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Hengistbury Head >  Google™ Map Sep 2022+  Dorset Coat of Arms

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Sep 2022+

"Headland with a variety of habitats including heathland, grassland, scrub, woodland, freshwater wetland and coastland and an archaeological and geological site of international importantance", they say.

Dorset Coat of Arms

Not fed up yet of hanging around South Coast headlands that poke into the Solent?

Good, because here's another one only this one's got a variety of habitats including heathland, grassland, scrub, woodland, freshwater wetland and coastland and an archaeological and geological site of international importantance, alright, and it's also got a hill on it!

It's an unplayable hand in Special Designation Status Poker and there's history here from all the ages with evidence of Iron, Bronze and even Stone unearthed.

Hengistbury Head - Hiker Cafe

Nothing stone-baked, however, on the menu at your starting point, the Hiker Cafe, where you can share some of your sandwiches with a sizeable number of scavenging starlings outside, none shown.

It's down to the sea to prepare for the haul up Warren Hill, not really. It's not much more than 100-foot high but, surprisingly, there are not unsurprisingly good views in all directions from up here.

Hengistbury Head - Warren Hill
Hengistbury Head - View frpm Warren Hill

Ahead to the headland itself or beyond to the Isle of Wight although an unforgiving sun made this amateur snapper's attempt not fit for purpose.

Geological and palaeontology types both go nuts in this environment. Stone Age flints have been extracted from the sandstone strata and, what with a quarry, the cries of Yabba-Dabba-Doo! could be heard in Ventnor.

Hengistbury Head - Warren Hill

The quarry came sometime later, actually, thanks to an ironstone-extracting industrialist whose inconsiderate digging nearly cut this all in half. Wash-off from what was now a hole threatened to erode the whole head, so that's now a pond and just adds to this prominence's popularity over the eras.

It's just good to know that this sort of profiteering, environmental vandalism would never be allowed to happen nowadays, right readers?

Paths criss-cross the heath but stick to the edge to enjoy the Isle of Wight, still not shown, or the view back to Christchurch and those who worship at the marina.

Hengistbury Head - To Christchurch
Hengistbury Head - To Mudeford Sandbank

Soon you'll be looking down on the main attraction, a sandy spit that's less than a kilometre long but will kill your calves if you veer from the compacted paths.

There's quite some scene down here and not wishing to be rude, but let's be anyway, a large number of folk don't exactly look, erm, equipped for the hike over Warren Hill.

That's because a fair few of them came by ferry although that's only made clear while gazing at the boozehounds back on the mainland in Mudeford.

Hengistbury Head - Mudeford Quay

By ferry and by a mini choo-choo on wheels, actually, which explains the hive of activity despite vehicles being banished. That's not strictly true, the road on which the mini choo-choo runs probably allows permit-holding, high-rolling, beach hut owners to roll in in their Rollers to fill their fridges full of foie gras?

These simple structures, inexplicably not shown but it's thought you know what a beach hut looks like, are some of the most expensive on the South Coast, which really means anywhere else in the UK, really.

Five combined sold in 2015 for £1m and that's without running water, at least not until the next storm surge, eh, and you thought Southwold was a swizz?

A fenced-off area to protect birds that nest on pebbles, when in season, can be found at the tip and there's more twitching wildlife in the wetland that's an alternative to having to hike back over the hill.

Hengistbury Head - Near Mudeford Sandbank

It's nearly full circle at the modern, visitor centre and it's typically staffed by the kind of volunteers for whom stock-taking is an overly serious business.

Some old Jute called Hengist, who played a significant part in naming the head, is rumoured to be buried on here somewhere but the diggers are unlikely to be disturbing. He's academically agreed to be mythical although it's hoped any rebrand isn't put out to the public, Spitty McHill Place, I mean!

More than one million annual visitors are more than happy with the name, yes one million, which in old money is way more than five beach huts full, that's for sure.

What's What
 Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre