Imagine an idyllic seaside break and you might picture sandcastles and ball games on the beach, paddling and swimming in the sea, crabbing from the Quay, and of course a delicious ice cream or two!
But there is no need to stick to tradition, with the safe waters of the harbour and beautiful surrounding countryside there are so many more great activities to try, both on land and water, as a family, group or individual.
So if you are looking for something that will get your blood pumping, enable you to feel sea spray on your face, or perhaps an activity that gets you out in to the heart of countryside with all its sounds and smells, Christchurch can deliver.
Fed up with the hectic pace of life, need to just unwind?
Then enjoy a lazy day out on Mudeford Quay and Sandbank; after a picnic or pub lunch on the Quay take the Mudeford Ferry across to the Sandbank, chill out on the beach, admire the exclusive beach huts and explore Hengistbury Head with its wonderful views.
Then it’s all aboard the Noddy Train for the short trip back to the jetty where Bournemouth Boating will ferry you back to Mudeford Quay, Christchurch Quay or Tuckton - a day filled with simple pleasures and fresh sea air that will have you relaxed in no time!
Out on the water
Love life in the fast lane?
Then feel the thrill as you ride the waves on a rib with Adventure Voyages, an amazing and exhilarating way to see the coast with trips to the Isle of Wight and Old Harry (Purbeck), fantastic fun but a bad hair day guaranteed.
For something a little more relaxing, hire a self drive motor boat from Quay Leisure Boat Hire and explore the safe waters of the harbour and river - the harbour’s famous swans are sure to keep you company.
Wind & paddle power
Always wanted to try your hand at sailing or windsurfing?
With sheltered harbour and coastal waters, Christchurch is the ideal location to take your first lessons, its fun to learn and very addictive!
With nothing but bird song and the sound of the paddles dipping in and out of the water, kayaking and stand-up-paddle boarding are two of the nicest ways to enjoy Christchurch’s wonderful coastal and river environments.
Whether wind or paddle power Shore Sports offers a range of guided tours and courses with qualified instructors that will make your holiday one to remember.
Like your food fresh and locally sourced - what could be fresher that catching it yourself?
Take a mackerel fishing trip on ‘Rosie’ with Skipper Bill Foster, whether or not you catch something for tea you are sure to have a whale of a time!
Keen on fishing but not so keen on boats?
With miles of coastline and two pristine rivers the area offers great shore and coarse fishing, visiting anglers can call in to Davis Tackle for permits, bait and local advice.
On two legs or two wheels
Fresh air and exercise aren’t just restricted to the water; landlubbers too have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Take a stroll along the Christchurch Coast Path, the 2½ mile route from Highliffe to Mudeford Quay provides panoramic views and some convenient cream tea and ice cream stops!
Watch out for wildlife on picturesque riverside walks, but if you really like to stretch your legs the 64 mile Stour Valley Way and the 34 mile Avon Valley Path both offer a challenge.
Walking around the golf course more your style?
There are a number of pay and play courses in the area including 18 holes at Moors Valley and 9 holes at Parley Golf Centre, where you can also enjoy practising on the floodlit driving range.
If you like to take to two wheels you can head along the coast, cycle paths will take you into the heart of neighbouring Bournemouth and Poole.
Alternatively get on the beaten track (and off the road) with routes through the scenic New Forest National Park.
At home with nature
Get the binoculars out and see if you can spot a rare bird or shy reptile in one of Christchurch’s many nature reserves.
The unusual combination of habitats at Stanpit Marsh provides a home for hundreds of plant species, 14 of which are rare and endangered, in turn these support a wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies and birds.
Discover the countryside around Christchurch on horseback, it is a wonderful way to feel at one with nature and get up close to the wildlife, Stocks Farm Equestrian Centre is one of several in the area offering riding lessons and treks.
Don’t want to miss out on your regular exercise routine whilst you are away?
Christchurch’s Two Rivers Meet Leisure Centre has extensive facilities including a gym and swimming pool, so there’s no excuse!
With so much to experience and so many things to try a day simply won’t be long enough.
View our list of accommodation and find something to suit, stay longer and make the most of your time in Christchurch.