JC Travels: A Weekend in Christchurch, Dorset
We are popping out of my Croatia and Slovenia blog posts, for a bit more of some recent travel! The big trip this year deserves a few blog posts of its own, but since then I’ve been on two mini trips – and this is the first. I’m always excited to explore new parts of the UK, and so Paul’s family had the great idea of heading down to Christchurch, Dorset for a weekend together. We had been tasked to find a selection of dog friendly vacations to keep the family pet happy! This wasn’t too much of an issue thanks to the fact they used to come here a lot when Paul was a kid, so it held a lot of awesome memories for them, and I can definitely see why it is a gorgeous bit of the country!
It was a quick train ride directly from London Waterloo – only just over 90 minutes before I arrived down by the seaside. Christchurch is near Bournemouth on the South Coast. For our first evening, we checked into our cozy B+B and went out for dinner. Despite being a small town, it is packed full of restaurants and pubs and felt very lively. We decided to go to Prezzo which was a pleasant surprise – I hadn’t been there before and really enjoyed the lighter pasta option I went for.
The sun then luckily rose the next day for our main day of exploring. We started by heading to the Priory, the main church in the area which is definitely spectacular inside. Full of stained glass and with some really impressive stonework, I enjoyed having a good wander and learning a bit more history of the area – especially the name, as I am very fond of Christchurch in New Zealand too! We continued to have a wander past the castle ruins which are next door too.
Paul had spent a lot of time out on their boat when they were young, so it only made sense for us to do the same! We got one of the little passenger boats out through the Christchurch Harbour and over to the Hengistbury Head near Mudeford. The boat ride out was lovely, looking back at all the yachts, I’ve also never seen so many swans out in open water, there were hundreds of them! Along with some wild horses on the outside of the bay, it was a gorgeous bit of the country. We timed it quite well in that as soon as we got the spit, it started absolutely bucketing down – just in time for us to have some lunch at the Beach Hut!
The spit itself is an instagram dream, full of colourful beach huts and bright sandy beaches. As the weather was a bit unpredictable, it was nice and quiet. I bet it would be an awesome place to go if you wanted a bit of lying out in the beach in the sunshine. Behind the beach huts and the spit, is the Head. We all had a walk up, looking over the view of the Spit which was gorgeous. We had a walk along looking down to all the cliffs and out to the ocean. We again managed to win on the timings and the rain only came in when we were about to head back. We got the little land train back to the ferry to rest the weary feet (if only Pokemon Go was out then, bet I would have got a heap of good ones on that little trek!).
We jumped back on the ferry back to the mainland, you can keep going on the ferry over to the other side of the harbour where Mudeford is as well if you wanted a bit more of a day out. We of course, stopped off for some tea and cake before heading back to the BnB.
For dinner on our second night, we went to Koh Noi, which is a Thai tapas place. I’ve never had Thai Tapas but it is quite the good idea! Getting a whole load of different small dishes is the best, there is a good opportunity to try a little bit of everything, from Chicken Satay to Spring Rolls to a load of skewers. Along with some Thai inspired cocktails, I really enjoyed it! I think it is a bit of a chain on the South coast too, so if you get the chance do pop in and get some Thai fare.
The next morning, we lounged and had some breakfast – wandered past the little New Zealand garden which reminded me of home, and then headed back on the road to London. Overall, I had an awesome little weekend in Dorset, it has definitely inspired me to explore more of the South Coast. I now have no holidays planned until Australia, but I think we will try and do a bit of a weekend in Devon and Cornwall in between, I just know it will be just as gorgeous!
Have you been down to South Coast? Where do you recommend?