Christchurch has an excellent road network and car parking, however over the Festival weekend with 50,000 extra visitors to the town, it is strongly recommended to leave your car at home or park at a distance and get a bus or train into the town.
Yellow Buses have a number of routes into Christchurch so have a look at their website for timetables www.bybus.co.uk With the High Street closed the bus stops are moved to the Saxon Centre (just outside Waitrose) for east bound buses (towards Highcliffe and the New Forest), and on Barrack Road opposite the Pit Site Car Park for west bound (i.e. towards Bournemouth).
Wilts & Dorset More Buses have the X1 and the X2 which run from Bournemouth to Lymington via Christchurch and stop at the same locations in Christchurch as above. To check out the times of these buses see their website.
Trains – there are up to 5 trains an hour stopping at Christchurch Station, which is a 10 minute walk from the town centre. This is a perfect way to travel if you are coming from very close by at Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Hinton or New Milton as well as those visitors travelling from further afield.
To get to the town centre, as you come out of the train station turn left into Stour Road, and then right at the junction into Bargates. Follow this road to the town centre and take the underpass to bring you up into the High Street.
Car parking is at a premium during the Festival weekend and you are therefore strongly recommended to travel into the town via public transport or park further away and walk to come by ferry from Wick or Tuckton.
For 2017, we are offering a paid-for Park & Stride car park. This is at Stanpit Recreation Ground, and will be operated by the local Air Traffic Corps (ATC). The Recreation Ground can be found half way down Stanpit on the outskirts of Christchurch at BH23 3NA.
Once you have paid £5 for the day and parked, you can then enjoy a pleasant walk to the centre of Christchurch via the cycle path, around the rear of the Civic Offices and then along Bridge Street and Castle Street straight to the Festival Market. This is a flat 10 – 15 minute walk and is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
The car park is open from 10am to 5pm, and the gates will be locked at 7pm so make sure you collect your car before that time!
The Festival Market and Village are now over for 2016, but will be held on Saturday 6th May and Sunday 7th May in 2017, opening at 10am on both days. On Saturday they will close at 6pm and on Sunday at 5pm. In the unlikely event of an emergency or adverse weather conditions the events may open later or close earlier.
There is disabled parking in all the town centre car parks, but it will be at a premium with so many visitors to the Festival Market & Village.
The Festival Market is in the High Street and other locations, but all of them are on tarmac with dropped kerbs. The only proviso is that with so many people visiting it can be rather daunting for someone less able, especially as wheelchairs and mobile scooters may find the crowds difficult to get through. We would therefore recommend arriving early or later in the day to avoid the congestion.
The Festival Village and Demonstration Marquee is on Christchurch Quay which is easily accessible and likely to be less busy than the Festival Market in the town centre. However the Quay is all grassed and so could be difficult for a wheelchair if the grass is wet.
There are toilets in Saxon Square with additional portaloos in the town centre, as well as toilets on the Quomps (Christchurch Quay) both of which have disabled toilets.
There will be fully trained professional first aiders on site in the High Street and on the Quomps all weekend. The nearest A&E Department is at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Castle Lane East, Bournemouth BH7 7DW which is about a 15 minute drive from the town centre.
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Our demonstration events are yet to be finalised, please check back closer to May.