If you are travelling by car head for The Council Office car park, at the
Stoney Lane South, traffic lights head towards 2rivers meet recreation
centre and park to the rear of the offices. The walk into town from here
is a good way to start. To either side of the Council Offices are pedestrian
pathways that will lead you out to the main road, Bridge Street. Head towards
the bridge crossing to the far side of the road early for the best views
both up and down the river. On a clear day in the summer the fish, mullet,
will be in the shallows taking the sun and fascinate many a passer-by.
As lads we used to try and catch them from the bridge but I don't remember
ever being successful.
Walking on towards the town, on the other side of the street is Prezzo
a recently refurbished restaurant which provides superb selection of food.
Cross the road before the traffic lights are reached for best effect and
as you walk up the slope to the second bridge The Priory comes into view
as does our castle and the salmon fisheries of the river Avon. Look over
the bridge and you may see the fisherman who have paid a small ransom to
fish the river. Again, on a good day you will see the fish swimming in
the river where the fishermen can not, this time it could well be salmon.
Over the bridge turn left into the pathway, Convent Walk. The stream to
your right is the Mill Stream and the building on the far bank the Old
Chamber which started life as the Constables House. A stroll along the
the Walk is beautiful any time of the year. Watch both river and stream
if you like the wild life, ducks, water voles, and fish to mention but
a few. If you walk under the arch remember to duck, our ambulance crews
find it difficult to get to you at this point.
Beyond the arch and on your right is the rear end of The Priory and just
round the bend from here, again on your right, are the gardens. Neither
can be reached from the Walk until you get to the end. Not far to go before
you will see the old stone bridge over the Mill Stream and
Mill. The Mill is recorded in the Doomsday Book as a such and was around a
long time before that. At the end of the Walk turn left to walk to the
river via those large expensive looking town houses and the Christchurch
sailing club, it is a circular route that will bring you back to the bridge
but it is a pleasant stroll giving an insight into how the other half live.
Head across the bridge and turn left to reach the
Quomps and its welcome cafe's for a rest, coffee or some lunch, or go over the
bridge and turn right into the garden walk which will take you past the
Castle, see the
Castle Walk. As you enter the Quomps the first port of call for the weary traveller is The Old Mill Tea Rooms where light refreshments and ice cream can be purchased and eaten at one of the outside tables, here you will get a good view of the river and the traffic on it. Or for a more substantial meal or specialist coffees, alcoholic drinks and a continental atmosphere try the Boathouse a few yards away, the authors favorite coffee/lunch stop. The Boathouse, although a little further away from the river doe shave an excellent view of the water and of course Hengisbury Head.