Wildfowl at Christchurch Harbour

Wildfowl at Christchurch Harbour

Christchurch Quay and harbour is just south of the town centre and a hub for sailing, windsurfing and powerboating. There are several sailing clubs based here as well as watersports tuition providers and equipment shops. Family-friendly beaches around Christchurch include Avon Beach stretching along the coast to Highcliffe-on-Sea from which you can see The Needles and the Isle of Wight off into the distance on a clear day.

Christchurch sailing waters

Christchurch sailing waters

Watersports

Christchurch Harbour is a natural harbour fringed with marshes and reeds. It's a popular sailing destination with four square miles of race water in Christchurch Bay. There are several sailing clubs based here which organise regular competitions throughout the year. Avon Beach is popular for windsurfing and attracts windsurfers from all over the country. You can pick up windsurfing tuition as well as lessons in powerkiting, powerboating and scuba diving taught along the RYA/PADI guidelines. Boat trips are also available from Christchurch, and trips include cruises around Christchurch Harbour and further out to The Needles and Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

Beaches

The beaches around Christchurch extend for four miles from Highcliffe, on the eastern boundary of Dorset, to Avon Beach in the west. You can access the beaches at various points from the main A337 road. Highcliffe Beach is easily accessible with a large pay and display car park minutes from Highcliffe town centre. There are modern toilet facilities and the Cliffhanger Cafe adjacent to the car park. There are walks along the top of the gorse covered slopes and down to the beach from the car park. The beach itself is a mixture of fine shingle and sand. It's popular for walks, body boarding and swimming.

Highcliffe Beach

Highcliffe Beach

Steamer Point & Avon Beach

Steamer Point is another access point to a more pebbly beach. There is a small car park adjacent to Steamer Point wooded Nature Reserve on the cliff top. Avon Beach is a popular sandy beach with a gentle slope to the sea and safe swimming making it popular with families. Beach huts line the beach and are available to hire by the week or day. The beach area in front of the car park is designated for watersports. There is also a shop and cafe so you won't have to go far for refreshments and buckets and spades!

Harbour Wildlife Birdwatching

Christchurch Harbour is a protected wildlife site. It's important for its saltmarsh, heathland and sand dunes at Hengistbury Head. The harbour is a great place for birdwatcher's and a good range of species have been seen here including Cetti's warbler, bearded tit, spotted crake, Jack snipe, shelduck and migrating species such as wheatear, whinchat and firecrest and ospreys are also seen regularly.

Accommodation in Christchurch

  • Christchurch   (0.2 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Prices from
    £310
    Per week (seasonal) sleep 1-6
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 39 reviews
    Rating from 39 reviews
    Town house accommodation in Christchurch offering self-catering holiday homes furnished to a high standard. Great for families, couples, singles and groups.
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    Rating from 39 reviews
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    Self Catering
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  • Bournemouth   (1.4 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Prices from
    £25
    Per person (2 sharing) per night
     
    Well appointed Bournemouth B&B set a short bus ride from the beach. Great for families & couples. Choice of breakfast available (extra charge). Wi-Fi service.
     
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  • Bournemouth   (1.3 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £220
    per week (seasonal) Sleeps up to 6
     
    Two self contained apartments in an original Bournemouth Victorian house close to beach. Onsite parking. Use of large garden. WiFi. One apt sleeps up to 4, the other up to 6
     
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  • Christchurch   (1.3 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Sleeps 8
    Prices from
    £1,493
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 8
     
    Large holiday home in Southbourne, in an elevated position with sea views. Excellent modern luxury facilities throughout. Ideal for large families and small groups. Parking. WiFi.
     
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  • Bournemouth   (1.6 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Sleeps 2
    Prices from
    £235
    Per Week (seasonal) Sleeps 2
     
    Well appointed studio apartment in Bournemouth set just 100 metres from the beach at Southbourne. Off road parking, Wi-Fi service, cot/ high chair for children. No pets.
     
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  • Christchurch   (1.9 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Sleeps 8
    Prices from
    £202
    3 night Caravan/Apartment breaks. Sleep 4-8
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 114 reviews
    Rating from 114 reviews
    Stylish beachfront holiday park on the Dorset Coast overlooking Christchurch Harbour with spacious caravans & apartments, outdoor pool, playground, gym & family bar. Sleep 4-8.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 114 reviews
    Rating from 114 reviews
  • Bournemouth   (0.7 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £714
    Per week (seasonal) sleeps 6
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 5 reviews
    Rating from 5 reviews
    Luxury three bedroom, two bath/ shower room holiday accommodation in Bournemouth with balcony, garden & parking. Cot & high chair can be provided. Short breaks.
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  • Christchurch   (0.0 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Prices from
    £40
    Per person B&B (2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 159 reviews
    Rating from 159 reviews
    Multi-Award winning family run Christchurch Hotel. Awarded 5 Star Gold for luxury en-suite accommodation. Licensed bar, free WIFI & close to town centre & quay.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 159 reviews
    Rating from 159 reviews
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    Guest Accommodation
  • Bournemouth   (1.8 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Prices from
    £110
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 1918 reviews
    Rating from 1918 reviews
    With a stay at Village Urban Resort Bournemouth in Bournemouth, you'll be in the business district and minutes from Littledown Sports Center, and close to Castle Point Shopping ...
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    Rating from 1918 reviews
  • Christchurch   (1.9 miles from the centre of Christchurch)
    Prices from
    £80
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 89 reviews
    Rating from 89 reviews
    Located in Christchurch (Mudeford), Waters Edge is convenient to Christchurch Harbour and Highcliffe Castle. This bed & breakfast is within the vicinity of Sammy Miller Museum a...
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 89 reviews
    Rating from 89 reviews