Sandbanks:great beaches great views but it comes at a price.A very big price.
Sandbanks is often in the news mainly for it's mega property values.When property sells the value is in the land not the house which is promptly knocked down to allow some minimalist structure to be erected in it's place.
The land is a spit of sand that projects into Poole Harbour leaving a small gap between it and Shell beach on the other side through which the cross Channel ferries to France and the Channel Islands pass.
The two beaches from the spit back towards Bournemouth are known as Sandbanks and Shore Road.This road gives easy access to the beach.There is a small car park on the left as you approach the beach though it fills quickly on a hot day.
Parking is expensive around Sandbanks with street parking on Banks Road being £4 up to 4 hours a £8 up to 8 hours .These charges also apply in the main car park located off Banks Road.
If you don't want to pay these charges there are streets up in Canford Cliffs,the next suburb going east from Sandbanks. They are free but on hot day you will have to get there early to find a spot and avoid a long walk.
I recommend you try Chaddesley Glen Road as it has a handy footpath down to the beach.There is also a Church in this street which allows parking.They rely on your honesty in making a small donation in their collection box.This can be found inside the Church.Do NOT park here on a Sunday morning as the congregation will be gathering for a service.
The beaches are excellent, soft sand and warm clean water in the summer.Both these beaches received blue flags from the Foundation for Environmental Education.To receive the blue flag a beach must have environmental education information, good management, safety, and have no sewage related discharges. These beaches have all this with RNLI lifeguards pulling those in distress out of the water.
The Council provide decks chairs, windbreaks, for a charge, and even mallets. The mallets are free though a £3 deposit is required.Your enjoyment can be further enhanced by renting a beach hut.To rent one annually you have to be resident of Poole.Even then there is a 10 year waiting list which the Council has now closed until it comes down to 5.
You can rent some huts on a short term basis from the Council for £98 per week in July and August . Go
for more information on renting beach huts.
My friend has a beach hut just along the front from Shore Road so I can vouch for how useful they are. A power point to make hot drinks a small stove to cook and of course space to store all your essential beach equipment.
The harbour side of the spit is where water sports are taught such as wind surfing and sailing.Go
for more information on learning these sports.
Sandbanks is home to the rich and famous who all like to be seen at the Shore Cafe near where Panorama Road meets Banks Road.So for any gold diggers out there this is the prime spot to position yourself and land that fat wallet.
There are three major hotels in the area:
The Harbour Heights Hotel located in Haven Road BH13 7LW is up the hill from Sandbanks proper but the views from the terrace of Poole Harbour are spectacular.You can enjoy the view whilst sipping your latte.
The Sandbanks Hotel BH13 7PS on Shore Road is right down on the beach and allows views of the beach on one side and views of the harbour on the other so no one misses out.If you want an effortless path to the beach this is the one for you.
To be right down in Sandbanks proper you want to be at the Haven Hotel BH13 7QL which overlooks the entrance to Poole Harbour and the Studland Ferry.This links Poole to the Isle of Purbeck.I have attended a few functions at this hotel so can vouch for it's elegance and good customer service.The toilets are very impressive!
The Studland ferry operates all the year round from 7 in the morning to 11 at night though the ferry is taken out of service in November each year for a refit.Taking this ferry will knock miles off your journey to say Swanage but on busy days you can be waiting a long time.
The ferry is not big and the queue can stretch back to Shore Road.If it does then you would be better to drive round the harbour via Sandford and Wareham to get to the Isle of Purbeck.Then again you would be using more fuel.
Once on the ferry the trip takes about 5 minutes.The toll is 90 pence for foot passengers and £3 for cars.You can get out of your car and enjoy the view of expensive Sunseeker motor cruisers as they glide past.