Hengistbury Head is a very special place. If you haven’t already, you must see it – or rather go to the top of the Head and enjoy 360 degrees of natural beauty. On the English Channel side, you’ll see the Isle of Wight and on clearer days the Needles. The white chalk of the Isle of Wight cliff edge forms a giant polar bear, although not everyone sees it as easily as others.
From the top of the Head, turn one way and you’ll be looking at the miles of sandy beaches stretching from Southbourne to Sandbanks. Keep turning and the joined River Avon and River Stour flow into Christchurch Harbour, overlooked by St Catherine’s Hill and the 900 year old Christchurch Priory. One more turn and you’re looking at Mudeford Spit - the most picturesque (and expensive) set of beach huts imaginable, with the calm waters of the harbour on one side and open sea on the other.
The family Hengistbury Head walk is a firm favourite, with options of going up and over the main headland with its cliff edge views; walking along the beach on one side, or taking the path along the edge of the sheltered harbour and through the woodland on the other – also a favourite with cyclists. For those with tired legs, the noddy train comes down the same path, shuttling people and their buggies, scooters and dogs back and forth from the Hungry Hiker Café by the car park to the Spit. However, this is not the only access to this prized stretch of beach; a small foot passenger ferry runs to and from Mudeford Quay (which is also prime crabbing territory) bringing residents across to their beach huts or day trippers wishing to enjoy the nature reserve and all its beauty
It’s where Dad and Uncles have gone to cast crab pots, where we’ve gone for a hundred runs, a few dates, school history trips, car park first driving lessons, cub activity days, countless family hikes and where every now and again we go and say hello to Mum, as her spot is up there. Hengistbury is our go-to `I love living here’ place: it’s home.