Things to do inChristchurch
Visitor information for Christchurch in Dorset
Christchurch is situated on the shores of its own harbour and has a unique combination of fascinating heritage, impressive coastline and many attractions which provide all the ingredients to make your visit extra special.
The magnificent Priory Church has the most beautiful architecture and is renowned for its ‘miraculous beam’ which has an amazing story that is explained within the Priory. It also explains how Christchurch was renamed from its original Twynham.
In the older part of the town, known as the Priory Quarter, you will find the Red House Museum and Gardens, Place Mill and the ruins of the Norman Hall and Christchurch Castle. Explore this area on foot and enjoy the walks alongside the river and through the small back lanes.
A good mix of traditional and specialist shops, restaurants and cafes can be found in the town centre, which encompasses the High Street, Saxon Square and Bargates. A large open-air market on Mondays and the Dorset Farmers’ Market on the first Friday of each month adds to the atmosphere of this bustling town centre.
The attractive village of Highcliffe lies just four miles to the east of Christchurch and has a good range of independent shops.. The peaceful coastline of Christchurch Bay is just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village and the unspoilt beaches are perfect for swimming, bodyboarding or simply for just lazing around on and relaxing.
Stunning Highcliffe Castle sits on the cliff top and from here you can access the 2.5-mile-long Christchurch Coastal Path, which leads through the Green Flag award-winning Steamer Point Woodland and Mudeford Quay.
With its lobster pots, fishermen’s cottages and inn, Mudeford Quay has been traditionally linked with smuggling over the centuries and today is the focal point of the local fishing industry. Ferry services operate from the Quay to Mudeford Sandbank and then across the harbour to Christchurch. It’s a great way to enjoy the spectacular views across the harbour and the famous Christchurch swans, as well as watching all the activity on the water.
As well as all the heritage attractions there’s the award winning Adventure Wonderland & Wild Thing!, Snowtrax, Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Peeks Party Store and the Two Rivers Meet Leisure Centre.