Christchurch is a town in Dorset, famed for its millenium-old Priory,of which the town derives its name from.
- Next to Bournemouth and on the edge of the New Forest. About 90 minutes from London on South West Trains or via the M3 and M25 Motorways.
- Norman Castle Ruins
- Constable's House, which was built within the original Norman castle bailey in 1160, now Grade I listed heritage building. Much of the stonework survives, including a rare example of a Norman Chimney (one of only five in the country). The ground floor which has four slit windows was used as a storeroom. The upper floor accessed by steps outside and a internal staircase contained the main hall. As well as the chimney, another notable feature is the garderobe tower which extends over the mill stream added in the early 13th century to provide sanitary arrangements.
- Chrischurch Priory dating back more than 1000 years. It is very large (Cathedral-sized) and was very important in ecclesiastical terms back in the day.
- Red House Museum
- The Mayor's Parlour and Saxon Square
- Place Mill is a Grade II* listed Anglo-Saxon watermill located a short distance to the south of the Priory
- Christchurch Harbour - Very pretty harbour, which is great for a stroll around. There is lots of green spaces and heaths around, and a golf course too. The varied habitats include saltmarsh, wet meadows, grassland, heath, sand dune, woodland and scrub, which makes it classified by the government as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The water is popular for sailing, and for racing toy-boats and pedalos too. If you're brave/mental enough you could venture for a swim (it's clean but freezing). The Mudeford ferry operates between Mudeford Quay and Mudeford Sandbank on Hengistbury Head, near the mouth of the harbour with a nice pub with enjoyable views. There is toy train for the kids too.
- Farmer's Market on the weekend.
- Highcliffe Castle, situated on the cliffs at Highcliffe is Highcliffe Castle, a Grade I listed mansion. The building was designed by William Donthorne for Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay, and built between 1831 and 1835. It stands on the site of "High Cliff", a demolished Georgian mansion which belonged to Charles Stuart's grandfather John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. An important remaining example of the Gothic Revival architecture, Donothorne's design incorporated French mediaeval stonework, stained glass and 18th century French panelling. The house was sold in 1950 and was briefly used as a children's home and a Catholic seminary. After a devastating fire and years of neglect the castle was sold to Christchurch Borough Council in 1977 and underwent restoration. Highcliffe Castle is open to the general public throughout the year and is used for weddings, private functions, exhibitions and other public events.
- Hart's Fusee Factory, built in 1845. The manufacture of fusee chains was an important industry in 19th century Christchurch.
- Take a boat or ferry on the river, visit the harbour with great views of the Isle of Wight.
A number of good restaurants in the middle of town near the Priory.
High Street contains two Grade II listed public houses: Ye Olde George Inne, once a coach house, and the Ship Inn which has the oldest licence in Christchurch. A known haunt of smugglers, the Ship Inn's history can be traced back to 1688. At the end of High Street is Church Street which contains Church Hatch, a Grade II* listed Georgian residence. Once the home of Sir Owen Tudor Burne, it was saved from demolition in 1929 by public appeal. Ye Olde Eight Bells, a Grade II listed gift shop in Church Street, was once another alehouse frequented by smugglers and central to a number of local legends.
Good location for day trips to the New Forest, Lymington and Beaulieu.