Sandbanks

all you need to know

One of the UK’s most desirable and unique locations, Sandbanks on the Dorset coast is a beach-lovers paradise, offering a relaxed pace of life that is hard to resist.

About Sandbanks

With a blue-flag beach, beautiful natural harbour and within 3 and a half hours drive from London and the Midlands, Sandbanks offers a spectacular beach holiday destination that ticks all of the boxes.

Having earned a reputation as the UK’s answer to Palm Springs, Sandbanks is a small peninsula of land that juts out into Poole Harbour. The golden stretch of Sandbanks Beach runs the length of the peninsula and beyond, offering safe areas for swimming, barbecues and a beautiful spot to watch the sun rise and fall.

A holiday in Sandbanks offers something for everyone with endless coastal walks, interesting day trips, great restaurants and lovely safe beaches for both kids, dogs and grown-ups to play.

If water sports are your thing, then both the harbour side and bay provide a playground for sailors, paddle boarders and boat enthusiasts. The legendary Shell Bay chain ferry clunks and creaks between the tip of Sandbanks and Studland across the bay, offering visitors the chance to day trip over to the Isle of Purbeck with its famous beaches, world heritage coastline and nature reserve.

The National Trust owned Brownsea Island rests in the middle of Poole Harbour and is well worth an explore for its unique wildlife, heathland and lagoon.

Whatever your reason for visiting Sandbanks, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in this beautiful corner of Dorset.

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The Big Canoe
(Less than a mile)

An ideal activity for families or groups of friends who want to explore the natural beauty of Poole Harbour by paddle power alone!  The Big Canoe offers skippered trips from Sandbanks in open Canadian canoes tailored to your needs including activity days, lazy meanders with picnic stops, or wildlife spotting. 

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Brownsea Island Ferries
(Less than a mile)

Poole’s oldest boat company, Brownsea Island Ferries has been providing ferries to Brownsea Island for over 100 years.  Today they also offer a variety of tours and cruises including Harbour Cruises, Jurassic Coast cruises and trips to the Dancing Ledge puffin nesting site.  Look for the distinctive yellow kiosks at Sandbanks (next to the chain ferry) and Poole Quay.

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Poseidon Kite School
(Less than a mile)

Focused on delivering the highest level of service, Poseidon Kite School offers everything from beginners lessons to advanced tuition, equipment rental and retail.  Passionate and dedicated to their students, the team is made up of only the highest calibre instructors, all running lessons to the British Kitesurf Association (BKSA) standard.

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The Watersports Academy
(Less than a mile)

Located at the Sandbanks hotel and offering a host of exciting water based activities all overseen by qualified instructors.  Take your pick from windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing, dinghy sailing, SUP, kayaking and more, and enjoy direct access to Poole Harbours shallow and sheltered waters, the ideal place to learn a new skill or perfect an old one.  Yacht charter and Power Boating also available. 

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Shell Bay Sailing Centre
(Less than a mile)

Shell Bay sailing is a small, friendly sailing school specialising in sailing tuition for adults and children 8 years + in the sheltered waters of Poole Harbour.  RYA sailing courses are also available as well as dinghy hire.

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Rick Stein Sandbanks
(Less than a mile)

With a reputation for simply mouthwatering dishes, indulge in some delicious fresh seafood at Rick Stein Sandbanks.

Enjoy stunning views across the water to accompany a casual yet perfectly prepared lunch with classic dishes such as fresh oysters from Cornwall and Indonesian seafood curry, alongside seafood dishes including Dover sole meunière, turbot hollandaise and fruits de mer.

Rick Stein Sandbanks, 10-14 Banks Rd, Poole BH13 7QB (T: 01202 283000)
 

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Sandbanks Beach Cafe
(Less than a mile)

A bright, modern, family-friendly cafe situated right on Sandbanks stunning Blue Flag beach.

Open for breakfast, coffee, lunch, afternoon teas, and also dinners in the summer season, including delicious BBQs on the beach-facing terrace. Serving freshly prepared meals and homemade cakes using traditional recipes straight from the oven every day.?

Sandbanks Beach Cafe, Banks Rd, Poole BH13 7QQ (T: 01202 708621)
 

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Branksome Beach Restaurant & Terrace Bar
(2 miles)

Set in a stunning location right on the beach, Branksome Beach Restaurant and Terrace Bar is a sea-front venue offering a warm welcome and mouth-watering food.

Serving breakfast, cakes, coffees, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, plus drinks and light bites - including seasonal menus and fish specials - it's the perfect place to enjoy dining out with friends and family, whatever the season.

Branksome BeachPinecliff Rd, Branksome Chine, Poole BH13 6LP (T: 01202 767235)

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Deli on the Quay
(3 miles)

Continental style deli with stunning harbour views. Serving homemade quiches, soups, sandwiches and salads, and the best brownies, flapjacks and pastries in town! Not to mention delicious locally-made Purbeck ice cream.

Deli on the Quay, Unit D17, Dolphin Quays, The Quay, Poole BH15 1HH (T: 01202 660022)

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Banana Wharf
(3 miles)

Stylish waterfront al fresco dining & cocktails with stunning views over the Marina and Brownsea Island.

Offering a relaxed, informal menu blending tropical & oriental dishes, seafood, pizza, pasta, Sunday lunches and renowned for great breakfasts too!

Banana Wharf, Dolphin Quays, The Quay, Poole BH15 1HH (T: 01202 665062)
 

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Sandbanks Beach
(Less than a mile)

Set on a small peninsula, just a stone's throw from some of the most expensive and exclusive homes in the country, the world-renowned Sandbanks beach is one of the most beautiful and clean beaches on the South Coast of England.

This spacious, family-friendly beach is blessed with soft golden sand, crystal clear waters and breathtaking views of across the English Channel; and has earned the coveted Blue Flag status for 30 consecutive years.

Beach facilities include a crazy golf course, children's play area, barbecue area, toilets and a cafe.

There is a designated area for dogs at the western end of Sandbanks beach (near the chain ferry). Dog owners are requested to always keep dogs on a lead on the promenade.
 

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Shell Bay Beach
(Less than a mile)

Shell Bay beach is an unspoilt sandy beach, backed by dunes and heathland which gives it a beautifully wild feel. With spectacular views across the bay to nearby Bournemouth, it also provides a good vantage point for watching the ships passing in and out of Poole Harbour.

Except during the busiest summer months, the beach is usually a haven of tranquillity. Situated on the south side of the mouth of Poole Harbour, at the very tip of the National Trust owned Studland Peninsula, it's harder to reach but well worth the effort. Either drive along the full length of the peninsula from the Swanage end, and you'll find Shell Bay is the last of Studland's beautiful beaches. Alternatively, catch the ferry from Sandbanks which runs regularly and carries vehicles, foot passengers and cyclists across the entrance to the harbour to the opposite shore.

The beach is great for family-friendly bathing, fishing and a variety of watersports including sailing and windsurfing. It also has toilets and plenty of parking. There is a designated naturist area between Shell Bay and Knoll Beach.

Dogs are welcome all year round, during the winter months there are no restrictions but between 1 April and 30 September they are required to be on a short lead (max 2m).

Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant lies opposite the beach - an outstanding, Michelin-listed eatery with fine views out over Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island.

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Shore Road Beach, Sandbanks
(Less than a mile)

Shore Road is a golden sandy beach with a promenade that stretches for miles along the beautiful Sandbanks peninsula - perfect for a seaside stroll or cycle (except during peak times in July & August from 10am to 6pm when cycles are not permitted).

Famed for its Mediterranean-style cafes and outstanding views across the harbour to the Purbeck hills and Brownsea Island, this beach is very family-friendly thanks to its gentle slope into clean waters and seasonal lifeguard cover.

Dogs are not allowed on the main beach from 1st May - 30th September, however they are permitted on the promenade on a lead all year round.

This Blue Flag standard beach has several watersports hire shops and many other beach facilities, including plenty of parking, cafe/restaurant, beach shop, beach huts and deck chairs for hire, toilets and outdoor showers, and reusable water bottle drinking water refill points.

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Studland Beach
(2 miles)

A stunning piece of natural coastline featuring a four-mile stretch of sandy beach and views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. Ideal for water sports, sandcastles and wildlife safari. Designated trails through the sand dunes and woodlands, allow for spotting of deer, insects, birds and a vast array of wild flowers. There’s a local café/bistro and a mobile refreshment van, but this is also the most picturesque place for a picnic.

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Branksome Chine Beach
(2 miles)

Branksome Beach is a wide, golden stretch of sand popular among locals and visitors alike, in part due to its Blue Flag status which highlights high standards of cleanliness on the beach and in the bathing waters.

The beach benefits from a promenade behind and many facilities including beach huts, shop, bar and restaurant. There is also good disabled access and a safe swim zone.

Watersports include swimming and windsurfing and there is lifeguard cover in the summer months.

Dogs are not allowed on the main beach from the 1st May - 30th September, however they are allowed on the promenade on a short lead.

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Head Office

Toad Hall Cottages

Church Street

Kingsbridge

South Devon

TQ7 1BY

Email: thc@toadhallcottages.co.uk

Call: 01548 20 20 20

Cornwall Office

Toad Hall Cottages

Talland Street

Polperro

Cornwall

PL13 2RE

Email: polperro@toadhallcottages.co.uk

Call: 01503 272303

Dorset Office

Devon & Dorset Cottages

44 Church Street

Lyme Regis

Dorset

DT7 3DA

Email: dorset@toadhallcottages.co.uk

Call: 01297 443550

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