Highcliffe on Sea (or simply Highcliffe) sits on a high bluff above a beautiful stretch of sand and shingle beach. This small leafy coastal town, straddling the Dorset/Hampshire border, is best known for Highcliffe Castle, an ornate early Victorian mansion, once home to Mr Selfridge and now an events venue. Its grounds enjoy outstanding views across Christchurch Bay towards the Isle of Wight while footpaths head off to a wooded nature reserve or zig-zag down to the beach.

Highcliffe is ideal for those searching for a relaxed yet smart seaside lifestyle. A high street of useful independent shops includes a bakery and gourmet grocery. Highcliffe also nurtures a foodie reputation with an annual food festival and tasty selection of cafes, gastropubs and restaurants.

Leisure facilities include Highcliffe Castle Golf Club while the New Forest lies just to the north.

As Highcliffe developed post-war property is mostly mid-century character houses, coastal chalets and high-specification new builds. For families, schools are rated ‘good’ while local independents, including Durlston Court and Ballard, are judged ‘excellent’.

Mainline railway stations are found nearby at Hinton Admiral and New Milton with services to London Waterloo in two hours

Little Meggs is accessed via a sweeping gravel driveway, offering ample off-road parking, with pathways leading to the cottages.

The generous rear gardens are primarily laid to lawn and bordered by mature trees and shrubbery providing privacy and seclusion.

Adjacent to the rear of the property, a spacious York stone-paved patio area awaits, creating a perfect outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment.

The seperate cottage shares a gravel driveway with a pathway leading to its front door. The front garden primarily covered in lawn and framed by low-level hedging, has been thoughtfully divided to serve the specific needs of the cottage, ensuring both privacy and a separate welcoming entrance.

The Old School Cottage, is entered through a charming stone storm porch that leads into the sitting room.

This room boasts a sizable inglenook fireplace containing a wood burner and a secondary brick fireplace, which serve as attractive focal points, complemented by quarry tile flooring that extends throughout the space.

Continuing to the rear of the property, you’ll find a kitchen/utility area featuring bespoke wooden units, and Butler sink. There is ample space and plumbing provided for your white goods.

Next to this area is a ground-floor three piece bathroom suite that has been tastefully renovated in recent years. It includes classic fixtures, such as a panelled enamel bath with shower attachment over it, complemented by modern tiled walls.

The sitting room features a dividing door that leads to the snug and the west side of the property. This door can be locked and closed off, providing the option to separate the accommodations if desired.

Towards the front of the property, there is a dining area with ample space for furniture. It includes an inset Aga (gas), framed by an attractive brick surround, and complemented by storage cupboards on either side.

From the dining area, there is an opening leading to a delightful triple-aspect kitchen. This kitchen boasts a vaulted ceiling with full height, floor to ceiling windows on the side and French doors that open onto the rear gardens.

The Kitchen is equipped with a generous array of traditional bespoke hand built units featuring wooden work surfaces. It includes an inset Butler sink. An island unit offers additional storage space and functions as a breakfast bar.

Next to the kitchen is a convenient cloakroom leading to a ground-floor three piece shower room.

Upstairs, you’ll find four generously sized bedrooms that offer delightful views of the front grounds.

The Cottage

In front of The Old School Cottage, you will discover a truly distinctive and entirely separate one-bedroom detached dwelling “Little Meggs Cottage”. With a well-established track record of generating substantial income from holiday rentals.

The Cottage is accessed through a covered storm porch, leading to a double aspect living/dining room. There is a prominent fireplace with an appealing brick surround, serving as an eye-catching focal point.

Leading off the living area is a kitchen with a range of traditional wall, floor and drawer units with wooden work surfaces over providing ample space for white goods, adjacent is a shower room.

Upstairs, a spacious primary bedroom featuring a charming window seat and characterful wood beams. It also offers the convenience of multiple eaves storage cupboards. To the rear is a handy en-suite toilet with WC and basin.

Living in Highcliffe on Sea

Highcliffe on Sea (usually simply called Highcliffe) is a small, leafy coastal town on the Hampshire/Dorset border. West of Barton on Sea and east of Mudeford, Highcliffe is perfectly positioned for those in search of a relaxed yet smart beach lifestyle.

Features include secluded Highcliffe Beach which has panoramic views over Christchurch Bay to the Isle of Wight and Hengistbury Head. It’s a favourite with locals for walking, paddleboarding and surfing and can be reached via a pathway zig-zagging down through the gardens of Highcliffe Castle, once home to Mr Selfridge and now the venue for varied concerts, exhibitions and fairs.

Further outstanding amenities include Highcliffe Castle Golf Club and Steamer Point Nature Reserve. In addition Highcliffe has foodie appeal thanks to the annual Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival, and a good selection of independents and eateries, such as family-owned butcher’s, beachfront cafes, Raymond Blanc’s brasserie-style gastropub The Oaks and, just up the road on the edge of the New Forest, luxurious Chewton Glen Country House Hotel.

Families are also drawn by the schooling. Local primaries and secondaries are judged to be at least ‘good’ according to Ofsted – including Highcliffe St Mark’s Primary and Highcliffe Secondary School and Sixth Form. Meanwhile local independents include Durlston Court and Ballard, both rated ‘excellent’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The New Forest lies three miles to the north, the nearest sizable town is Christchurch (also three miles), and there is good accessibility via the road network to Lymington (nine miles), Bournemouth (10 miles), and Southampton (21 miles). A mainline railway station at nearby Hinton Admiral provides services to London Waterloo in approximately two hours.

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Highcliffe, Christchurch

  • Bedrooms Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms Bathrooms: 3
  • Receptions Living Rooms: 4

Known as “Little Meggs”, this delightful residence is set within generous, private cottage gardens spanning 0.3 acres, showcasing its character with exposed beams throughout. A charming grade II listed cottage, dating back to the 17th century, is nestled in a tranquil conservation area near Highcliffe beach and the New Forest National Park. The versatile layout of the main house can also be adapted to create a potential income-generating opportunity or a self-contained additional cottage.

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