Christchurch

Christchurch is one of the few places that can boast of having two castles and two rivers. With the rivers Avon and Stour meeting at Mudeford Quay estuary. The Priory Church and the Castle Ruins. Steeped in history and with fascinating heritage and beautiful riverside walks, Christchurch offers a relaxing and charming ambience in which to shop, visit or just sit and watch the world go by.

 
Christchurch Priory

Christchurch Priory

Christchurch Priory was built in the 11th Century and has one of the best examples of architecture from Norman through to Renaissance. A fantastic building and well worth a visit. In the summer you will find Shakespearean plays taking place in the gardens of The Priory and throughout the year, the Church is also host to regular Classical Music and Operatic recitals.

The ruins of Christchurch Castle can be found next to the Priory. Built around 1100 the ruins today are there to be explored. Take a stroll along Convent Walk and the Norman Hall and you will come across Place Mill.

Originially from Saxon times, the Mill has been restored and is now home to a first floor Art Gallery featuring regular exhibitions from local artists. Other galleries can be found at Highcliffe Castle, Red House Museum, Regents Centre, Hayloft Gallery, Place Mill, Priory House and Bookends.

 
Red House Museum

Museums in Christchurch

The Red House Museum is situated near the Priory Church. Originally built in 1764 as a workhouse, it is now the place to visit to learn about the history of Christchurch. During school holidays, you will also find a varied selection of children’s activities.

The Museum Of Electricity in Bargates is Britain's premier electricity museum. With working examples ofgenerating and distribution equipment, The Museum Of Electricity is well worth a visit.

Bournemouth Aviation Museum is now open in its new location opposite Bournemouth Airport. Here you will find a wide collection of classic aircraft from jet fighters to prototypes and a rescue helicopter.

 
Hengistbury Head

Christchurch Beaches

Christchurch has four miles of golden beaches running from Highcliffe Beach, all the way along the coast to Avon Beach. If you want easy access, then both Avon Beach and Friars Cliff offer plenty of parking, beach huts, cafe's, toilets and disabled access.

Further along the coast towards Highcliffe is Steamer Point Beach. Once again, there is plenty of parking. Steamer Point is a designated area for water sports and hosts the annual UK National Windsurfing Championships.

Carry on along the coastal path and you will come across Highcliffe Castle Beach. A beautiful sandy beach with access via Highcliffe Castle grounds. There are step steps from the castle grounds to the beach or a zigzag slope for wheel chair access and pushchairs. Highcliffe Beach runs from Highcliffe Castle. The beach is just a two minute walk from Highcliffe centre.

Cliff Hanger offers a fantastic views and snacks during the day withfine dining in the evenings. The beach is accessed down a shingle zigzag and the sea here is ideal for bodyboarding. Fancy some crabbing or fresh fish? Maybe a pint amongst the lobster pots or just a quick ferry ride across the harbour to Mudeford Sandbank and Hengistbury Head. If this sounds like the place for you, then Mudeford Quay is definitely worth a visit.

Just along from Avon Beach, Mudeford Quay has beautiful 360 degree views of the rivers Avon and Stour, the harbour, Christchurch and the coast.

 
Church Street, Christchurch

Shopping in Christchurch

Christchurch offers a fine selection of independent shops including a range of stylish boutiques, gift stores and deli's. Head up towards the Priory for traditional sweet shops, hand made fudge, wine and a host of boutiques. Browse along Bargates for a further range of independent home furnishing shops, gifts, candles, jewellery and flowers.

Every Monday is market day in Christchurch High Street and Saxon Square. On the first Friday of each month, you will also find the Dorset Farmers Market in Saxon Square.

 

Eating Out & Nights Out in Christchurch

Christchurch has something for everyone. From fine dining in AA-rosette restaurants to Mediterranean, Italian, Indian, Chinese and Thai, Christchurch is also home to a number of fantastic gastro pubs offering fantastic food at reasonable prices.

For light bites there is a fine selection of coffee houses and cafe’s all offering something different. Many of the restaurants, pubs and cafe’s will also only use fresh local and organic produce wherever possible.

If you want to escape long queues and the hustle and bustle of Bournemouth, Christchurch has lots to offer! A number of small town centre pubs, all serving real ales. Cocktails are available at The Kings in Castle Street. Many pubs and clubs have regular live music (check our Gig Guide for more details). For late night music, check out So Ho, Dukes or Late And Live. All will keep you partying until the early hours!

 

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