Dating back to the Iron Age, the historic town of Christchurch sits in an area between the River Avon and River Stour on the Hampshire border. Originally a trading point and safe mooring, the town flourished and became a popular place with visitors. Today the large natural harbour and four square miles of race water in Christchurch Bay make it a favourite destination for the boating and yachting fraternities. There are several sailing clubs in the town, including Highcliffe Sailing Club, which is the nominated training camp for the 2012 Olympics, and excellent facilities for windsurfing and power boating. For those who prefer to enjoy the sea from dry land there are several excellent beaches.
There is, of course, much more to Christchurch than the all-encompassing water. The town itself has an absolute wealth of heritage sites, including the Iron Age fort at Hengistbury Head, the 11th century Priory Church, the (almost modern day by comparison) 14th century Court House and the impressive Georgian Red House. For those with more 21st century preferences there is plenty of quality shopping to be had and a lovely market in the High Street every Monday. There is also a superb choice of excellent restaurants serving everything from freshly caught Seafood to Gourmet cuisine. And, as you would expect from an old seaside town, there are plenty of decent places to enjoy a pint and listen to local tales of smuggling and piracy.
With its long, long history and superb location close to the New Forest on the splendid Dorset coast, visitors to Christchurch has a veritable plethora of things to do. It is also an ideal base from which to explore the many fascinating towns, villages and places of interest within the surrounding area.