Christchurch Quay and Christchurch Harbour Review

Address: Quay Road, Christchurch, Dorset
Postcode: BH23 1BY

Christchurch Quay is a stunning location surrounding Christchurch town. A beautiful harbour with swans walking around waiting to be fed and yachts and boats are sailing up and down the waterway.

You’ll also find other things on Christchurch Quay such as an ice cream parlor and cafe and two famous Christchurch hotels and restaurants.

Christchurch Quay and Christchurch Harbour consist of two areas: the town quay and the Quomps.

Read More: Beach Huts for Rent Bournemouth * Beach Huts for Rent Mudeford

1 The Quomps is an open flat area with a children’s play park and a children’s paddling pool called the Splash Park. In the summer months, this play park gets extremely busy with children splashing around and playing on the park rides. At weekends you can also find a fun fair here usually in the summer months.

Christchurch Priory on Christchurch Quay
Christchurch Priory on Christchurch Quay

2 The Quay is connected to the Quomps and is a large grass area for picnics in front of the beautiful river and has a bandstand on it.

Every year in August the quay is busy with the Christchurch Carnival. Here on the quay front, you will find Christchurch Fair and food stalls.

Read More: New Forest Ponies – Where To See? * Burley Manor New Forest * Visiting Hengistbury Head – Hengistbury Head Beach * The BoatHouse Christchurch – Christchurch Harbour * Christchurch Harbour Hotel – The Jetty Christchurch

christchurch quay christchurch harbour
Christchurch Quay

Christchurch Quay Parking

There are two car parks at either end of the quay. They get very busy in the summer and reach capacity quickly, so it’s best to get there early to grab a spot if you are planning a day out in Christchurch.

Alternatively, there are a few places along the road running directly parallel to Christchurch Quay and there are two other car parks within Christchurch town center itself. These car parks are a short walk away.

Two Rivers Meet Leisure center also has a pay-per-park car park and the Quay can be walked easily from here.

Place Mill Christchurch

Place Mill Christchurch Quay Christchurch Harbour
Place Mill Christchurch Quay Christchurch Harbour

Place Mill is an ancient mill mentioned in the doomsday book. Today it is used as different things and is still a fully functioning water mill. I believe inside it currently houses an art gallery.

Visitors are allowed to go into the mill and have a look around, it still includes the original mechanics of the mill and is still mixing the water from the Stour and Avon.

Christchurch Quay Ferry

From here you can catch the ferry over to Mudeford Spit. The ferry runs daily weather permitting from the front of Place Mill. It takes around 40 minutes to travel from the Q’uay to Mudeford Spit by ferry.

Wick Ferry Christchurch Quay
Wick Ferry Christchurch Quay

Wick Ferry runs between Wick Village and Christchurch Harbour. The ferries have been running this route for over a thousand years!

The Wick Ferry runs from Easter until the end of October, from 10 am until 5 pm.

If the flag is flying, the ferry is running.

A really nice day out is to park at Christchurch and then take the ferry across to Mudeford Sandbank. You can explore the beach and have a coffee and sandwich at the beach cafe and then walk back via Hengistbury Head and Tuckton Bridge. 

Christchurch Quay Boat Hire

Alternatively, you can hire your own boat for the day. The boats cater up to large groups of 6 adults or 8 with small children and dogs are even allowed to come along too!

The prices to hire a boat are very reasonable and the current fee (2022 prices) is £25 for half an hour and £35 for an hour.

To book a boat you simply need to go up to the kiosk on Christchurch Quay and book at the time you want to go. You’ll need a photo ID to hire one of the boats.

The boats are only allowed to be taken down the River Stour and are not able to be taken out to sea. There is a maximum hire of one hour and it comes with all safety equipment and life jackets.

If you wanted to take a boat out on the sea you can choose a rib ride which will come with a skipper to take you out onto the open sea.

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Christchurch Quay Cafe and Ice Cream Kiosk
Christchurch Quay Cafe and Ice Cream Kiosk

Christchurch Quay Restaurants and Hotels

If you’re looking for a lovely place to eat while visiting Christchurch Quay then you are in for a treat because right on the Quay and harbour itself are two exceptional restaurants. One is also a hotel.

1. The Boathouse Christchurch – Christchurch Harbour

The Boathouse is right on Christchurch Quay with views of Christchurch harbour. It’s a beautiful setting where you can sit and watch the world go by. The restaurant also features a cocktail bar for evening drinks and each evening they have live music.

the boathouse christchurch Quay
The Boathouse Christchurch Quay

You can choose to eat inside or outside in their garden or on the glass balcony. There is also a courtyard for drinks.

The menu is varied and includes Mediterranean dishes as well as burgers and steaks.

Read More: The Boathouse Christchurch – Review

2. The Captains Club Hotels – Christchurch Harbour

Captains Club Hotel Christchurch
Captains Club Hotel Christchurch

At the other end of Christchurch Quay is the award-winning Captains Club Hotel which also features a restaurant and bar plus a spa.

Visitors can book here for a drink or jug of Pims to sit directly on the harbour courtyard and relax watching the boats go by. The hotel has its own car park making it easy to visit Christchurch Quay and then stop off for dinner or drinks afterward.

Read More: Captains Club Hotel Review