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.
The mix of fascinating heritage, beautiful coastline and countryside and wide variety of attractions provide all the ingredients to make your holiday or short break extra special.
With a great range of places to eat and drink, a wealth of things to see and do, plus a variety of festivals and events, there is something to suit everyone whatever your age or taste.
The surrounding unspoilt beaches are perfect for swimming, bodyboarding, or simply for just for relaxing on.
Begun in 1094 the Priory was built on the site of a Saxon Minster dating back to the 7th century and has the most magnificent architecture.
A famous feature is its miraculous beam which can be seen high up on the south side. The amazing story of the beam can be read on a nearby board which explains how it came about that the name of the town was changed from Twynham to Christchurch.
The picturesque Quay area adjoins the grounds of The Priory. Victorian Bandstand, children’s playground and summer splashpark plus various eateries, overlook the boats, swans and paddleboarders alongside.
RUINS OF NORMAN HOUSE AND CHRISTCHURCH CASTLE
Near to the Priory is the older part of the town dating back to Saxon times, known as Priory Quarter.
Here you will find the remains of Norman House and Christchurch castle. Norman House was built around 1160 and is one of the few remaining examples of domestic Norman architecture in England.
The tall circular Norman chimney is a particularly rare survivor. The mound top keep is a typical example of a Norman motte and bailey castle.
Place Mill, a carefully restored Anglo-Saxon watermill, can be found on Christchurch Quay. Today, it houses a permanent display of work by local artists.
RED HOUSE MUSEUM
Located centrally in the older part of town, is the Red House, a former Georgian workhouse.
Today, this houses a museum of the town’s ancient past to present day, with a shop, café and gardens displaying interesting dinosaurs.