From water parks to golf clubs and beaches to bike trails, we’ve rounded up the best Christchurch activities.
Formed 7,000 years ago, the Christchurch Harbour is a tranquil water channel sheltered by Mudeford Quay to the north and Mudeford Sandbank to the south, creating a tranquil natural harbour home to a wide range of wildlife and plenty of water sports. ShoreSports on the harbour offer a range of watersports including stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and kayaking and provide equipment as well as lessons. If you want to really experience the wind in your hair, book in at Adventure Voyages on Mudeford Quay who’ll take you out in their 30-foot RIB boat capable of doing 30 knots on the open water.
Further north around the harbour towards the centre of Christchurch is Quay Leisure Boat Hire where you can hire your own motor boat and head out for 30- or 60-minute sessions with up to eight passengers. If you’d like to get wet but remain on dry land, Quomps Splash Park is just next door and is a well-equipped family-friendly water park perfect for hot sunny days, and is a 15-minute walk from our Christchurch West hotel.
Head to our dedicated Adventure Wonderland page for a full rundown of one of the most popular family attractions in the region.
A 200-metre-long dry ski and snowboard slope, Snowtrax Alpine Activity Centre is a great place to get your year-round winter kicks. Located to the north of Christchurch near Bournemouth Airport, the centre offers a full range of skiing and snowboarding options, including lessons and kit hire, and also has a great adventure playground and an alpine-themed bistro.
The leading tennis club in the region, the public pay and play tennis courts at the Christchurch Tennis Facility offer a great way to get fit with a wide range of sports camps and lessons for children and adults.
A well-hit drive from our Highcliffe hotel, the Highcliffe Castle Golf Club has seen some illustrious names play the course including King Edward VII and Queen Mary. The 18-hole parkland course is quite short but surprisingly tough and is open to non-members but book in advance to get your preferred tee-time during the summer months.
Our video guide to activities in Christchurch
While much of the fun in and around Christchurch makes the most of the great outdoors, there are plenty of indoor options. The Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre is the leading fitness and sport centre in the area with several swimming pools, a modern gym with fitness and cardio suites, several football pitches, squash courts and even a golf course. Located to the east of the town centre, it is just a short drive from our Christchurch East hotel.
The kids’ equivalent of a leisure centre, Monkey Madness Play Centre is a huge child-friendly soft play area full of slides, ball pits, tunnels, rope climbs and a café serving up breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks. Open daily from 9.30am, the centre is located to the north of Christchurch on Fairmile Road and is a 200-metre walk from our Christchurch West hotel.
The perfect rainy day activity, The Clay Studio stock over 350 items that can be painted and glazed ranging from cups and mugs to fine plates, silver clay jewellery, key fobs and more. Simply pick your item, paint and decorate it and then come back in a few days to get the finished item.
There are few finer pleasures than slurping a litre of coke, working your way through a head-sized box of popcorn and sitting back with the latest Hollywood blockbuster. And the Regent Centre cinema is one of the finest of its kind on the south coast. A converted Art Deco cinema, it not only screens a decent selection of new arrivals, it pays rightful homage to the classics with films like Ghostbusters, the Blues Brothers and Aliens all given airtime.
We’ve rounded up our favourite stretches of coastline on our Christchurch beaches page.
At just under three miles long, the Saxon Square to Avon Beach Cycle Trail won’t leave you tired but will give you plenty of time for sightseeing, sunbathing and coffee stops. The scenic trail takes in two bridges over the River Avon and ends at Avon Beach, where you can bag a deckchair and grab a takeaway lobster from the Avon Beach Resort.
Part of the National Cycle Network, the Avon Beach to Burton Green Cycle Trail is another three-mile jaunt that starts at the traditional village green in Burton, a few miles to the north of the town centre.
The Burton Green to Burley circular - the longest trail at 17 miles - is a gorgeous country bike ride that takes in quaint villages, fields of wandering ponies with the New Forest village of Burley marking the halfway point.
One of the finest coastal towns in the south of England, Christchurch is a joy to walk around, especially the Priory Area Historic Walk, which takes in the town’s fascinating centre and is just a short walk from our Christchurch West hotel. The walk starts at the Priory car park, taking in the Priory and the Porter’s Lodge, with regular blue plaques helping keep you on the right track.
A long-distance walk that takes in some of the best stretches of coastline in the UK, the Avon Valley Path is a 34-mile trek that opened in 1992 and runs from Wiltshire through Hampshire to Dorset. Split into five more manageable sections, the last segment of the path runs from Sopley on the edge of the New Forest and culminates in Christchurch.
Finally, the Christchurch Millennium Trail is a great way to explore most of the town centre highlights, taking you from the Neolithic period right up to the modern day – self-guided maps can be purchased from the Christchurch Information Centre.