Often referred to as “Britain's Palm Beach”, Sandbanks is an affluent coastal area overlooking the English Channel. It’s famed for its award-winning beach and spectacular rock formations while being linked to villages both east and west by coastal walking trails.
Things to do in Sandbanks
Centuries-old castles, long-distance walking trails and a blissful stretch of sand - Sandbanks offers everything you want from a British seaside town.
Explore Brownsea Island. Directly across the water from Sandbanks is the National Trust-operated Brownsea Island. Its woodland, heath and lagoon provide important habitat for rare red squirrels and a variety of birdlife that includes kingfishers, oystercatchers and sandwich terns. Follow one of the walking trails that lead past the impressive Brownsea Castle, which was originally constructed by Henry VIII in the 16th century.
Hike the Bournemouth Coast Path. Connecting Sandbanks with Milford-on-Sea, this 32-kilometre-long trail takes in picturesque harbours, natural woodlands and fine coastal views. It links the long-distance South West Coast Path with the Solent Way, creating a continuous walking route from Somerset to the border between Hampshire and Surrey.
Relax on Sandbanks Beach. Famed for its soft, golden sands and stunning views, Sandbanks Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the United Kingdom. It’s a popular setting for a variety of water sports, including kite surfing, and is backed by seafood restaurants, breezy cafes and ice creameries.
Cruise to Old Harry Rocks. Marking the northeastern end of the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast are these three chalk formations, which can be viewed from the South West Coast Path or by boat. Several local legends are associated with the rocks, including one about the infamous pirate, Harry Paye, who would hide his ship behind the rocks while waiting for merchants to pass by.
Getting around Sandbanks
Sandbanks is a 10-minute drive from Bournemouth and around 15 minutes from Poole. Bournemouth Airport is 20 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Bournemouth railway station, from where the Purbeck Breezer bus continues to Sandbanks.