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Charming Christchurch

The first word that comes to mind when you step out in Christchurch is old. Not in relation to the blue rinse set that frequent the teahouses (and with the oldest population in the UK, you’d better believe there are plenty of them), but because Christchurch, on the south coast of England, is the kind of old that makes the local bingo club look like a day-care centre.

Remnants from Norman times litter the town, and structures and traditions that date back almost as far are commonplace. The Monday Market began in 1149 (and featured rather less jam and doilies than it does now), while the Ship Inn, the oldest pub in Christchurch, was once favoured by smugglers (as opposed to today’s nine-to-five set). Located at the confluence of the Avon and Stour rivers, Christchurch, unlike some of its residents, has only got better looking with age.


CHRISTCHURCH’S TOP 10

10. Ye Olde George Inne This public house has been around since the 14th century. Luckily, the beer is somewhat fresher!

5. Red House Museum Check out the fashion, culture and politics of times gone by.

9. The Town Bridge This 15th century bridge is still in use, and an excellent example of the craftsmanship of the time.

4. Constable’s House Within the Castle grounds are the remains of the Constable’s House, which boasts one of only five remaining Norman chimneys in the country.

8. Christchurch Priory Overlooking the town, it was a gift from King Henry VIII.

3. Christchurch Quay A picturesque waterside location, from here you can take a historic ferryboat to Wick.

7. Place Mill This Anglo-Saxon watermill gets a mention in the Domesday Book, which means it’s been around since at least 1085.

2. Wick This pretty village lies just across the river from Christchurch and is full of quaint tearooms and historic sites.

6. Highcliffe Castle Built between 1831 and 1835, it is a fine example of Gothic revival architecture.

1. Christchurch Castle Built in Norman times, it is getting on for 1,000 years old. Talk about a fixer-upper!


CHRISTCHURCH EVENTS

May brings the Christchurch Food and Wine Festival, with both traditional and innovative fare to sample.

The Bournemouth Kite Festival in September will see spirits flying high.

Also in September, the Autumn Equinox Ghost Walk will test your mettle. With buildings this old, there have to be at least a few ghosts around…


WHEN TO GO

· Christchurch is in the enviable (and rare) position of being an English city with mild winters and warm summers.

· Winter temperatures only drop to 4 to 8°C (39-46°F).

· Summer temperatures average around 22°C (72°F) – perfect for sightseeing and enjoying the outdoors.


GETTING AROUND

· Canridebuses are an excellent way to get about town. They leave regularly and – wait for it – on time!

· If you’ve decided to really get in the spirit of tourism at one of the many old city centre pubs and have missed the last bus, a taxi is your best bet. They’re not cheap, but they are safe and reliable.


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Hotels in Christchurch

51 hotels in Christchurch, GB

1 The Green House

4 stars
5.0 / 5

4 Grove Road Map

The Green House Bournemouth offers pleasing hospitality and friendly services. The hotel's modern amenities and the great location make for a property that appeals to both leisure and business... More

2 The Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa

3 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

Avonmouth Map

The Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa features an exceptionally sophisticated and relaxed venue for a peaceful stay. This hotel is an ideal place to explore shopping districts of the Castlepoint... More

3 The Kings

3 stars
5.0 / 5

18 Castle Street Map

The Kings Hotel Christchurch is a boutique hotel placed opposite the quintessential Kings Arms bowling green and historic sites of Christchurch Castle ruins, Norman Hall and the Priory. It is in... More

4 Beaulieu Hotel

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Beailieu Road Map

In the middle of a vast open heathland by the village of Beaulieu, this former coaching inn offers a peaceful New Forest retreat with sweeping views, award-winning cuisine, leisure facilities and... More

5 The Cumberland Hotel

3 stars
4.5 / 5 4 reviews

The Cumberland Hotel Map

This lovely hotel with comfortable accommodation and convenient facilities offers excellent value for money and is ideal for both business and leisure travellers. GeneralGuests travelling on... More

6 Thistle Poole Hotel

4 stars
3.8 / 5 13 reviews

The Quay Map

Within easy reach from the vibrant town, Thistle Hotel Poole is a great base for exploring Dorsets vast and varying countryside. GeneralThistle Hotel Poole comprises 2 meeting rooms, which can... More

7 The Manor

5 stars
Not yet reviewed

15-17 Salisbury Road Map

Holidaymakers looking for a cosy retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, find an ideal haven in the inviting and homey accommodations of The Manor Hotel Christchurch. Besides taking... More

8 Heathlands Hotel Bournemouth

3 stars
3.0 / 5 4 reviews

12 Grove Road Map

Heathlands Hotel Bournemouth is a warm and friendly family hotel is just a few minutes walk from safe golden beaches and Boscombe's historic Victorian shopping arcade. This property has a TV lounge... More

9 Carrington House Hotel

3 stars
2.5 / 5 2 reviews

Knyveton Road Map

Carrington House Hotel - A Forestdale Hotel features quality accommodation facilities for an enjoyable stay. Featuring comfortable accommodation with modern amenities, this hotel offers warm... More

10 Captains Club and Spa

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Wick Lane Map

The strikingly modern exterior and interior give this Captain's Club Hotel Bournemouth all the style and elegance you associate with a property of this category, in a luxurious and contemporary... More