Christchurch is a popular venue for boaters with its pretty Town Quay and links to the sea. The town’s location, where the River Avon from Salisbury (Wiltshire), Ringwood (Hampshire) and St Ives (Dorset) meets the Stour, makes Christchurch a hotspot for people who have always dreamed of owning a waterside property as well as watersports enthusiasts who enjoy messing about on the river. Fishing, too, is a popular pastime here, with specimen barbel, chub, roach, dace, bream, carp and pike regularly caught from the riverbank.
Canoeists tend to stick to the ‘Christchurch Loop,’ where the water is deep enough not to run aground and well away from the anglers. The Avon is also a special area of conservation, with protected species resident in the bogs, marshes and water-fringed vegetation along its course.
Such is the Avon’s prominence in Christchurch that it has its own stretch of beach named after it. Avon Beach in Mudeford combines traditional seaside charm with top-class amenities and is home to the award-winning Noisy Lobster restaurant.