Why not check beaches nearby as we have 7 beaches around Christchurch, 56 beaches in Dorset, or have a look at our list of Dorset dog friendly beaches, or even our United Kingdom Blue Flag beach list.
Christchurch Dorset Coast Search Bar
Where would you like to go? Use our search bar to search across all our local listings, ideal for finding that nearest spot to visit:
Want some ideas on where to visit?
Every favourite location must be visited for the first time. Want some ideas, why not check out the below small selection of coastal locations, including beaches, activities, things to see and do, places to stay and eat:
- Hengistbury Head is a headland jutting into the English Channel between Bournemouth and Christchurch, at the end is a spit that creates the narrow entrance to Christchurch Harbour.Hengistbury Head beach is a pebble beach below the imposing clay and ironstone cliffs, with the Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve separates Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).Not so much a beach holiday location but a good place to explore and go for walks along gravel paths throughout the nature reserve.Facilities include pay and display car park, toilets, cafe and the Hengistbury Head Centre.
- Friars Cliff beach is a mixture of sand and shingle with great views across Christchurch Bay to the Isle of Wight. Good family beach with safe swimming, backed by a promenade that has wheelchair access. Facilities include car parks, toilets, cafe, lifeguards in the summer and beach hut hire.
- Mudeford Quay is at the entrance to Christchurch harbour is not a beach but provides a great family day out location. You can fish off the quay, walk to the beaches nearby, take the ferry to Mudeford Sandbanks and Hengistbury Head or participate in watersports. From this point you can sail, windsurf, canoe in Christchurch Harbour or out to sea. Facilities include parking, toilets, shops and pub.
- A sandy beach at the tip of Hengistbury Head. Swimmers, paddlers and watersports are segregated on designated areas between numbered groynes. The collection of 300 plus wooden beach chalets may look rough but the huts are in great demand due the excellent location. Facilities include toilets, cafe, bistro and shop on the sandbank; Mudeford Quay facilities including pub, cafe, shop are just a short ferry ride away. No vehicle access to the sandbank. Nearest car parks are at Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury Head. Access is either by land train from the Hengistbury Head car park or ferries from Mudeford or Christchurch Quays.
- The Mudeford Lifeboat station is located at Mudeford Quay and operates an inshore lifeboat. This is a very picturesque location at the entrance to Christchurch harbour. Visits are allowed during crew training, check schedule on display in boathouse notice board.
- Highcliffe beach is sand and shingle beach with groynes below grassy cliffs. The beach has areas marked for swimmers and watersports, providing safe conditions. Highcliffe beach also provides good access to the fossil hunting clay cliffs at Barton on Sea. The beach has a large car park and most facilities are by the car park or a short walk to Highcliffe.
- Avon Beach is situated at Mudeford to the east side of the Christchurch Harbour entrance, near Bournemouth and is a 1/4 mile of sandy beach with views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles Lighthouse. Avon beach is a great family beach providing a great place for beach games, a safe gentle slope into the sea and sand bars to play on. Watersports has its own designated area in front of the car park and is great location for surfing, SUP, canoeing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Due to the sand banks the beach provides a good place for kitesurfing and windsurfing beginners. Facilities include car park, toilets, shop, cafe/restaurant and hire of beach huts, deck chairs, sun loungers, wind breaks and canoes. Lifeguards in the summer and free identity wristbands to parents with children to enhance child safety on our beach.
- Highcliffe Castle beach is a sand and shingle beach backed by woods and Highcliffe Castle. Limited facilities: parking, toilets and cafe in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle. Note that the parking in the woods at Highcliffe Castle can fill up early in good weather. You can park on Highcliffe cliff-top and follow the Coastal Path to the Castle and then onto the beach.
- Christchurch Castle is a Norman motte and bailey castle that has stonework dated to 1160 AD. The castle’s site is inside the old Saxon Burh dominating the River Avon’s lowest crossing. Alonmgside the castle you have a chamber block now known as the Norman House.
- Highcliffe Castle is a grade I listed building situated on a cliff-top site overlooking Christchurch Bay, Dorset. The castle was built in the early 1830s by Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay in a Gothic Revival style on the site of High Cliff house, a Georgian Mansion. The design, by William Donthorne, has carved Medieval stonework salvaged from the Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Peter at Jumieges and the Grande Maison des Andelys.