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Things to do inChristchurch

Visitor information for Christchurch in Dorset

  • Christchurch
  • Christchurch
  • Christchurch
  • Christchurch

An impressive coastline, fascinating heritage and many attractions make Christchurch a special place to visit. 

The older part of the town, dominated by the magnificent Priory Church, dates from Saxon times and still retains its Saxon street layout. It is an interesting mixture of picturesque walks, quaint houses, restaurants, public houses and independent shops. The modern part of Christchurch, centred round the High Street, Saxon Square and Bargates, contains a good range of shops, and a large market is held every Monday in the High Street and Saxon Square.

The Priory Church should definitely be on your itinerary: it has a fascinating story to tell of its ‘miraculous beam’, and visitors can also find out why Christchurch was renamed from its original Twynham.

The Red House Museum, which is housed in a one-time workhouse, is filled with a rich variety of displays and it also has lovely gardens and a café with courtyard seating.

Children will love the Adventure Wonderland theme park with its rides, slides and lots more besides! And those with an interest in planes should head for Bournemouth Aviation Museum which has displays of both military and civilian aircraft. Snowtrax offers ski bobbing and ringo rides as well as ski lessons. As you can see, there’s plenty to do here in Christchurch.

Only four miles from the centre of town is Highcliffe, an attractive, busy village and yet the peaceful coastline of Christchurch Bay is only a few minutes’ walk away. The unspoilt beaches are great for swimming, body boarding or for just lazing around and relaxing.

The Christchurch Coastal Path is 2.5miles long and runs from the car park to Highcliffe Castle and on to Steamer Point Woodland and Mudeford Quay. You can stop off and visit Highcliffe Castle with its extensive programme of events and changing exhibitions, and then discover Steamer Point Woodland with its wildlife and trees before reaching the pretty Mudeford Quay. This picturesque quay, with its lobster pots, fishermen's cottages and inn has been traditionally linked with smuggling over the centuries. It is still the focal point of the local fishing industry and is a fascinating place to see the fishermen unload their catches. 

If you want to get out on the water then you can take advantage of the ferry service which operates from Tuckton Tea Gardens to Christchurch Quay. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the spectacular views across the harbour and to see the famous Christchurch swans.

Theatre shows, films and live music are on offer at the Regent Centre, which is also home to the Information Centre, the ideal place to visit if you want to find out more about Christchurch.

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