THINGS TO DO FROM THE GUEST HOUSE: LOCAL CHRISTCHURCH WALKS
Walks near Christchurch
Christchurch is uniquely situated on the shores of its own harbour, close to the magnificent Dorset World Heritage Coast and the tranquil New Forest National Park. These walks are close to the Guest House but are all very different experiences.
WALK TO HENGISTBURY HEAD
3 miles (58 mins) from the Guest House, mostly flat, then an extra 20 mins over the headland or along the water’s edge below the cliffs to the spit. Return on foot or by ferry. Three cafes along the way.
We can provide full instructions for this walk which takes you across and along the River Stour, through Wick Village, into the nature reserve with water meadows, and to the beach.
WALK TO STANPIT MARSH LOCAL NATURE RESERVE
40 minutes’ interesting walk from the Guest House taking you through historic Christchurch, or alternatively, drive and park (BH23 3LX).
Stanpit Marsh is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and is home to 300 species of plants, 14 of which are nationally rare and endangered, as well as the New Forest ponies.
An inlet, known as Siller’s Creek, was reputedly used to smuggle brandy and other goods to the ancient public House, ‘The Ship in Distress’, at the head of the creek in Stanpit.
Today, there is a bridge across the creek, which is a span from the prefabricated Bailey Bridge designed by local engineer Donald Bailey. The Bailey Bridge was constructed in Christchurch and later used by the allied invasion forces liberating France at the end of WW2.
WALK TO SOUTHBOURNE BEACH
30 mins walk or bus from outside the house, to fantastic views from the cliff top of the bay and along to Bournemouth.
You can then continue along the wide boardwalk to Boscombe, Bournemouth and eventually Sandbanks (2hr 45 mins one way). Good cycle route (50 min).
WALK ON ST CATHERINE’S HILL
Drive to St Catherine’s Hill (7 min), then explore the wooded and heathland area which forms a ridge between the Avon and Stour valleys.
Spectacular views across to the Priory and Isle of Wight Needles and Purbeck beyond. There is evidence of man on the hill as far back as the Bronze Age with several monuments including tumuli, an Iron Age animal pound and a Roman signal station.
WALK AT MILFORD-ON-SEA
Drive to Milford on Sea (25 mins) and take a walk to Hurst Castle. An artillery fort established by Henry VIII in the 1500s, extended during the Napoleonic Wars, then modernised and further expanded during the two World Wars.
Access can be achieved either by walking along a mile long stony spit (fabulous sun sets) or by a leisurely ferry ride from the small village of Keyhaven..