Our guide to holidays in Sandbanks
With one of the most impressive beaches in the country to its name and a reputation for attracting the jet set, Sandbanks is the playground of the rich and famous. It’s not unusual to spot the odd celebrity sunning themselves or enjoying one of the many watersports out at sea, and this sandy little corner of Dorset’s perfect for those of you in needy of a beachy break with plenty to do.
As peaceful as it is stylish, Sandbanks is the kind of resort where there’s always something going on, there’s a family attraction for every kind of weather, and a break in the area is pretty much about having a great time. The beach is one of the best in the country (both in terms of its cleanliness and the ‘wow’ factor), so if you’re content to just spend your break lying back in a sandy little corner of Heaven then Sandbanks is probably a good choice.
And then there are the events. Every now and then you’ll be drawn from your deckchair to watch something unfold on the sand, such as the British Beach Polo Championships or the annual Volleyball Festival for example. So, if you don’t feel like getting sporty yourself, you can grab a drink, sit back and watch the action unfold in front of you.
Sandbanks Beach is one of the finest stretches of coastline in the UK…no small claim we know, but just wait until you see it. With mile after mile of sand, regular awards for cleanliness and shallow water that makes it safe for families, Sandbanks Beach could have been made for lazy summer days.
There are lifeguards on patrol throughout the summer so you can enjoy your day with that extra peace of mind, and thanks to the seriously shallow waters, it’s the perfect spot for baby’s first tentative paddle in the waves. When the tide goes out, there’s a huge expanse of beach, so although this is a popular spot for some sunbathing – you won’t have to worry about being too close to your beach neighbours while you enjoy the day.
We know how important those amenities can be when you’re spending time on the beach, especially if you have younger members of the family in tow, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants, toilets and showers at Sandbanks Beach to keep everyone happy. To be honest, Sandbanks is one of those beaches that are so beautiful that all you’ll really need to do to have a brilliant day is to just bring the buckets and spades, sit back and enjoy the sands.
Now, Sandbanks Beach may be the jewel in the area’s crown, but there are still plenty of days out for those times when you peel yourself from the sand and decide to venture further afield. Let’s start with one of the most popular ways to spend time in Sandbanks, on the water. Those guys that call the area home spend almost as much time out on the water as they do on dry land, and The Watersports Academy is the place to learn how to jet ski, kitesurf, kayak, sail or paddleboard…you name it, they’ll show you how to do it.
For those of you who grew up with the adventures of the Famous Five, Corfe Castle in the nearby village of Corfe is said to be the ruin that inspired Kirren Castle, and it’s the kind of ruin that sparks the kids’ imaginations. Perched on a hilltop above the village, the castle looks down across the Isle of Purbeck, and it’s a compelling spot for a wander and a picnic.
Speaking of adventure, one of the most popular Sandbanks attractions is the nearby Brownsea Island. The home of the scout movement, the island sits in Poole’s famous harbour, and if you catch a ferry across the water to it you can discover the leafy, unspoilt world that sits quietly off the mainland waiting for visitors to step on its soil.
Now, Sandbanks may be known for its celebrity visitors and glamorous atmosphere, but that’s not to say that a stay in the area isn’t a chance to enjoy the great British seaside in all its glory. And, with that in mind, Sandbanks Crazy Golf is one of our favourite Sandbanks attractions. This 18 hole course has plenty of bridges, bumps and little obstacles to help keep a family golf tournament nice and terse, and we can’t think of a better way to while away an hour or two during your break.
Where to eat in Sandbanks
If you’ve never heard of Rick Stein (as in the restaurant….everyone’s heard of the man himself), trust us, it won’t be too long before you hear about it once you set foot on those lovely famous sands. This swanky little number has views right across Poole harbour, and it’s quickly built itself a reputation for serving great food to go with the views.
Now, this restaurant may be at the, shall we say, chic end of the scale, but it still serves up a mean casual lunch. If you’ve a hankering for a crab salad with a bit of style, or a moules mariniere, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy it while you soak up the views. And let’s face it, few do seafood quite like Mr Stein.
Next, is the simple yet satisfying Sandbanks Beach Café. Perched right on the beach, the café’s perfect for those morning coffees while you’re getting ready to soak up the sun, lunch with the kids in between games on the sand…and well, anything really. A firm favourite with visitors and locals, this friendly café serves up good food in one of the most picturesque settings you’ll ever drink a smoothie in.