Christchurch Town in Dorset
The town of Christchurch lies in east Dorset just to the east of Bournemouth and is an excellent base from which to explore East Dorset, the Isle of Purbeck as well as the New Forest, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Formerly part of Hampshire, it became part of Dorset when local government boundaries changed in 1974. Christchurch currently has a population of about 48,000, making it the 4th largest town in the county.
The town was originally called Twynham and was founded in the 7th century at the junction of the River Avon and River Stour. Twynham became an important port for trade and defensive fortifications were constructed in the 9th century. After a Priory was built here in 1094, the town became known as Christchurch.
Further defences were added in the 12th century with the construction of a castle which was destroyed by the Parliamentarian Army during the English Civil War. During the 18th and 19th centuries smuggling flourished in Christchurch and became one of the town's most lucrative industries.
The town was heavily fortified during Second World War as a precaution against an expected invasion and in 1940 an Airspeed factory was established on the town's airfield which manufactured aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
Today Christchurch is a popular tourist destination. It attracts over a million visitors each year. Bournemouth International Airport, lies nearby at Hurn and supports a large number of associated aerospace and engineering businesses.
Like Bournemouth, Christchurch is a popular destination for retirees and has one of the oldest populations in the country with 30 per cent of residents aged over 65.
The nearest source of local information is available from Christchurch Tourist Information Centre.
Events near Christchurch
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: