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Highcliffe Castle wins 'Travellers' Choice' TripAdvisor award

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HIGHCLIFFE Castle has won a 2021 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for providing "amazing experiences despite unprecedented circumstances" during the pandemic.

The online reviews website gives out awards to accommodation, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews and are ranked within the top 10% on the site.

Highcliffe Castle, which is owned and operated by BCP Council, has been described as arguably the most important surviving house of the romantic and picturesque style of architecture, which flourished at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century. Its significance is recognised nationally by its Grade I status on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historical Interest.

The castle has been voted one of the best attractions to visit by Tripadvisor reviewers
The castle has been voted one of the best attractions to visit by Tripadvisor reviewers

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, BCP Council's portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and culture, said: "This is a fabulous venue that represents the diverse history and culture across our wonderful area.

"The staff that operate the site deserve the recognition for their hard work and effort during such a challenging period for the arts and cultural sector. We take great pride in the castle and look forward to it succeeding well into the future.”

Highcliffe Castle was built mainly between 1831 and 1836 by Lord Stuart de Rothesay and remained a family home until the 1950s. Two fires destroyed the rich interiors in the 1960s, but a huge repair and conservation programme in the 1990s was carried out on the exterior.

Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded the London-based department store Selfridges, lived there between 1916 and 1922, and is buried with his wife and mother at St Mark’s churchyard just across the road.

Based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, award winners represent travellers’ ultimate favourites around the globe. The attraction has 677 reviews on TripAdvisor, with 299 of those rating it as "excellent" and a further 231 as "very good".

One reviewer wrote: "The castle has adapted well to the current restrictions, with one-way systems clearly marked, sanitiser in place and an online booking system to avoid crowds. We all felt very safe here.

"An especially good job was done by the team, who seemed very organised and aware of the systems in place. They were all friendly, helpful and very happy to talk – it was a pleasure to learn from them. Their knowledge of and love for the castle really shines through. We will definitely be back next time we are in the area."

Another wrote: "Although the castle was not open due to Covid, the grounds provide a lovely walk with its large shady trees and small hedge maze. There is also an on site café which is open, we stopped for tea and cake under the shade of a large leafy tree enjoying the tranquil views and admiring the castle exterior."

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