Just a 30-minute stroll from us is Dorset’s exclusive Sandbanks, a small peninsula, or sand-spit, at the mouth of Poole harbour, the largest natural harbour in the world. Sometimes referred to as Britain’s Monte Carlo, Sandbanks is said to be the fourth most expensive place to buy a property in the world, with properties selling for upwards of £13m. Notable residents include numerous retired footballers including Graeme Souness, Harry Redknapp and Jamie Redknapp.
A wild heathland of sand dunes in the early 1800s, Sandbanks has developed dramatically from a remote part of Dorset into a haven for wealthy residents and a popular destination for thousands of summer visitors. Its main attraction is Sandbanks beach, which comprises miles of fine, golden sand and water so shallow that you can safely walk out into it for around 200 yards. Thanks to its excellent cleanliness, water quality and facilities, the beach has been a European blue flag holder for some 30 years.
Lifeguards are on duty between May and September, ensuring that swimmers and paddlers of all ages can enjoy the water safely. The beach is also a popular destination for windsurfers and other water sport enthusiasts. Beachfront facilities included toilets, showers, bars and kiosks selling inflatables and buckets and spades. Behind the beachfront, there is a tricky crazy-golf course as well as a mini-golf course. A mini road train also cruises up and down the prom in the summer season.
Break up your day at the beach with a trip on the Sandbanks Ferry, which has been running between Sandbanks and Studland since 1926. With a crossing time of around four minutes, it is the shortest route connecting Bournemouth and Poole with Swanage, saving over 25 miles on a return journey by car.
A conservation area on the north-west shore of Sandbanks faces the Purbeck area of outstanding natural beauty, a collection of beautiful, protected landscapes which includes Brownsea Island.