Christchurch in Dorset has it all: a quaint high-street, market days, ruins, a huge priory, a mill mentioned in the doomsday book and loads of swans! What’s more, you can jump on a ferry to Hengitsbury Head.
On sunny days when I’m at a loose end, I have a favourite place to go and unwind. I pack a couple of analogue cameras and jump on the bus to Christchurch. I get off the bus at the top of the high-street and walk down towards the Priory, on the way passing the square which is often home to a market. After a short walk you reach the Priory; the church and it’s grounds dominate the town. From here, a pathway leads to the ruins of Christchurch Castle and to the river which leads to the quay. There’s also a bowling green and plenty of benches; great for taking the weight off your feet.
Following the river, you reach the mill and Christchurch Quay. There are restaurants, playgrounds and crazy golf, and thousands of swans, and people enjoying the tranquility.
From the quayside, I hop on the ferry to Hengitsbury Head. It’s a pleasant journey through the harbour, which takes about 20 minutes. Hengitsbury Head is covered in beach huts and BBQs. I like to walk up the hill (there’s a land train for the lazy) to the top, the views down, and over the harbour are worth the walk. There are plenty of paths and lakes to be found along the way. The last ferry back is at 5 o’clock and then it’s back on the bus and back to reality.