Our guide to living in Christchurch

With its rich heritage, excellent amenities, and beautiful riverside walks, Christchurch is a vibrant and idyllic place to settle down.

Read our guide to discover the joys of living in Christchurch.

Everything you could need… right on your doorstep

Christchurch boasts all the amenities you could need, including a shopping centre with an excellent selection of high-street stores and coffee chains, as well as a nearby M&S Food Hall and Waitrose. Just a short drive from the town centre, you’ll find a large Sainsbury’s and Stewarts Garden Centre, the latter of which offers a lively calendar of family events throughout the year (including the chance to meet Santa’s reindeer at Christmas!).

There’s also an array of independent businesses, including salons, bakeries and delis.

An idyllic town steeped in history

Christchurch Quay is the jewel in the town’s crown, making a perfect spot for the whole family with its mix of play parks, eateries and idyllic scenery. From there, you can trace a path along the old ruins of Christchurch Castle towards the Priory, as you walk along the stream and take in the ducks and beautiful fauna.

There are some quirky historical attractions also, including stocks and the old ducking stool – a hanging chair over the river that was used to punish “disorderly women” back in the day.

Christchurch Priory

A selection of great bars and eateries

Christchurch is a foodie’s dream, with highly-rated eateries that include The Boathouse and the award-winning restaurant at The Captain’s Club Hotel. The Kings Arms is a fantastic spot for dinner and cocktails, while Soho and Arcado Lounge are perfect for after-work drinks or brunch.

For indulgent milkshakes and ice cream, you can’t do better than The Ducking Stool. If live music is your thing, The Thomas Tripp puts on live music and open mic nights throughout the year. The nearby New Forest is home to more quaint country pubs than you can shake a stick at – perfect for cosy Sunday lunches or as a refreshing pit stop during a long walk.

It’s impossible to talk about Christchurch without mentioning the renowned Christchurch Food Festival, which plays host to a range of local, artisanal food producers and stands from popular restaurants.

A hub of arts and culture

The annual Stompin’ on the Quomps jazz festival is a highlight of the summer calendar in Christchurch, as the quay plays host to live music in the bandstand.

The Regent Centre is a popular venue for film, live theatre and music, acting as the cultural centre for Christchurch and the surrounding areas.

Residents can also enjoy free outdoor movies at the quay – just bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy!

Plenty for little ones

The Quomps splash park, near Christchurch Quay, is a wonderful water play park for children – a very popular spot during the summer months.

The quay itself has a beautiful park and bandstand – ideal for family picnics overlooking the water. Grab an ice cream from one of the nearby kiosks and settle in for an afternoon watching the boats go by.

Christchurch bandstand

For the sporty people in the family, Two Riversmeet is a local leisure centre that offers two swimming pools, a fitness suite, 3G football pitches, squash courts, and an indoor cycling studio.

The nearby Cat & Fiddle Farm makes a lovely afternoon out. Wander through the Pick your Own fields then enjoy a hot chocolate in the adorable café. In the autumn, you can even live out your best Instagram pumpkin patch dreams!

Ideal for those who love the great outdoors

Whether it’s paddleboarding or hiring a boat to while away an hour on the river, or taking in the beautiful sights at Mudeford Quay, you’re spoilt for choice in Christchurch.

Stanpit Marsh is a popular area for long dog walks and spotting wild horses. A Site of Special Interest since 1986, this beautiful spot is home to an unusual combination of habitats (including salt marsh, reed beds, and mud flats) and over 300 plant species.

You can truly enjoy the best of both worlds in Christchurch – all the convenience of a modern town with the joy of having beautiful beaches (Highcliffe and Mudeford are local favourites) and the scenic New Forest on your doorstep.

Looking to buy a home in Christchurch?

Christchurch quay
Christchurch aerial view
Hengistbury Head beach huts