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
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.
The Festival is being held on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May, opening at 10am on all days. On Friday and Saturday the Festival will close at 8pm 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.
Part of the event is in the High Street which is subject to a road closure for the whole 3 days, and this area is 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 other key area for the Festival is on Christchurch Quay which is easily accessible. 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.
Tops Day Nursery will be open over the festival weekend for baby changing and feeding. Tops is located at Priory Hall, Princess Avenue, BH23 1DE.
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.
The Christchurch Food Festival was originally organised to celebrate the Millennium and its success encouraged the voluntary organisers to make it an annual event, led by Mary Reader who is the President of the Festival. After 20 years organising the Festival, the majority of the volunteer committee decided to take a well-earned rest and the Festival has now been taken on by one of the committee members and local resident who also just happens to run Real Food Festivals, a food festival and food market business.
This ensures some continuity but also means that the event is in the hands of a business that has huge experience and understanding of what is required to stage a successful event. Part of our committment is to continue to support the Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust and 20% of our profits will be donated to the charity.
The Festival attracts vital tourism to the town and helps to pump money into the local economy. It enhances people’s experience of Christchurch, not simply raising the profile of the town but a greater awareness of the goods and services available within it.
For Christchurch, the Food Festival is an exciting and fast-growing culinary and business-led event.
The Festival’s charity – Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust – has gone from strength to strength and focuses on teaching healthy eating in local schools as well as organising the Kids’ Kitchen – a favourite event every year over the Festival Market Weekend.
All stalls selling alcohol over the Festival weekend will be adopting the Challenge 25 policy.
So if you are lucky enough to look under 25 you will be asked to prove that you are aged 18 or over when you buy alcohol.
Only photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or proof of age card will be accepted.
For more information please visit the CHALLENGE 25 website