Dorset - Christchurch & Rural Dorset Holiday Brochure

Bordering three counties and an easy drive from the World Heritage Coast, the New Forest, the south coast resorts of Bournemouth and Poole, and heritage cities of Bath and Salisbury, Christchurch & Rural Dorset is ideally situated for a perfect holiday or short break.

England's first Natural World Heritage site, the magnificent Dorset and East Devon Coast, is several miles to the south. Christchurch & Rural Dorset also borders Somerset and Wiltshire, and Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury are all an easy drive away across dramatic Salisbury Plain or the gentle Somerset Levels.

History surrounds you in Dorset, where many traces remain from ancient times: mystical barrows, impressive Iron Age hillforts, ancient routes such as the Dorset Cursus, and more.

Christchurch & Rural Dorset is an area of scenic beauty and contrast, criss-crossed by the pretty River Stour and bordered on both sides by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Located on the banks of the River Stour, Blandford Forum is unique in Dorset for its uniform Georgian architecture, particularly its stunning marketplace and parish church.

The pretty hilltop town of Shaftesbury lies nestled around its Saxon Benedictine Abbey, at its peak the largest woman`s religious community in England. Today the Abbey offers a Museum and serene Anglo-Saxon garden around the Abbey Church remains, with glorious views south.

Shaftesbury is an idyllic small town, offering centuries of history, stunning views over three counties and a range of rare, old-fashioned stores, regular book and flea markets, gift shops, arts and crafts, two museums and of course famous Gold Hill.

Set in the picturesque water meadows of the rivers Stour and Allen, Wimborne Minster welcomes visitors with a wonderful display of flowers as worthy Silver Gilt winners of Britain in Bloom 2004, and the town`s streets come alive with music and dancers during the annual Folk Festival in June.

Whatever the time of year, Christchurch is the perfect choice for a well-deserved short break, longer stay or even for just a few hours.

The warm welcome you will receive and the wealth of things to do and see in Christchurch and the surrounding Dorset countryside will give you memories to treasure forever and make you want to return time and time again.

Christchurchs' unique combination of fascinating heritage, beautiful coastline, peaceful rivers and spectacular natural harbour appeals to all ages and provides all the ingredients to make your visit extra special.

Planning you trip? Find your way around with this handy map.