The High Street, Castle Street and
Church Street all meet outside of the George Inn, needless perhaps to say Church
Street is the road that runs up to the Priory, you can't miss it, many of the
oldest buildings in the town are in this area. As you make your way to the
Priory, you simply can not visit Christchurch and not do so, you will pass some
of the best places to eat.
On the right hand side of the road at the
junction with Wick Lane is a coffee shop, ice cream parlour and cafe'.
Whilst you are here look a few feet into Wick Lane, on the same side of the road
as the cafe' and hidden in the courtyard under the arch is the old bus terminus. On
your left a little further up Church Street one of the authors favourite Italian
restaurants, Pinocohio's, so full of atmosphere and on every visit only the best
food. You can not book and will often have to queue to get in but believe me its
worth the wait. Almost opposite is a newly opened Italian Delicatessen providing
a true taste of Italy for your lunch and supper.
Beyond Pinocohio's is the Soho Bar offering coffee, alcohol and food,
an up market continental restaurant. On the other side of the road, the
Copper Skillet, a building
dating back to 1905, I can remember this restaurant as a child, always good
quality food for all the family it is the restaurant of longevity and a good
place to eat at any time of day. Next to Soho, Splinters, if you like
fish restaurants, and I certainly do, this is one of 2 in the area that are
exceptional, try it you will never find better. The last commercial
premises before you reach the Priory is
Ye Old Eight Bells a gift
shop that is full of jars of sweets, collectables, gifts, crafts and
haberdashery goods. The building dates back to 1450 and was until 1907 a pub
popular with smugglers, now filled in, a network of tunnels left the pub reaching
as far as Mudeford to aid the towns smugglers in their evasion of the Excise who
resided in Bridge Street, so the rumour goes.
The terminus mentioned above is visible beyond
the entrance to private premises and is sometimes behind locked gates. Trolley
buses ran between Christchurch and Bournemouth until 1936 when they were
replaced by trams, I remember the trams and used them with my parents when I was
a boy. The turn table is reported to be the only remaining original one in the
Country and is complete and I understand in working order.