Christchurch Priory is seen from Hengistbury Head and close by on the Southbourne-Mudeford winter coast path route.
“This is my first love among English churches,” says Bill Bryson who has listed his 14 favourite churches for the National Churches Trust.
“Christchurch, Dorset, was where my wife and I lived when we were first married. I passed through the grounds of the priory almost daily for two years, and I could never do so without stopping to gawp at its magnificence. Stone doesn’t get more glorious than this.
“How so many locals could scurry past it without seeming to notice its presence, never mind its grandeur, was a permanent mystery to me”
The writer recently spoke warmly of Highcliffe seafront when opposing the super beach hut plans.