Things to do in Christchurch

Christchurch might just be the perfect English beach town. With wide open beaches,  cliff-top castles and some of the best pubs, cafés and restaurants in Dorset, it’s a classic south-coast town.  There’s plenty of history on show in Christchurch including the Priory, Highcliffe Castle and Christchurch Castle and Norman House, neatly balanced by a bustling high street home to shopping centres, cafés, bars and restaurants. Check out our Christchurch hotels to find out the best place to stay. There’s plenty to do here, too. Choose from a range of beaches, explore the nearby New Forest or entertain the family at Peppa Pig World or Adventure Wonderland. Factor in some stunning coastal views, miles of bike and hiking trails and a rich season of events and festivals, and you’ll find Christchurch is a great alternative to staying in nearby Bournemouth and Poole.

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Attractions

With castles that date back to the Norman period, historic churches, nature reserves and leafy parks, Christchurch is home to an impressive array of attractions.

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Culture

Whether it’s local art galleries, fascinating museums that recount the region’s rich history, or food, music and arts festivals, there’s always something to see and do in Christchurch.

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Activities

With mile after mile of stunning coastline, the harbour is home to a wide range of watersports and beaches, perfect for sunny day lazing, windsurfing and more.

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Beaches

Choose from wide open sandy beaches, secluded hotspots home to some of the most expensive beach huts in the UK or windswept shingle beaches underneath cliff-top castles.

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Highcliffe Castle

With its cliff-top location, Highcliffe Castle offers stunning views across the English Channel and is one of the best-preserved 18th-century romantic castles in the UK.

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Entertainment

A small town, Christchurch can still boast a strong art and entertainment scene, with regular live music, theatre and opera thanks to venues like the excellent Regent Centre.

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Places to eat

Seafood looms large here thanks to its coastal location, but the town is also home to a wide range of cuisines, including Thai, Italian, Indian and more. Discover the best cafés and restaurants in Christchurch with our eating-out guide.

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Nightlife

With historic pubs, quaint country inns and lively town-centre bars open late into the night, Christchurch has a lively and contained nightlife scene. Find out the best spots to head to once the sun goes down.

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Shopping

Be it modern shopping centres, mini markets perfect for picking up a bargain or hunting down designer names, you’ll find everything and more in Christchurch.

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New Forest National Park

A short drive from each of our Christchurch hotels, the New Forest is one of the largest forests in the south and a relatively untouched space that makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time.

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Adventure Wonderland

One of the leading family-friendly destinations in the region, Adventure Wonderland is aimed at kids aged 12 and under. There are a wide range of rides and attractions and even guest visits from Peppa Pig and friends.

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Getting around

With two airports within half an hour of Christchurch, getting into the town couldn’t be easier. Add in train, road and ferry networks, and you have a well-connected town.

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Our video guide to Christchurch

Our map of Christchurch

Christchurch Map