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Guidebook for Highcliffe

Emily

Guidebook for Highcliffe

Food Scene
The Paddle is renowned locally for its excellent food and coffee, using responsibly sourced local produce. They are not open evenings, but do a fantastic brunch or lunch! They also have a takeaway open during the summer serving smoothies and ice-cream.
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The Paddle Cafe Bar Eatery
397 Lymington Rd
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The Paddle is renowned locally for its excellent food and coffee, using responsibly sourced local produce. They are not open evenings, but do a fantastic brunch or lunch! They also have a takeaway open during the summer serving smoothies and ice-cream.
It serves up yummy coffee and cake
Driftwood Kitchen
330 Lymington Rd
It serves up yummy coffee and cake
Serves coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view. Also runs tribute nights.
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Cliffhanger Cafe
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Serves coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view. Also runs tribute nights.
friendly beachfront café serving a selection of homemade meals, cakes, coffee and ice-cream
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The Beach Hut Cafe
7 Cliff Dr
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friendly beachfront café serving a selection of homemade meals, cakes, coffee and ice-cream
Relaxed restaurant with amazing views, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the harbour. Live music some nights in the summer and great atmosphere, a short ferry journey from Mudeford Quay.
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Beach House
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Relaxed restaurant with amazing views, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the harbour. Live music some nights in the summer and great atmosphere, a short ferry journey from Mudeford Quay.
A friendly place with amazing views across Christchurch Bay and towards the Isle of Wight, and great food and drink. It runs regular events and ‘Fish and Fizz Fridays’.
The Cliff House
A friendly place with amazing views across Christchurch Bay and towards the Isle of Wight, and great food and drink. It runs regular events and ‘Fish and Fizz Fridays’.
Relaxed coffee shop/ café by day, and bar restaurant in the evening, large with soft lighting and plenty of space for kids, they serve a great selection of food and drink, I particularly like their tapas!
Arcado Lounge
71 High St
Relaxed coffee shop/ café by day, and bar restaurant in the evening, large with soft lighting and plenty of space for kids, they serve a great selection of food and drink, I particularly like their tapas!
Lovely spot for tea, cake, sandwiches and ice-creams.
Highcliffe Castle Tearooms
Lovely spot for tea, cake, sandwiches and ice-creams.
A family run restuarant serving delicious and authentic Thai food, a 3 minute stroll friom our house.
Similan Thai
251 Lymington Rd
A family run restuarant serving delicious and authentic Thai food, a 3 minute stroll friom our house.
Just through the footpath opposite the house. Family friendly pub with good value meals, with a large restaurant area and outside area. Separate children’s menu.
The Globe
266 Lymington Rd
Just through the footpath opposite the house. Family friendly pub with good value meals, with a large restaurant area and outside area. Separate children’s menu.
Sister restaurant to the Beachouse, also in a great location, on Christchurch Quay. Relaxed restuarant serving breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner. It has a lively bar atmosphere later in the evening, and sometimes has live music.
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The Boathouse
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Sister restaurant to the Beachouse, also in a great location, on Christchurch Quay. Relaxed restuarant serving breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner. It has a lively bar atmosphere later in the evening, and sometimes has live music.
Excellent upmarket dining with stunning views of the harbour. Ideal for romantic meals and special occasions.
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The Jetty
95 Mudeford
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Excellent upmarket dining with stunning views of the harbour. Ideal for romantic meals and special occasions.
Nestled in the forest, popular for their food, large beer garden, woodland trim trail keeps kids happy.
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The White Buck
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Nestled in the forest, popular for their food, large beer garden, woodland trim trail keeps kids happy.
‘The Oaks’ is a recently opened upmarket pub owned by the White Brasserie Co. It’s a 5 minute walk from the house, is family friendly and has a great bar and restaurant menu. Booking recommended for restaurant meals, although its possible to eat in the garden from bar menu without a booking.
The Oaks
189 Lymington Rd
‘The Oaks’ is a recently opened upmarket pub owned by the White Brasserie Co. It’s a 5 minute walk from the house, is family friendly and has a great bar and restaurant menu. Booking recommended for restaurant meals, although its possible to eat in the garden from bar menu without a booking.
Relaxed cafe, restuarant and takeaway in a great location directly on the beach.
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The Noisy Lobster
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Relaxed cafe, restuarant and takeaway in a great location directly on the beach.
Relaxed yet upmarket restaurant and cookery school on the Chewton Glen Estate
The Kitchen, Chewton Glen
3 Chewton Farm Rd
Relaxed yet upmarket restaurant and cookery school on the Chewton Glen Estate
Upmarket dining in an idyllic location in the New Forest. Specialises in locally produced food.
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The Pig
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Upmarket dining in an idyllic location in the New Forest. Specialises in locally produced food.
Drinks & Nightlife
Cosy Pub, basic pub food, no kids indoors but the location on the quayside means you’ll want to be outside toasting the sunset!
Haven House Inn
Cosy Pub, basic pub food, no kids indoors but the location on the quayside means you’ll want to be outside toasting the sunset!
Popular pub, known for good atmosphere and live music. Also serves good pub meals.
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The Thomas Tripp
10 Wick Ln
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Popular pub, known for good atmosphere and live music. Also serves good pub meals.
Parks & Nature
Our local beach is Highcliffe Beach. We live just a short walk from the cliff top where you will find sweeping views across Christchurch Bay from Hurst Spit to the east, to Hengistbury Head in the west. Looking straight out to sea we have amazing views of The Needles off the tip of the Isle of Wight. Can you spot the Wight Bear?!? To access the beach…. On foot….Via steps and a stony slope…. From the house walk to the right along Jesmond Avenue to the end of the road. At the end of the road turn left and walk through the footpath. Cross the main road and walk down Wharncliffe Road, alongside the recreation ground. Turn right onto Beacon Drive and walk until you see a footpath going left betw
Highcliffe Beach
Our local beach is Highcliffe Beach. We live just a short walk from the cliff top where you will find sweeping views across Christchurch Bay from Hurst Spit to the east, to Hengistbury Head in the west. Looking straight out to sea we have amazing views of The Needles off the tip of the Isle of Wight. Can you spot the Wight Bear?!? To access the beach…. On foot….Via steps and a stony slope…. From the house walk to the right along Jesmond Avenue to the end of the road. At the end of the road turn left and walk through the footpath. Cross the main road and walk down Wharncliffe Road, alongside the recreation ground. Turn right onto Beacon Drive and walk until you see a footpath going left betw
Slightly east is Naish Beach, in front of the clay cliffs. The border between Dorset and Hampshire is formed by the stream which runs underground in the valley (known locally as the Bunny) here. The beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the south coast when conditions are right! The clay cliffs are also very popular with fossil hunters, but please do not climb on the cliffs as they are very unstable and there can be deep soft mud. Sharks teeth can be found along the shoreline at low tide – look for small black triangular stones at the waters edge.
Barton-on-sea Beach
46 Marine Dr E
Slightly east is Naish Beach, in front of the clay cliffs. The border between Dorset and Hampshire is formed by the stream which runs underground in the valley (known locally as the Bunny) here. The beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the south coast when conditions are right! The clay cliffs are also very popular with fossil hunters, but please do not climb on the cliffs as they are very unstable and there can be deep soft mud. Sharks teeth can be found along the shoreline at low tide – look for small black triangular stones at the waters edge.
To the west is Highcliffe Castle Beach, which is a beautiful sweep of sand backed by pine trees on the cliffs. The castle on the cliff top is also well worth a visit (see below). This section of beach can be the quietest along the Bay because it can only be accessed via steep steps from the car park at the castle, or by walking along from Highcliffe. West from Highcliffe Castle Beach is Steamer Point beach, which has a beautiful nature reserve on the cliffs above (there’s a nice walk through the reserve from Highcliffe Castle).
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Highcliffe Castle
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To the west is Highcliffe Castle Beach, which is a beautiful sweep of sand backed by pine trees on the cliffs. The castle on the cliff top is also well worth a visit (see below). This section of beach can be the quietest along the Bay because it can only be accessed via steep steps from the car park at the castle, or by walking along from Highcliffe. West from Highcliffe Castle Beach is Steamer Point beach, which has a beautiful nature reserve on the cliffs above (there’s a nice walk through the reserve from Highcliffe Castle).
Further west, where the beach huts start, is Friars Cliff, then Avon Beach. Both these popular beaches have easy access, nice cafes, toilets and lifeguards on duty - the Beach Hut café at Friars Cliff does a great breakfast, and great homemade cakes, and the Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach is also a good option, with restaurant, shop and kiosks for ice-cream, coffee and fish and chips. You can walk from Highcliffe Beach all round the bay along the beach, or there are car parks at Avon Beach (one on the beach, one behind it, accessed from Island View Avenue) and at Steamer Point/ Friars Cliff, at the end of Seaway Avenue. From Avon beach you can walk along to Mudeford Quay, and at low tide there
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Avon Beach
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Further west, where the beach huts start, is Friars Cliff, then Avon Beach. Both these popular beaches have easy access, nice cafes, toilets and lifeguards on duty - the Beach Hut café at Friars Cliff does a great breakfast, and great homemade cakes, and the Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach is also a good option, with restaurant, shop and kiosks for ice-cream, coffee and fish and chips. You can walk from Highcliffe Beach all round the bay along the beach, or there are car parks at Avon Beach (one on the beach, one behind it, accessed from Island View Avenue) and at Steamer Point/ Friars Cliff, at the end of Seaway Avenue. From Avon beach you can walk along to Mudeford Quay, and at low tide there
At Mudeford Quay there is great crabbing, and the Haven is a nice pub which does traditional pub food. It is the best place to watch the sunset over the harbour! The Fish Stall sells freshly caught fish from the local fishermen who land their catch here. This is also the place for fishing and sightseeing boat trips, and where you catch the ferry across to Hengistbury Head. You can also take a lesson or hire a Kayak or Stand-Up-Paddleboard, the shelter of the harbour is the perfect place to learn.
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Mudeford Quay
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At Mudeford Quay there is great crabbing, and the Haven is a nice pub which does traditional pub food. It is the best place to watch the sunset over the harbour! The Fish Stall sells freshly caught fish from the local fishermen who land their catch here. This is also the place for fishing and sightseeing boat trips, and where you catch the ferry across to Hengistbury Head. You can also take a lesson or hire a Kayak or Stand-Up-Paddleboard, the shelter of the harbour is the perfect place to learn.
Hengistbury Head, famed for its luxury beach huts is one of our favourite places. It is a very special laid back, car free spit of land, with beach and sea on one side, and the harbour on the other. It is joined to the mainland by a headland and nature reserve. Be sure to climb up onto the headland for the best view of Christchurch Harbour and Bay, and views for miles, from the Jurassic coast to the Isle of Wight. If you are here during the Bournemouth Air Show it is a great place to watch the planes too! The visitors centre at the Nature Reserve also runs bookable children’s craft activities, and wildlife walks and talks, and children love the ‘noddy’ train.
Mudeford Sandbank
Hengistbury Head, famed for its luxury beach huts is one of our favourite places. It is a very special laid back, car free spit of land, with beach and sea on one side, and the harbour on the other. It is joined to the mainland by a headland and nature reserve. Be sure to climb up onto the headland for the best view of Christchurch Harbour and Bay, and views for miles, from the Jurassic coast to the Isle of Wight. If you are here during the Bournemouth Air Show it is a great place to watch the planes too! The visitors centre at the Nature Reserve also runs bookable children’s craft activities, and wildlife walks and talks, and children love the ‘noddy’ train.
After Hengistbury Head Bournemouth’s sandy beaches continue for miles. The promenade runs all the way along, past Southbourne, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Alum Chine, Durley Chine, and finally Sandbanks. Each beach has it’s own personality. Southbourne is laid back, Boscombe has some great cafes and restaurants, and a surf school, Bournemouth has lots of activities, including a pier, zipwire and big wheel. Reaching Poole harbour and Sandbanks you will find more watersports options, including Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, and Paddleboarding, and also upmarket shops and eateries.
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Southbourne Beachfront
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After Hengistbury Head Bournemouth’s sandy beaches continue for miles. The promenade runs all the way along, past Southbourne, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Alum Chine, Durley Chine, and finally Sandbanks. Each beach has it’s own personality. Southbourne is laid back, Boscombe has some great cafes and restaurants, and a surf school, Bournemouth has lots of activities, including a pier, zipwire and big wheel. Reaching Poole harbour and Sandbanks you will find more watersports options, including Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, and Paddleboarding, and also upmarket shops and eateries.
Scenic village in the heart of the New Forest.
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Burley
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Scenic village in the heart of the New Forest.
The New Forest has lots of great places to visit. It is a lovely place to pack a picnic and go exploring in. There are many footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Bolderwood has lovely woodland paths and open fields, picnic tables with bbq stands, and is the most likely place in the forest to spot wild Deer relaxing during the day.
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Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
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The New Forest has lots of great places to visit. It is a lovely place to pack a picnic and go exploring in. There are many footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Bolderwood has lovely woodland paths and open fields, picnic tables with bbq stands, and is the most likely place in the forest to spot wild Deer relaxing during the day.
Tall Trees Trail and Arboretum. Shady trail with impressive trees, picnic benches and bbq stands. In the heart of the New Forest
Blackwater Car Park
Tall Trees Trail and Arboretum. Shady trail with impressive trees, picnic benches and bbq stands. In the heart of the New Forest
Shady stream with bridge and picnic area, perfect for pond dipping and rope swinging!
Puttles Bridge
Shady stream with bridge and picnic area, perfect for pond dipping and rope swinging!
Just past Puttles Bridge, a big open field, great for spotting ponies and playing ball games.
Whitefield Moor
Just past Puttles Bridge, a big open field, great for spotting ponies and playing ball games.
The New Forest has lots of great places to visit. It is a lovely place to pack a picnic and go exploring in. There are many footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. It also has visitor attractions such as the Reptile Centre and Wildlife Park, and traditional villages, such as Burley, Beaulieu and Brockenhurst, with thatched cottages, where ponies and cattle can be found meandering through the village centres.
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New Forest National Park
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The New Forest has lots of great places to visit. It is a lovely place to pack a picnic and go exploring in. There are many footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. It also has visitor attractions such as the Reptile Centre and Wildlife Park, and traditional villages, such as Burley, Beaulieu and Brockenhurst, with thatched cottages, where ponies and cattle can be found meandering through the village centres.
A magical garden, tucked away near the village of Minstead, deep in the New Forest. A beautiful place to explore, see if you can find all the fairy homes hidden amongst the fragrant flowers, and enjoy a cuppa in the café.
Furzey Gardens
A magical garden, tucked away near the village of Minstead, deep in the New Forest. A beautiful place to explore, see if you can find all the fairy homes hidden amongst the fragrant flowers, and enjoy a cuppa in the café.
Expansive and Beautiful gardens occupying a great spot running down to the Beaulieu river. The gardens have a little Steam train and have lots going on.
Exbury Gardens
Expansive and Beautiful gardens occupying a great spot running down to the Beaulieu river. The gardens have a little Steam train and have lots going on.
Sightseeing
A ten minute walk, or 2minute drive from the house you will find Highcliffe Castle, of Mr Selfridge fame. You can take a stroll through the Castle’s beautiful grounds free of charge, or take a tour of the castle for a small fee. There is a nice tearoom, and the Castle holds lots of events throughout the year, from regular free Swing Unlimited Outdoor Concerts, to Yoga in the gardens and theatre shows.
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Highcliffe Castle
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A ten minute walk, or 2minute drive from the house you will find Highcliffe Castle, of Mr Selfridge fame. You can take a stroll through the Castle’s beautiful grounds free of charge, or take a tour of the castle for a small fee. There is a nice tearoom, and the Castle holds lots of events throughout the year, from regular free Swing Unlimited Outdoor Concerts, to Yoga in the gardens and theatre shows.
Historic Christchurch has lots of interesting places to visit. It has numerous historic buildings, including the Beautiful and impressive Priory Church, with its colourful history, a ruined castle, and a watermill, as well as pleasant walks through gardens and along the rivers.
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Christchurch
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Historic Christchurch has lots of interesting places to visit. It has numerous historic buildings, including the Beautiful and impressive Priory Church, with its colourful history, a ruined castle, and a watermill, as well as pleasant walks through gardens and along the rivers.
A spit of land with a shingle bank reaching out towards the Isle of Wight, with imposing Hurst Castle at the end. The castle can be visited, and the spit and surrounding wetlands are a great place to spot a wide variety birds.
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Hurst Castle
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A spit of land with a shingle bank reaching out towards the Isle of Wight, with imposing Hurst Castle at the end. The castle can be visited, and the spit and surrounding wetlands are a great place to spot a wide variety birds.
It has a wide range of independent shops along its high street that runs down to the ‘cobbles’ and the waterfront. It also has familiar names such as ‘Joules’, ‘White Stuff’ and ‘Fat Face’, and a Saturday market, as well as lots of nice pubs and places to eat.
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Lymington
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It has a wide range of independent shops along its high street that runs down to the ‘cobbles’ and the waterfront. It also has familiar names such as ‘Joules’, ‘White Stuff’ and ‘Fat Face’, and a Saturday market, as well as lots of nice pubs and places to eat.
Entertainment & Activities
A great free Splash Park on Christchurch Quay, ideal for younger children, and one of my children’s favourite places to go to on a sunny day! It is next to a lovely playground, and just by the river, where you can get a little ferry over to Wick, with its tea garden and mini golf, and rent little motor boats to pootle up and down the river.
Quomps Splashpark
39A Wick Ln
A great free Splash Park on Christchurch Quay, ideal for younger children, and one of my children’s favourite places to go to on a sunny day! It is next to a lovely playground, and just by the river, where you can get a little ferry over to Wick, with its tea garden and mini golf, and rent little motor boats to pootle up and down the river.
A large popular Country Park near Ringwood, with play trails, theme trails, a tree top trail, ‘Go Ape’ ropes course, large playgrounds, cycle trails, lakes, golf course, a mini steam train and visitor centre with lots of woodland activities ran by their enthusiastic rangers, such as minibeast hunts, pond dipping and den making
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
A large popular Country Park near Ringwood, with play trails, theme trails, a tree top trail, ‘Go Ape’ ropes course, large playgrounds, cycle trails, lakes, golf course, a mini steam train and visitor centre with lots of woodland activities ran by their enthusiastic rangers, such as minibeast hunts, pond dipping and den making
Near Moors Valley, but much smaller and quieter, with playground and nature trails
Avon Heath Country Park
Near Moors Valley, but much smaller and quieter, with playground and nature trails
A theme park, with lots of rides and attractions for all ages, that takes a full day. Peppa Pig World is hugely popular with younger children, and Dinosaur World has roller coasters for older children and adults
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Paultons Park Home of Peppa Pig World
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A theme park, with lots of rides and attractions for all ages, that takes a full day. Peppa Pig World is hugely popular with younger children, and Dinosaur World has roller coasters for older children and adults
A theme park, with lots of rides and attractions for all ages, that takes a full day. Peppa Pig World is hugely popular with younger children, and Dinosaur World has roller coasters for older children and adults
Paultons Park
A theme park, with lots of rides and attractions for all ages, that takes a full day. Peppa Pig World is hugely popular with younger children, and Dinosaur World has roller coasters for older children and adults
Excellent independent Cinema and Theatre in Christchurch Town Centre, shows a wide range of different shows and films.
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The Regent
51 High St
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Excellent independent Cinema and Theatre in Christchurch Town Centre, shows a wide range of different shows and films.
Near the seafront in Bournemouth, they have a wide variety of exhibits.
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Oceanarium
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Near the seafront in Bournemouth, they have a wide variety of exhibits.
Arts & Culture
Small museum in Christchurch
Red House Museum and Gardens
Small museum in Christchurch
Shopping
Stewarts is a pleasant place for a browse wth lots of plants and a lovely selection of gifts, aswell as a gift shop
Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre
Stewarts is a pleasant place for a browse wth lots of plants and a lovely selection of gifts, aswell as a gift shop
a cavernous space with lots of small independent shops collected under one roof.
Molly's Den
1B Bridge St
a cavernous space with lots of small independent shops collected under one roof.