Christchurch in Dorset... 10 miles from
Updated: Mar 6
This is the first of the '10 miles from' posts, and I thought I would start with Christchurch, our nearest town! Set in the south eastern corner of Dorset, it is a pretty market town, close to Bournemouth and the New Forest.
Two rivers, the Avon and the Stour meet in Christchurch harbour, so it's a great place for sailing, canoeing and many other watersports.
Christchurch harbour meets the sea at the Run, next to Mudeford quay, a great spot for crabbing or catching the ferry to Mudeford sand spit with its very expensive beach huts. Avon beach runs from Mudeford to Highcliffe and is a great place for walks, sandcastles and watersports including wind surfing and Paddleboarding.
Please remember that most places are currently closed due to lockdown, so do check on opening season and times before visiting. An internet search should reveal more information! Reviews on Tripadvisor can be helpful to decide if a place is for you or not!
Best known for....
Christchurch Priory. Dates back to the 11th Century, and is one of the longest churches in the country. Find out about the miraculous beam!
Highcliffe Castle, once home of the Selfridge family, is a few miles east of the town centre and has been recently restored. Good cafe and above the beach.
Christchurch Quay and the Quomps are great for walking, boat hire, picnics, summer concerts and a children’s playground and splash pool.
Mudeford Quay, as mentioned above!
Worth seeking out...
A walk around town will reveal the ruins of the Norman castle and Constables house, the excellent Red House Museum and the Art Deco Regent Centre now a theatre and Cinema. There are 18 blue plaques to find on the History trail, and look out for the stocks and the ducking stool!
Further afield, Burley is the centre for all things Witchcraft, and also home of the Cider barn shop and cafe.
The Russell Cotes museum in Bournemouth,
Walks and Nature
The New forest is close by, with many walks and cycle rides. Mill Lawn near Burley is a favourite picnic spot.
Stanpit Marsh is a Nature reserve with excellent bird and wildlife watching.
Hengistbury Head and Wick Meadows offer lovely walking on the Bournemouth side of the River Stour.
A favourite walk of ours is from Steamer Point in Mudeford to the Cliffhanger café at Chewton Bunny, walking there along the beach, and back through Highcliffe castle and Steamer point Nature reserve.
Further on, there is a great walk along Barton Cliffs with views of the Isle of Wight.
In Bournemouth itself, walking around Coy ponds and the Upper gardens can be surprisingly tranquil.
Southbourne clifftop and Promenade offer many options for coastal walks and beach visits
Stour Valley way runs from Hengistbury Head to Wimborne and beyond. Start at Throop Mill for a great circular walk
St Catherine's Hill is a lovely woodland area.
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest has many walks, cycle and play trails, and a Go Ape facility.
Avon Heath country Park has walks and Nature activities for families.
Information! Parking, Tourist Information etc.
Lots of parking options, mostly paid, although it can be difficult to park near the beach on sunny weekends and school holidays. Campervans and smaller motorhomes can park on some car parks, but buy 2 tickets if you take up more than one space. There is an excellent Tourist Information Centre in the High street.
Places to eat £ under £10pp ££ £10-20pp £££ over £20pp
We have many great places to eat, so these are just our favourites! As usual, please check opening times and current reviews.
Christchurch town: Cuckoos £; La Mamma Italian ££; James and White ££; Splinters Restaurant £££; Mudeford: The Noisy Lobster £, ££ or £££; The Jetty £££,
Highcliffe: Cliffhanger café £, ££ Bistro My Way ££;
Milford on Sea: La Perle ££ Verveine - also a fishmonger! £££
Southbourne: Deli Rocks £, Makla - Moroccan £, ££; Casa Carlos – Spanish £, ££; Sobo Fish ££,
Restaurant Roots Fine dining £££
Tuckton: Beccafico £, ££
Plentiful accommodation of all types in the area. Nearest Campsites for tourers are Meadowbank in N. Christchurch, the New Forest Caravan Club site and Harrow Wood farm, both near Bransgore. There are also 2 certificated sites near Highcliffe and Sopley.
We are campervan owners ourselves, and we ask you, please, if you visit the area in a campervan or motorhome, please only dispose of your rubbish, grey waste and toilet waste in proper, designated facilities. Doing anything else gets all campers a bad name, and will only result in it becoming harder for all of us to access lovely places Leave only Footprints!