FAQs Frequently Asked Questions


When will you reopen?

Highcliffe Castle reopened to the general public on Sunday 20 September and we can’t wait to be able to welcome you back. We need to limit numbers to help keep everyone safe, so please pre-book your tickets here.

The Castle shall be open from 10:00 – 16:00 (last entry at 14:00) from Sunday – Thursday.

What safety provisions have you put in place?

Following the latest Government guidance, we have put additional measures in place to ensure your safety whilst visiting Highcliffe Castle.

  • We are limiting our numbers to 10 people per half an hour to help with social distancing and allowing a two hour opportunity to explore the Castle.
  • We have put a one way system in place which allows safe access to the East Wing of the Castle and the Castle State Rooms (excluding the basement, which is still visible through the glass panels from above).
  • There is access to sanitiser stations located throughout the visitor route.
  • We have increased our cleaning regime and will have our friendly team accessible for any questions you may have.
  • We have reduced the occupancy of the lifts to adhere to social distancing and government guidelines.
  • Staff will be wearing visors/ face coverings to help keep visitors safe and we have screens at our till points to reduce person-to-person contact.
  • We shall be accepting card payment only at our till points.

How many people are able to visit at one time?

We are limiting our entry to 10 people per every half an hour throughout the day, with our last entry being at 14:00, so to allow you two hours to enjoy exploring the Castle. Please pre-book your tickets here to ensure your slot.

Will I need to wear a face covering when visiting the Castle?

As per Government guidelines, you will need to wear a face covering at all times when you are inside the building and Castle Shop (except those individuals with exemptions).

Do I have to pre-book my ticket?

As we are limiting numbers that can enter the Castle at one time and the Government requires us to capture your details for the NHS Test and Trace service, we ask that you pre-book your tickets online to ensure your visit to the Castle. You can pre-book tickets your tickets here.

Do I still need to book a ticket if I have a season ticket?

Yes, you will still need to book your tickets online to reserve your slot and provide your details for the NHS Test and Trace service. Highcliffe Castle Membership is valid for two people. Please click two season ticket holder complimentary tickets at checkout so we can accurately track our visitor numbers.

For Family Membership, please click four complimentary tickets at checkout.

How do I book a Guided Tour?

Guided Tours are temporarily suspended until further notice.

How long will you hold onto my Test and Trace data for?

In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, we are taking contact details for all visitors, as well as recording times entering and leaving.

We will keep your details safely and in compliance with GDPR legislation for 21 days before securely disposing of or deleting them. We will only share your details with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event that it is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We will not use your details for any other purposes or pass them on to anyone else.

Can I still access the grounds and car park or will I need to book?

Our Castle grounds are open from 07:00 to 19:00; please adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and use of our grounds. The Castle Car Park and Public Toilets are open. You do not need to book to visit our Castle grounds or have access to our car park.

Our bins are filling up fast at the moment, so please could we ask you to take any rubbish and dog’s waste home with you.

Are dogs allowed on site?

Dogs are welcome in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle. We ask that they are kept on a lead at all times. Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted inside the Castle, unless they are an assistance dog.

Will I need to book to visit the Castle Kitchen tearooms or Castle Shop?

The Castle Shop will still be open to non-visitors and you will not need to book to be able to gain access from the main entrance.

Should it be busy, we will have a queue line installed for shop only visitors.

The Castle Shop is open 11:00 – 15:00 Sunday to Thursday.

The Castle Kitchen is open 7 days a week, daily 10:00 to 15:00 *

You will not need to book to have access to the Castle Kitchen. However, if you would like to enquire about booking a lunch or any dietary requirements, you can call them on 01425 276 190 or email info@highcliffecastlekitchen.com

* Weekend hours may differ depending on the weather; i.e. longer opening hours in sunny weather.

To see their latest updates, please click here


How do I know if my wedding is still going ahead?

Our weddings team is doing all they can to contact couples whose wedding date may have had to be cancelled or postponed due to the government guidance. If you are concerned about any aspect of your wedding, please do call the weddings team on 01425 278807 or email them on weddings@highcliffecastle.co.uk where they will be happy to discuss your wedding and the latest advice they have with you.

Are all events cancelled?

The Castle is owned and operated by BCP Council and after responding to the to the Government’s latest guidance on the Coronavirus outbreak, the difficult decision has been taken to currently extend the cancellation of outdoor events.

It is a difficult decision to postpone any event at the Castle but the most important consideration is the health of our visitors, event attendees, and the safety of everyone involved who contribute and play a part in delivering these brilliant events at the Castle.

If you have booked tickets, any refunds or details of any new postponed dates will be communicated to you over the next couple of days or you can call the Castle direct on 01425 278807.

Are all group bookings cancelled?

With the latest Government guidance to only allow groups of up to 6, we have taken the decision in the interests of public health and safety, and following government guidance to postpone or cancel all group bookings until further notice.

We shall review this regularly and keep you updated. If you are interested in booking a group visit for the future or would like to discuss your current group booking, please call us on 01425 278807 or email us at enquiries@highcliffecastle.co.uk where we will be happy to discuss this with you.


My season ticket is due to expire soon/ has expired, will you be sending out a renewal?

Membership was frozen when lockdown began, so the time the Castle has been closed has now been added to your membership. Therefore, you can still book your tickets here and visit the Castle once we have reopened. 

We will get in touch before your card is due to expire, to let you know it is time to renew.

Will you be offering a refund or an extension for the time you were closed?

We appreciate that as we had to temporarily close the Castle doors, we froze all season tickets so that you can enjoy the full 12 months you had signed up for. Please see above for more information.

How can I keep up-to-date with the latest Castle news?

We endeavour to keep in touch with regular updates about the Castle through our e-newsletters. If you are a season ticket holder and haven’t yet signed up to our e-newsletter, please email us at enquiries@highcliffecastle.co.uk to be added to our mailing list.

How can I contact you if I have a query?

If you have any queries and can’t find the answer you are looking for in this list, please contact the Castle team either by phone or email:

T: 01425 278807

E: enquiries@highcliffecastle.co.uk