Beyond The Beach 2022 Campaign

Zoe PayneBlog PostLeave a Comment

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are well known for their miles of beautiful, sandy, award winning beaches and they draw visitors from near and far. This summer I have been doing something a little different, I have been exploring beyond the beach. There are so many wonderful places to visit in the BCP area that won’t leave your shoes full of sand. If you follow Sand & Seagulls social pages you may have seen some of the places as I took you on my journey with me.

Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre is in the heart of Bournemouth and originally opened in 1929. The Grade II listed building with theatre and ballroom hosts a wide variety of events from tea dances, to live shows and concerts. I saw the phenomenal live show Mamma Mia in July, it was the perfect venue.




Moving away from Bournemouth, and just outside of Christchurch we had a wonderful family day at Highcliffe Castle. The incredible castle will take your breath away. It was originally built between 1831 and 1836 using mainly French stone which was salvaged from abandoned or demolished buildings. It is a Grade I listed building and an important example of romantic and picturesque style of architecture. We learnt about how it was once a beautiful home destroyed by fire, left to ruin and now being brought back to life. So many wonderful interactive ways for children (and grown ups) to discover and play, including dress up and crafts.


As well as a fountain of knowledge from volunteers. My husband and I got married at Highcliffe Castle in 2010, it was wonderful to revisit and take my boys with us. With a super cafe or lots of picnic spots you can make a real day of it.





The Regent Centre was definitely one of our go to places this summer, we visited a few times to catch children’s films. The 1930s art deco cinema stands proud on Christchurch high street. Originally opened in 1931 it’s been restored to its art deco glory and has a dedicated team of volunteers helping run events from live shows to film viewings. You can even sponsor a seat to show your support. The beautiful venue hosts theatre, music and film and is a true icon on the high street. When in Christchurch a must visit is also The Church Priory. It is one of the longest parish churches in the country and even has a cafe and gift shop. Open everyday for visitors it is beautiful to walk around, and with educational boards throughout it’s a wonderful way to spend an hour or so.

From there we went to The Red House Museum, just like the Priory the museum is free to enter. The former Georgian workhouse takes visitors on a journey exploring Christchurch from before the Ice Age to modern times. With a children’s education area including old fashioned toys for the children, my boys loved it and want to go back again. It was fascinating to learn about the history of the area. The Red House Museum has a wide variety of events running throughout the year from arts and crafts to museum talks.

We finished our tour of Christchurch with a walk around the ruins of Christchurch Castle and Norman House. The beautiful ruin is said to contain stonework dated back to 1160 and is a beautiful site as you walk through Christchurch. The perfect spot to end our trip around Christchurch was The Ducking Stool. Situated down the picturesque Ducking Stool Lane the strange contraption was used in Christchurch from the mid-14th century to punish women who were found guilty of anti-social behaviour. But right next door the tea room offers the best milkshakes, the perfect spot to rest tired feet.


Our last Beyond The Beach visit was to Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre. I have always had a soft spot for Hengistbury Head, I think it’s a real little gem. It’s a fascinating place with a wide variety of heathland, freshwater wetland etc, but also for its important archaeology and geology. The visitors centre is free to visit, donations are welcome. With a huge variety of exhibitions and interactive displays you can an amazing insight into the wide variety of wildlife that can be found nearby, and the history of the area. Theres a wildlife garden, a gift shop and the hiker cafe just a few metres down. A great way to spend time Beyond The Beach. There is so much to do in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area Beyond The Beach, I have only just touched the surface on the different things that are available to do. What areas of BCP do you like to explore?

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