I lived near ‘Britain’s Palm Beach’ where homes sell for £13million on ‘Millionaire’s Row’

Harry Redknapp’s Sandbanks Summer teaser revealed

Earlier this year, the harbour resort of Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset, hit headlines after being named the most expensive place to live in the world.

The popular tourist attraction beat Monaco and New York to the top spot after a waterside bungalow sold for a whopping £13.5million.

The four-bedroom property located on the Sandbanks peninsula in Poole Harbour had been in the same family for 117 years after a botanist bought it back then for just £1,000.

The chalet bungalow, known as North Haven Point, had been extended in the 1950s and had a floor space of just 2,909 sq ft, becoming one of the most expensive properties sold on ‘Millionaire’s Row’.

This means the price paid for the bungalow equates to £4,640 per square foot, beating the value of property in Monaco, Hong Kong and New York.

Luxury houses on the Sandbanks Peninsula in Poole Harbour, Dorset UK - Sandbanks has some of the most expensive real estate in the UK.

Luxury houses on the Sandbanks Peninsula in Poole Harbour (Image: Getty)

Sandbanks returned to the spotlight earlier this month when four siblings announced they would be selling their grandfather’s seaside home for £9million.

The siblings’ grandfather bought the property for just £7,000 in the 1940s meaning the 105-year-old home is now worth 1,200 times more than what was paid for it.

Adrian Dunford, of estate agents Tailor Made said the home is on “one of the best plots” on the Sandbanks peninsula.

Growing up in the local area, the extortionate price of the properties on ‘Millionaire’s Row’ never ceased to amaze me.

Driving around the peninsula on our way home from a day at the beach, we’d slow down next to the mansions and penthouses, dreaming about which ones we’d choose “if we won the lottery”.

Some of the homes currently for sale in the area include a four-bedroom waterfront home on Panorama Road for £5.6million that includes a private pier, a galleried sitting room and views of the harbour; Chaddesley Glen for £5.5million which includes an indoor pool and a landscaped grounds, and a five-bedroom home on Banks Road listed for just shy of £12million.

It’s no secret that the exclusive holiday resort is home to the rich and famous – something confirmed to me when I managed to land a job down there at a local supermarket.

Sandbanks in Poole Harbour

It’s no secret that the exclusive holiday resort is home to the rich and famous (Image: Getty)

Harry Redknapp, Graeme Souness and Paul Gascoigne were all regulars among others I was probably too young and naive to recognise.

While there are many pros to living near Sandbanks – the award-winning beach and stunning views – there are also plenty of cons – extortionate parking charges and hoards of tourists in the summer months.


The beach

Sandbanks Beach is one of the UK’s best and has previously been described as “Britain’s Palm Beach” – and for good reason. Earlier this year, Sandbanks achieved the Blue Flag accolade for the 36th time which means it has received the award every year since the scheme launched.

The beach has white sands and crystal clear waters – something that’s hard to come by in the UK. There’s also a designated area of the beach for dogs which means dog owners can also enjoy stunning views of the Isle of Wight and Studland alongside everyone else.

However, dogs are not allowed on the main beach area from May 1 to September 30 (the peak season) and have to be kept on a lead on the Sandbanks promenade area.

As someone who doesn’t drive, accessing Sandbanks could be challenging, but luckily, there’s an impressive bus route (Breezer 50 and Breezer 60) that goes between Poole Town Centre, Bournemouth and Swanage.

There’s also plenty of families including showers, toilets with disabled access, a beach cafe, mini golf, slacklining and beach volleyball.

One of the newest features on the beach is The Saltwater Sauna which seats up to eight people. The sauna has a panoramic window where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding beach and coastline.

Afterwards, visitors can enjoy a dip in the sea or a beach-side shower to cool off.

In the summer months, I often used to enjoy a barbecue on the beach with friends until sunset. Visitors can have barbecues on any of Poole’s beaches between 6pm and 10.30pm.

While the beach is at its most impressive during the summer months, the spring and autumn months are just as impressive – if not more so. Although the weather is cooler, the beach is less busy with couples and families enjoying breezy walks with cups of coffee and hot chocolate from Jazz Cafe.

sandbanks beach house prices

A stroll along Sandbanks Beach during the winter months (Image: EXPRESS)

Sunset over Swanage harbour in Dorset

Sunset over Swanage (Image: Getty)

Cafes, restaurants and bars

Jazz Cafe is one of my favourite eateries in Poole. The homely, warm atmosphere, beach views and regular live music makes it a popular spot with tourists, locals and visitors throughout the year.

The cafe is quite literally a few feet away from the white sands and is also dog-friendly. One of my favourite hot drinks is their “Jazz Café Special Hot Chocolate” which includes lashings of whipped cream, marshmallows and a chocolate flake.

Rick Stein on Banks Road is the perfect place to enjoy panoramic views of Poole Harbour, fresh seafood and a crisp glass of wine.

They even do a set lunch menu for £17.50 during the off-season which includes light seasonal recipes.

Lazy Jacks Restaurant & Bar is a great option for those who prefer a more casual setting and perhaps aren’t fans of seafood.

They offer delicious sourdough pizzas in a plethora of flavours including Serrano ham and truffle and Dorset goat’s cheese and caramelised onion.

Just up the road from Sandbanks in the village of Lilliput is Patisserie Mark Bennett, an artisan bakery and coffee shop that offers an assortment of cakes, sandwiches, coffee and viennoiserie.

The local chain has six patisseries in the area including ones in Ashley Cross, Christchurch and Broadstone.

My favourite treat of theirs is their lemon meringue tart paired with a warming latte.


For sports enthusiasts, Sandbanks is the perfect place to hit the waves and try something new like paddle boarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing or snorkelling.

With several yacht clubs, sailing clubs and marinas in the area, the area is particularly popular with sailing enthusiasts.

There are plenty of options for people of all abilities including boats for hire, lessons and even chartering your own super-yacht.

Kitesurfing, scuba diving and windsurfing are also options for those who are more confident in the water.

Surrounding areas

While Sandbanks is the jewel in the crown of Poole and Bournemouth, there are plenty of other areas I’d recommend visiting including Studland, Swanage, Ashley Cross, Wimborne and Whitecliff.

Studland is opposite Sandbanks across Poole Harbour and can be accessed via car or the chain ferry. The beach is less touristy than Sandbanks but also more rugged with unspoiled heathland and sand dunes.

Knoll Beach is a particular favourite of mine as well as South Beach. Further up the Jurassic Coast, visitors will be able to see Old Harry Rocks – three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Swanage is a coastal town that has become popular with Londoners over the years. The seaside town is brimming with nostalgia from the Victorian pier to the steam train at Swanage Railway.

sandbanks beach house prices

My favourite lemon meringue tart from Patisserie Mark Bennett (Image: EXPRESS)

Shops on Station Road in Ashley Cross in Poole

Ashley Cross in Poole (Image: Getty)

One of my favourite spots as a child was Chococo, an artisan chocolate shop that offers up award-winning chocolates, Dorset Tea and delicious cakes.

Ashley Cross in Parkstone, Poole is 10 minutes up the road from Sandbanks via car and is a popular food and drink spot with locals.

The area is filled with independent restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes and has quite the nightlife on the weekend. One of my favourite spots is The Bermuda Triangle Pub which was established in 1870.


House prices

House prices in Sandbanks are astronomical with homes in the area having an overall average price of £1,493,753 over the last year, according to Rightmove.

The majority of sales in Sandbanks during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £829,239. Detached properties sold for an average of £2,938,522, with semi-detached properties fetching £1,825,000.

Working from home post-pandemic has meant many people have swapped their London office and busy lifestyles for coastal views and slower pace which led to unprecedented interest in the area.

Even in the larger area of Poole, properties had an overall average price of £465,989 over the last year.

Overall, sold prices in Poole were 11 percent up compared to the previous year and 20 percent up compared to the 2020 peak of £387,508.

For locals who grew up in the area and wish to stay, it can be difficult getting a foot on the property ladder.


During the summer months, thousands flock to Sandbanks which can cause miles of tailbacks, illegal parking and litter. In 2020, three vehicles were towed at Sandbanks due to irresponsible parking.

To avoid queues and a packed beach, it’s advised to get up early and get to the beach as early as possible to secure a spot.

I’d also recommend taking the bus or parking further away and walking down to the beach.


There are several parking options in Sandbanks, however, parking charges from March to October are pricey.

Charges range from £2.80 for one hour, £16.50 for six hours and £21.60 for 14 hours.

Rates from November to February are slightly less and apply until 10pm.

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