Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A winter let in Sandbanks

Sandbanks in Dorset is famous for its eye-wateringly high house prices. A narrow peninsula jutting into Poole Harbour, it boasts golden sands, vast mansions, stunning views across Poole Bay to the Purbeck Hills and a plethora of luxury yachts sailing by. A chain ferry clanks across the harbour mouth to Studland all day long, so within a few minutes you can be strolling along glorious Shell Bay, one of the loveliest beaches in the country. 

Houses at Sandbanks don’t come up for sale very often but there’s bound to be loads of interest in the latest, a five-bedroom beauty that’s right on the beach and has been in the same family for 44 years. The only downside is that it costs £5 million.

If I owned a house at Sandbanks (if only) I’d never move. My family lived there for six months when I was 11 and it was completely glorious. Our garden backed straight on to the beach and me and my sister spent hours building sandcastles on the shore, skimming stones and leaping into the waves. We could see the sea from our bedroom and watch dinghies tack back and forth as we did our homework.

Our house was a very ordinary-looking white-washed bungalow called Flintshore. We rented it over the winter, when the beach was deserted and rents were low. Sadly, when Easter came and the summer rental season burst forth, our short, blissful sojourn at Flintshore was over.

Funnily enough, Flintshore hit the headlines a few years back when it went on the market for a cool £4 million. With a location like that, I’m sure some billionaire or other snapped it up in a trice.


  1. Your time there sounds magic!

    1. It really was, Liz. It was only six months but it was blissful. V Enid Blyton - lots of building sandcastles, paddling, walking along the beach.

  2. My neighbour nearly bought a house there back in the early 70s before prices rocketed. They decided to not move but to just rent a mooring for their boat in Poole. She now lives in a small house on a modern housing estate and wonders how different her life would have been if they HAD moved to Sandbanks!

    1. Oh Maryom, your friend must kick herself. It's the most blissful place. It's a shame Sandbanks is so much glossier and posher now than the 70s, when I lived there for six months, but the setting is still heavenly.


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