Beach Boardwalk

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Ease of access to the Christchurch coastline is one of the many reasons thousands of people visit every year. From Mudeford Quay in the west to Highcliffe Beach in the east, existing footpaths, promenades and tracks provide a safe and relatively level coastal route, however it cannot be classed as a direct route.

To achieve a direct route from Steamer Point wavewall to Highcliffe beach visitors are required to cross the open sandy frontage of Highcliffe Castle beach which restricts wheelchair users, young families with pushchairs and cyclists. They must must divert their route up along the clifftop by traversing Steamer Point Nature Reserve to the Highcliffe Castle grounds before descending via the zigzag footpath to bring them to the western end of Highcliffe Beach.

The proposal is therefore to provide a direct link between Steamer Point wavewall and the western end of Highcliffe Beach by constructing a raised boardwalk across Highcliffe Castle beach; thereby creating a ‘non-stop’ seafront access/cycleway along the 4.5km of Christchurch coastal vista. The boardwalk will be constructed with two ‘branches’ off the main route to facilitate wheelchair user access to the water’s edge.

To get involved and have your say please download the scoping document from our Document Library to the right of this page (or from here) and complete the Quick Poll below.

Please also feel free to ask any questions about this project in the Your Questions section below, we will endeavour to answer them as soon as we can and your input will help shape the future content of this project page.


Ease of access to the Christchurch coastline is one of the many reasons thousands of people visit every year. From Mudeford Quay in the west to Highcliffe Beach in the east, existing footpaths, promenades and tracks provide a safe and relatively level coastal route, however it cannot be classed as a direct route.

To achieve a direct route from Steamer Point wavewall to Highcliffe beach visitors are required to cross the open sandy frontage of Highcliffe Castle beach which restricts wheelchair users, young families with pushchairs and cyclists. They must must divert their route up along the clifftop by traversing Steamer Point Nature Reserve to the Highcliffe Castle grounds before descending via the zigzag footpath to bring them to the western end of Highcliffe Beach.

The proposal is therefore to provide a direct link between Steamer Point wavewall and the western end of Highcliffe Beach by constructing a raised boardwalk across Highcliffe Castle beach; thereby creating a ‘non-stop’ seafront access/cycleway along the 4.5km of Christchurch coastal vista. The boardwalk will be constructed with two ‘branches’ off the main route to facilitate wheelchair user access to the water’s edge.

To get involved and have your say please download the scoping document from our Document Library to the right of this page (or from here) and complete the Quick Poll below.

Please also feel free to ask any questions about this project in the Your Questions section below, we will endeavour to answer them as soon as we can and your input will help shape the future content of this project page.


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    Highcliffe Castle beach should be left in as natural a state as possible.

    by David, over 3 years ago

    Boardwalks would ruin the last untouched public realm coastal area

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    Maintain existing paths rather than creating a boardwalk

    by Local Resident, over 3 years ago

    Provision of a boardwalk would change the nature of the beach, and it would surely wash away with the first storm. Even the firmer track just to the east of the concrete walkway at Friars Cliff is beginning to be washed away and that is ‘protected’ by rocks. Keep the beach between Friars Cliff and the zigzag slope natural and a little bit more remote. If everywhere is made equally accessible, there will be no quieter areas for anyone. Instead, improve the quality of the network of paths on top of the cliffs to the west of the castle to... Continue reading

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    Violent sea storms can remove two feet of shingle from yhe beach

    by Geoff, over 3 years ago

    Having lived close to the sea in Highcliffe for nearly 40 years, I have seen the power of violent storms to strip two feet of shingle off the beach with the waves reaching the edge of the cliffs.

    These violent storms would make short work of any board walk. The latest projections suggest the sea is likely to rise a metre over the next 100 years so we will have to spend out more money in to protecting the toe of cliff rather than spending money on a boardwalk which would likely to have only a... Continue reading