Christchurch on the Dorset coast sits just east of Bournemouth and nestles around its pretty harbour. The town has been an ancient site of settlement since the Iron Age, and the borough extends north around Bournemouth Airport and east to Highcliffe-on-Sea. Dorset’s top family theme park can be found in Christchurch – The Adventure Wonderland Theme Park has a soft play area, rides, outdoor activities and the South’s largest natural hedge maze. The town also contains the Museum of Electricity, housed in an Edwardian power station with a display of electronics and electric transport from times gone by.
Wherever you are in Christchurch you’ll see the magnificent Norman Christchurch Priory in the centre, the longest church in England with a breathtaking interior featuring high vaulted ceilings with Norman and Gothic architecture and a miraculous roof beam with a legend that gave the church and town its name. A wealth of historic buildings are dotted around the harbour and town centre including heritage gems like Place Mill, a restored Anglo-Saxon watermill at Christchurch Harbour, today a free entry art gallery. If you like visiting historic sites there’s plenty of Saxon and Norman buildings in Christchurch and of course Christchurch Priory that dominates the town centre. Christchurch harbour is the ideal place to set sail, take a harbour cruise or a river trip up the River Avon or River Stour.
Naturally formed about 7000 years ago when the sea level rose, Christchurch Harbour with spectacular quaysides – Mudeford Quay at the north and Mudeford Sandbank at the south – offers a wealth of water-based activities. Pick up vintage ferry boat trips or hire a speed boat. You’ll also find great family attractions around the harbour like the outdoor Splash Park, a water play park with paddling pool and water sprays.
Stour Valley Way
The Stour Valley Way is a sixty four mile long distance walking route that runs through Sturminster Newton. It starts on the Dorset Coast at Christchurch where the river flows into the sea and ends at its source in Stourhe. The route winds its way through the Dorset countryside via Christchurch, Wimborne Minster, Blandford Forum and Sturminster Newton. It is waymarked with a distinctive kingfisher logo.
Where to Stay
Browse and compare prices for a superb choice of accommodation options in Christchurch, perfect for families, couples and activity groups. Choose from stylish contemporary apartments with beach views, luxurious 5 Star cottages and spa hotels, or opt for an affordable, all inclusive family holiday park with outdoor pool and playground. Christchurch has a wonderful selection of bespoke B&Bs brimming with unique charm. Find Christchurch accommodation online now and book!