Forget the bucket and spade image of the British seaside holiday. A small corner of Dorset is fast becoming the UK's own Riviera. Homes on the two mile stretch of Sandbanks Peninsula, overlooking Poole harbor, now command some of the world's highest property prices – snapping close at the heels of hot spots Tokyo, Hong Kong and central London. Enjoying the world's second largest natural harbor after Sydney, Australia, Poole has long been a center for sailing and water sports and is home to the prestigious Sunseeker yacht manufacturer and the highly collectible Poole Pottery. It also boasts the headquarters and brand new training center for the revered Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Now that footballers, pop singers and the odd veteran crooner are making the most of the spectacular views, golden sands and private moorings, a new wave of upmarket bars and restaurants are coming to Sandbanks – check out the Bentleys and Ferraris in the parking lot. Increasingly outlandish properties are springing up as wealthy residents attempt to outdo each other on the style front. Homes by award winning developer, Seven, are causing a stir among more conservative locales. With names like Moonraker and Thunderbird, these cutting edge designs are a far cry from the region's more familiar mock-Tudor and neo-Georgian houses. One is even rumored to be featured in the latest James Bond film, Casino Royale. Do not worry too much if your budget does not stretch into the multi-million bracket, though. You can always rent a pretty smart beach hut from the local council for about $ 35 per day!
Fancy seeing what all the fuss is about? Book into one of the many fine hotels right on the Sandbanks Peninsula and find out what else Poole has to offer for the whole family.
Poole is two hours from London by train and Sandbanks is only a taxi ride from Bournemouth International airport. This rapidly expanding airport is constantly adding new destinations to its repertoire.