Highcliffe Castle

Coastal Gothic fantasy saved from ruin.

Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Dorset, BH23 4LE

Highcliffe Castle in Dorset
Free for members
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Charged parking
  • Easily accessible without car
  • Facilities for children
  • Mostly wheelchair accessible
  • Parkland / open spaces
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
  • Accessible toilets
  • Available lift
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Highcliffe Castle is a Grade I listed mansion built in the romantic gothic style. It was built by Lord Stuart de Rothesay in the early 1830s and remained a family home until the 1950s. It is situated on the cliff top with beach access and spectacular views across to the Isle of Wight.

Two devastating fires in the 1960s rendered the building derelict. In 1977 it was purchased by Christchurch Borough Council and a programme of repairs was begun with the support of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Spring 2019 saw the completion of stage 7 of restoration works enabling the East Wing to open to the public for the first time. New interpretation and displays bring the story of the Castle to life and newly created spaces include a furniture exhibition space, an exhibition room and a stained glass studio.

Opening Times


Highcliffe Castle

The Castle is closed for the winter season from 24 December 2021 until 30 January 2022.

From 30 January 2022, the Castle will be open Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm).

Highcliffe Castle grounds

Open daily all year from 07:00. Closes at 18:30 from November to March, 19:30 in April and October, 21:00 in May and September, 22:00 in June, July and August.

The gates are locked promptly in the evening, so please do leave enough time to get back to your car if you are out walking.

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times


Admission is free to Historic Houses members, but they will still need to book in advance through the property’s website. The car park is separately run and is pay and display.

Group Visits

Highcliffe Castle offer a selection of group visit options for groups of sizes 12 or more, and request that groups book in advance.

To discuss and book a group visit, please email or call 01202 093 377

Please visit the property’s website for the latest information regarding group visits.

  • Accessible toilets
  • Available lift
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Become a Historic Houses member

Explore the nation’s heritage from just £59 per year.

Hundreds of the most beautiful historic houses, castles, and gardens across Britain offer our members free entry.

Receive a quarterly magazine exploring the architecture, collections, and family histories of our grandest and oldest homes, and get an insight into what it takes to keep them standing today.

Enjoy monthly online lectures about the houses and their extraordinary history, presented by experts including house owners, curators and guest lecturers.

Join now
Highcliffe Castle Oriel Windows

Sign up for our free bulletin

Are you interested in the stories locked away inside Britain’s Historic Houses? Every Friday, we publish a free newsletter detailing news, stories and details from our member houses. From the stained glass windows of Knebworth House to the armoury of Bamburgh Castle, whether you’re a member or just interested, subscribe here and explore the treasures of Britain’s Historic Houses.