is less than other places on this stretch of coastline.

Extra:

Highcliffe is also host to Christchurch Boardsailing Club which offers the usual comforts of a club house and a good social scene. Give Simon Bell a call for further details on 07717570975, alternatively email:info@christchurchboardsailingclub.com. The club also has a reasonable website: www.christchurchboardsailingclub.com.

Tides: For information on tide times, visit the following link:tide times.

How To Get There:

If you are coming from the East or the North then you will need to get to the M27 around Southampton and continue west. Turn off at Junction 1 onto the A337 to Lyndhurst. Once you reach Lyndhurst then take the A35 all the way to Christchurch. At the double roundabout take a left onto the A337 at the second roundabout. This will take you to Highcliffe town. Take the second signpost to the sea and park overlooking the beach. It is best to walk your kit down in a bundle and rig up at the foot of the cliff.

Report By:

Clyde Waite.

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