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Family Friendly Dining in Christchurch, Mudeford & Highcliffe

Dorset is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend a fun-filled family day out. From sandy beaches to thrilling theme parks, there's no shortage of exciting activities to keep your little ones busy. However, all that excitement can work up quite an appetite. But, worry not! 

Highcliffe (on Sea) is a perfect place for either a day out or a half-term break with the whole family, with plenty to do and see. Visit the unspoiled beaches, walk the magnificent coastal path, and explore the Steamer Point Nature reserve.

As we all know, exploring can be hungry work, especially with the little ones in tow. To ensure your little adventurers start and end the day right, here are a few family-friendly options for you to enjoy a hearty breakfast or a relaxing lunch/dinner, if there is such a thing with kids …

Christchurch, Highcliffe, and Mudeford all have an amazing range of family-friendly restaurants that will cater to your family, offering special kids' menus, and making sure that even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like. 

The Oaks Highcliffe

The Oaks Highcliffe

Why: The Oaks in Highcliffe is an exceptional dining destination for families, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere that caters to all ages. With a dedicated kids' menu, this restaurant goes the extra mile to ensure that children have a delightful dining experience.

The menu features a variety of child-friendly options, from tasty, well-balanced meals to fun and delicious treats, designed to please even the pickiest of young eaters. 

Address: 189 Lymington Road, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 5EA

Telephone: 01425 283377

Kids Menu: Click here

Find out more


The Paddle Highcliffe

The Paddle

Why: The Paddle is a lovely little cafe, kitchen, and bar run by a family, who understand the importance of feeding one. The staff are super friendly, service on-point, and owners Harry and Donna, will go out of their way to cater to your little ones…All the food is made from scratch, excellent quality, and health conscious with lots of vegan, gluten-free options. 

The kids' menu, which incidentally, doubles up as a colouring book, features brilliance such as Dippy Eggs & Soldiers, Pancakes with Maple Syrup or Nutella Eggy Bread, the famous Mini Full Paddle or Fish Finger Sandwiches, Sausage, Beans & Chips, Mini Macaroni Cheese & Peas or Carrot Sticks & Hummus for the more discerning palate. All the kids' plates are under £6.50 too.

There are plenty of fresh juices, smoothies, and milkshakes to choose from and for the caffeine needy amongst us, Bad Hand Roasters from Bournemouth are there to save the day.

Lots of options on the delicious brekkie/brunch choices for the grown-ups, although sadly no colouring books…

Wood-fired Pizza Pop Ups happen regularly, so keep an eye on their Instagram for upcoming details.

Address: 397 Waterford Road, Highcliffe, Dorset, BH23 5JN

Telephone: 01425 275148

Kids Menu: Click here (Kids menu is for 12 years or under)

Nearby: 19th Century castle, Chewton Bunny Nature Reserve, and the beach

Please note that the kitchen closes at 2pm

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen

Why: The Kitchen at Chewton Glen offers the perfect opportunity to kill 2 birds with a proverbial stone. Not only do they offer a gorgeous, surprisingly affordable Childrens menu with options such as Fish Goujons, Chargrilled Chicken Burgers, Classic Margarita Pizzas, Fish and Chips AND Knickerbocker Glories for pudding; they also offer cookery classes for the whole family (or just the kids!). 

If you are looking for something educational to do with the kids, this could be the perfect solution. If cooking is not your thing, then enjoy a stroll around the kitchen garden with the family before dining like kings with your little prince and princesses.

N.B - Courses need to be booked in advance.

Address: Christchurch Rd, New Milton, Highcliffe, Christchurch BH25 6QS

Telephone: 01425 282212 

Kids Menu: Click here

Nearby: Hoburne Naish Holiday Park, Chewton Bunny Nature Reserve


The Noisy Lobster Mudeford

The Noisy Lobster

Why: The name says it all, The ‘Noisy Lobster’ - perfect for dining with the kids… It may not seem like the obvious choice with its focus on seafood but you would be wrong, they happily cater to the little ones!

It is a family-run restaurant, overlooking Avon beach in Mudeford, so after a spot of sandcastles and crabbing, head in for a meal with the family.

Cracking options include Pancakes, Gnocchi, and Sausage (Vegan option) with Chips and Peas, for a bit of green. Burgers AND Fish Fingers with Purbeck Ice Cream to finish, all for around the £5-£7.00 mark.

Mercifully they also have a well-curated wine list and classic cocktails with a twist…

Address: Avon Beach, Mudeford, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 4AN

Telephone: 01425 272162

Kids Menu: Click here

Nearby: THE BEACH! Mudeford Bay is a great spot for crabbing with the kids.

Reservations are advised and are all inside the restaurant and not on the beach-fronted terrace (requests can be made but are not guaranteed). The lower deck is walk-in only on a first-come, first-served basis. 


The Thomas Tripp Christchurch

The Thomas Tripp

Why: Quite simply, The Thomas Tripp, is a great traditional British Pub, serving up fantastic hearty meals 7 x days a week, with cracking roasts on a Sunday. They have gone out of their way to cater to kids, with a separate menu that doubles as a treasure map for smugglers to colour in, in case you have run out of games! This should keep your little ones occupied for long enough for the adults to grab a bite to eat and relax for a little while…

If that fails there is a fabulous beer garden for them to run around in.

Address: 10 Wick Lane, Christchurch. DORSET. BH23 1HX

Telephone: 01202 490498

Kids Menu: Click here

Nearby: Christchurch Treasure Hunt Trail, Mudeford Quay

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