Our Locations

OUR STUNNING LocationS

We are lucky enough to be based in Poole, an area of outstanding natural beauty, renowned for its award-winning beaches. Whilst we cover all desirable locations within the vicinity, including Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs, Branksome Park, Lilliput, Lower Parkstone and Whitecliff, we have ventured further afield to include areas such as the River Hamble in Hampshire. Discover more about the delightful locations of our holiday homes below or take a look at the homes themselves by visiting Our Collection.

1. Ashley Cross

Have you ever tried an Ōbako Kinchō? How about a Bloody Samurai? These are just two of the curious cocktails served at Pan Asian restaurant Drgnfly, located in the heart of Ashley Cross. When it comes to eating and drinking in this leafy suburb, you’re spoiled for choice, with Italian (Dolce Vita), African (Zim Braai), French (Maison Sax), Indian (Mint and The Gate of India), Thai (The Ox) and wood-fired pizzas (Le Bateau) all on the menu. Not forgetting The Bricklayers’ ‘Cheesy Does It’ grub. You’ll fully embrace the cheese sweats after indulging in the Three Bs Waffle – Belgian waffle, Somerset Brie, bacon and apricot jam. Wash it down with a tipple from one of the many bars and pubs: The Butcher’s Dog, Camden, The Dancing Moose, The Avocet and The Bermuda Triangle (can you find the secret bar hidden behind a bookcase?).

If healthy fare is more your thing, head to Miiko, where you can select from its Focus, Glow, Detox or Energy menus, before purchasing some Inner Compass cards from the shop to help you find your way. One place you’ll certainly want to find your way to is the high-end delicatessen Nicholas James, which uses the same butcher as the royal family! Patisserie Mark Bennett and Little Red Roaster are also worth a visit to get your caffeine and sweet-treat fix. Why not get a takeaway, then sit in Ashley Cross Green to indulge in some people watching? Soak up the green’s continental vibe, with its Victorian fountain and pétanque pitches – the equipment for which can be borrowed from Le Bateau.

Walk off all that delicious food in nearby Harbourside Park (made up of Baiter Park and Whitecliff Park) and Poole Park. With 110 acres of gardens, lakes, trails and woods to explore in Poole Park – with tennis, crazy golf, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, rowing and children’s playgrounds all on offer – you might just get hungry again. The Kitchen waterside restaurant and Scoops ice cream parlour will oblige.

2. Bournemouth

Bournemouth has long since shrugged off its reputation as ‘God’s waiting room’. Now, the seaside town is positively exhilarating – not least because it’s home to PierZip, the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire, which sees thrillseekers zooming high above the sea to land on the beach. Hold onto your hat!

Once you’ve landed – and steadied your nerves with a cocktail at Aruba, drinking in the ocean views while you’re there – explore Bournemouth Gardens, which are split into three distinct parts: Lower, Central and Upper, all of which are Green Flag winners and Grade II listed. Which means they’re a wonderful place for a stroll, sit or grilled-cheese sandwich. The latter can be enjoyed at Picnic Park Deli, where the sandwiches are named after local legends, such as The Old Harry, in honour of Old Harry Rocks, and The Sir Merton, named after Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, who founded the town’s Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum (well worth a visit).

Before you head to the museum, get a birds-eye view of it from the Big Wheel at Pier Approach, which also showcases the stunning panorama of Bournemouth’s seven-mile-long stretch of sandy beaches, from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks. If views are what you’re after, Level8ight Sky Bar – the highest bar in the Southwest, on the eighth floor of the Hilton – won’t disappoint. Neither will Urban Garden, a laid-back bar and restaurant overlooking the Lower Gardens. For a classier vibe, head to 1812, which often plays live music, and has won ‘Best Evening Experience – Bar/Nightclub’ five times in the Bournemouth Tourism Awards. Another cluster of fun restaurants are located in the BH2 complex, alongside a multiplex cinema, Mr Mulligans adventure golf and Yogoo! frozen yogurt shop.

Other family-friendly attractions are the Oceanarium, where you can meet the most adorable Humboldt penguins with the VIP Penguin Feeding Experience, and RockReef, which has 28 different climbing walls. Or head to Vitality Stadium to catch an AFC Bournemouth match. To explore further afield, hop on one of the tour buses, which operate from various locations around town and will take you all over the place – some even along the magnificent Jurassic Coast. All aboard!

3. Canford Cliffs

If you book a hair or beauty appointment at HNB in the affluent suburb of Canford Cliffs, you won’t even have to go to the bother of opening the door for yourself; a friendly doorman is standing guard, just waiting to welcome you. After you’ve been pampered (guys, we’re talking to you, too), show off your fresh look at one of the excellent restaurants in the village.

The Canford offers a seasonal menu, using local ingredients where possible, plus serves posh burgers from the Burger Shack outside. The garden also has a selection of cosy tiki huts in which you can dine. The Cliff, Stock and Baffi will also tickle your taste buds. As will Renoufs cheese and wine bar, where the experienced sommeliers will pair some of the 200 different wines from around the world with a selection of delectable cheeses and cured meats for you. The intimate bar also hosts fun wine-tasting events, such as quiz night Call My Quaff.

For all your bread, quiche, salad, soup and pastry desires, Oxford’s bakery – which has been baking since 1911 – has got you covered. If you’d like to get covered in flour, sign up for one of its bakery courses: Lamination Day, Super Sourdough, Traditional English or Family Baking Day. Aprons at the ready! The tempting treats from this artisan bakery are best enjoyed with a view, so head to Pinecliff Gardens, which overlooks Poole Bay. Old Harry is the perfect dining companion.

For more stunning gardens, visit nearby Compton Acres, which is recognised as one of the most important ornamental gardens in England. You’ll be in horticultural heaven as you wander through 10 acres of the beautifully landscaped grounds. Lose yourself in the Japanese, Italian, wooded, water and heather gardens, before finding the tea rooms for a sit down and slice of cake.

To get your complete fill of natural beauty in this area, the breathtaking view from Harbour Heights Hotel is not to be missed. Sitting on the terrace, with a sundowner in hand, watching the boats and birds of Poole Harbour do their thing, is one for the bucket list. Tick.

4. Lilliput

Do you like your avocado on sourdough with a side of adventure? Rockets & Rascals offers just that. While you’re waiting to be served, browse the shop’s range of road bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes and electric bikes – then picture yourself cruising/whizzing (depending on your preference) along the seafront, or further afield in the Purbecks or New Forest. If you’re not in the market for a new bike, head outside and rent yourself a Beryl bike or scooter for a spot of exploring. You may like to head to Sandbanks to make a splash with some watersports. Be sure to stop off at Evening Hill on the way to enjoy the picture-perfect view. This is a favourite spot for tucking into takeaway fish and chips, which can be bought from TJ’s Fish & Chips on Lilliput’s parade of shops.

You’ll also find Koh Noi Thai Tapas Bar along this parade, as well as artisan bakery Patisserie Mark Bennett. Venture a few minutes’ walk from the main drag and you’ll come to Salterns Marina, where you can grab an alfresco coffee to sip while watching all the boats coming and going. You may even spot a Sunseeker or two. The international luxury superyacht company – which has provided vessels for four James Bond blockbusters – began in Poole and still has its headquarters here. If you’re inspired to find your sea legs, Red Boat Hire will rent you a self-drive boat that you can pootle around the harbour in. It’s not quite a Sunseeker, but there are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Rather keep your feet on dry land? Parkstone Golf Club will offer a different kind of fresh-air fix. If you’re a current member of an affiliated club and have a WHS Handicap Index, you’ll be allowed to play at the beautiful course, ranked in the top 100 golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland by Golf World and Golf Monthly magazines. The clubhouse also serves smashed avocado on sourdough.

5. Penn Hill

Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks or coffee and cake, Jenkins & Sons – a converted 1920s butchers and fishmongers – will be sure to satisfy you. The family-owned buzzing bar and restaurant focus on good, honest, locally sourced food – think fancy burgers, wood-fired pizzas, à la carte dishes with a twist, such as the Colourful Calabrian Ravioli, and hearty Sunday roasts (Penn Central also brings a strong roast game with its Sunday carvery). And don’t leave before you’ve tried their Hot Chocolate Dough Balls, ‘a naughty Jenkins special’.

Get ‘naughty’ up the road with Gossip’s creamy, dreamy tiramisu, too. Also serving a sizable selection of delicious pizza, pasta and cicchetti (the Italian version of tapas), you may have to ask the waitstaff for ‘a few more minutes please’ while you peruse the inviting menu. Mamma mia (*chef’s kiss*)!

From Italian to French fare, nip over the road to Isabel’s Brasserie, the perfect spot for a special occasion or romantic dinner (the candlelit booths ensure that love is in the air). Also in the air is the mouthwatering aroma of delectable dishes being served, such as Soufflé au Fromage, Duck à l’Orange and Baileys Crème Brûlée.

After treating your taste buds, you may want to treat your body (and mind) to a yoga session. South Coast Yoga caters for beginners right through to the most experienced yogi. Offering a varied timetable that includes different types of yoga – ashtanga, hot flow, vinyasa flow, dynamic – you’ll be sure to find something to stretch yourself. If a walk in the woods is more your cup of tea when it comes to exercise, you can stroll through the chine, past the tennis courts (fancy a game?) right down to the beach. You can even reward yourself with a cup of tea (or hot chocolate, or glass of prosecco) at Branksome Beach cafe and restaurant.

6. Poole

Whether you’re a history buff, foodie or gin connoisseur, Poole Quay will surprise and delight you. Learn all about the town’s rich past in Poole Museum, four floors of: ‘Wow!’, ‘Really!’, ‘Interesting!’ and ‘Well, I never…’ Pick up a Cockle Trail leaflet, which will guide you all around Poole Old Town, educating you on hundreds of years of heritage and whispering secrets hidden within the creaking buildings.

Rest your tired feet in one of the many cafes here, such as Deli on the Quay, Quay Café or Custom House Café Bar & Bistro, or enjoy a drink in one of the pubs, like The King Charles, Poole Arms or Jolly Sailor. Some of these old haunts have been around since the smuggling days, when outlaws would bring contraband ashore to distribute all over the country. If the walls could talk… For a swankier tipple, get cosy in Tin of Sardines, a gin bar offering more than 300 types of gin – Black Tomato, anyone? If you’re after more than a drink or a snack, choose from the plethora of restaurants: Guildhall Lounge, Da Vinci’s, Storm, The Crown Hotel or, if you want to push the boat out a little, Hotel du Vin.

Speaking of boats, hop aboard a harbour cruise, which will show you the sights of Poole Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world, after Sydney. Brownsea Island Ferries will sail you across the water to the island where Lord Baden-Powell began the Scouting movement in 1907. In the summer months, Brownsea Open Air Theatre puts on Shakespearean plays, and hopes that the roaming peacocks won’t interrupt the performances.

Back on the mainland, Upton Country Park is another impressive space definitely worth exploring. The Georgian Grade II-listed Upton House serves as the focal point to its 140 acres of woodland, parkland and shoreline. If you have a dog, it’ll be in heaven. Come to think of it, so will you.

7. Sandbanks

John Lennon said a lot of memorable things. One being: ‘Sandbanks is the most beautiful place I know’. In 1965, he bought his Aunt Mimi a house on Panorama Road, now dubbed ‘Millionaire’s Row’. Walk along this desirable street, marvelling at the design of each impressive house (if you can see beyond the gates, that is), before heading to one of the affluent area’s excellent eateries. Dine in style at celebrity chef Rick Stein’s restaurant, where you may be so busy gazing at the panoramic view of Poole Harbour that you forget to tuck into your oysters charentaise or Cornish lobster. For more casual dining, try Oriel, Caff and Lazy Jacks.

Walk down to the award-winning Sandbanks beach, where you’ll not only be able to rent a beach hut, barbeque in one of the designated areas, hit some golf balls, and go all ‘Top Gun’ at the volleyball nets – you’ll also be able to step inside The Saltwater Sauna, an authentic Finnish wood-fired sauna. Feeling brave? Spend some time getting toasty in there, then dive into the sea for the ultimate hot-cold experience. If you’re after a more conventional way to relax, Sandbanks Massage Centre will be able to iron out any knots your body may have and encourage your mind to drift away.

If drifting sounds appealing, many water sports companies will be happy to offer lessons, tours or equipment hire. Try sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, ringo riding or aquatic jet-packing. Splash!

Another vessel you might like to ‘charter’ is the chain ferry, which will take you across to Studland Bay. From here, explore everything the Purbecks and Jurassic Coast have to offer. Or venture no further than Shell Bay restaurant, just off the ferry, where you can choose to dine inside or chill on the deck in one of the hammocks. Gently swaying with a cocktail in hand is highly recommended… and may just have you agreeing with the legendary Lennon.

8. Sturminster Marshall

If you thought that top-notch sparkling wine was only produced in France, Italy and California, think again; fantastic fizz is also made right here in the UK. Join a wine-tasting tour at English Oak Vineyard to learn all about how they produce their wonderful wines. Or laze under the 350-year-old oak tree at the heart of the property, sipping some bubbles, on the Vineyard Picnic Tour. If you dine locally, ask if they offer English Oak wine – it’s stocked in 50 local restaurants and hotels, including Harbour Heights, Rick Stein and Maison Sax. Cheers!

For a more child-centred day out, Farmer Palmer’s will have your little ones grinning from ear to ear as they hold guinea pigs, feed goats and deer, watch cows being milked, cheer on racing pigs, brave the dinosaur trail, ride a tractor, pedal a go-kart and bounce, jump, slide, climb, crawl and splash in the array of play equipment on offer. To release your own inner child, Laserguys Laser Tag combines the best elements of paintballing and laser quest. Shoot your opponents, then shoot the breeze afterwards at Yellow Bicycle Cafe and Deli, which serves homemade food using as many local, seasonal ingredients as possible.

For more homemade, local food, the charming Parlour Café at Pamphill Dairy will leave you satisfied. If you visit during April and May, treat yourself to some savoury or sweet treats, then escape into the Bluebell Woods, where Mother Nature will treat you to a carpet of sweet-smelling blooms. The National Trust’s Kingston Lacy is another stunning place to walk amongst bluebells, or snowdrops during January and February.

Another local National Trust property worth a visit is Badbury Rings, an Iron Age hill fort steeped in history. It’s a great place for a walk and a picnic. Why not stock up on goodies from the Pamphill farm shop, plus wine from English Oak Vineyard, then find a spot to while your day away, eating and drinking to your heart’s content? Don’t forget the picnic rug.

9. Westbourne

If you fancy some retail therapy, Westbourne Arcade houses an array of eclectic gift shops, boutiques and jewellery shops. No chain stores here! You could spend hours mooching around the likes of Attico, The Letterbox, Scape, Nineteen, Beau Bijou and Jewel Vintage. Take a load off in Bournemouth Colosseum, the UK’s smallest cinema, with just 19 seats. Its programme includes modern films, age-old classics, foreign movies, film noir and live sporting events. Lights, camera, action!

With more than 50 establishments to eat and drink, Westbourne isn’t short of bustling action, and has been described as ‘foodie heaven’. Whatever you’re craving, the restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, tea rooms – and chocolatier Chocol8 – will deliver. Get your spice on at one of the award-winning curry houses: Taj Mahal, Westbourne Tandoori, Dilli Haat or Indi’s. Tuck into an authentic Greek spread at Romanzo Greek Taverna. Get your chopsticks poised for sushi joints Mi Ya or Art Sushi. Devour some traditional fish and chips at the family-run Chez Fred. Or head to one of the six pubs that serve food – tip: the stone-baked pizzas at The Libertine are worth a chomp. If you’d rather dine back at your place, stock up at Renoufs Pantry, where you’ll find a superb selection of cheeses, cold meats and fine wines, or Cook, offering up homemade food à gogo.

To explore the surrounding area, take a short walk to Alum Chine Beach, where you’ll stumble upon yellow sands, Vesuvio Italian restaurant and a fun playground inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (your little pirates will have a blast). The famous author was a Westbourne resident around 1885, and you can visit the site of his home, Skerryvore, if a step back in time appeals.

Another lovely area within walking distance is Coy Pond Gardens, a delightful nine-acre space with riverside walks, peaceful ponds and charming bridges. From here, walk all the way through the gardens to Bournemouth town centre, or simply relax under one of the many weeping willow trees with a good book. Westbourne Bookshop will sort you out.

10. Whitecliff

Gather the troops for a game of cricket, football or rounders at this attractive recreation ground, which boasts the harbour as a backdrop. Or walk or run along the front, taking in the picturesque view of moored boats, soaring birds and Brownsea Island in the distance. You’ll likely pound it out further than you expected, perhaps even all the way to Poole Quay, via Baiter Park, passing South Coast Jet Ski Hire en route. What’s a day without a spontaneous jet-ski jaunt?

Venture in the other direction from Whitecliff and you’ll soon reach the delights of Ashley Cross. Be sure to make a pit stop at Coast along the way, where you can grab a coffee, some brunch or, er, a motorbike. Vroom! H2O Sports next door will satisfy all your windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, waterskiing, wakeboarding and wing surfing needs (if you’ve not heard of wing surfing, get Googling… then get ready to catch some air). Or simply pick up a cool surf hoodie.

Want some exercise without getting your feet wet? Sign up for a temporary membership at East Dorset Lawn Tennis Club. With its Wimbledon-standard courts and ace coaching team, it won’t be long before you can give Federer a run for his money (maybe). Game, set, match!

With all that exertion, you’ll have certainly worked up an appetite. Head to South Deep Cafe, tucked away in Parkstone Bay Marina, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner by the water’s edge. Another hidden gem is Sushi d’Amor. Prepared at her Whitecliff home for collection or delivery, owner Mo will roll up all manner of scrumptious sushi for you. Mix and match a combination of pieces or go all out with a combination platter. If the weather’s on your side, pull up a bench at Whitecliff and relish the view as you tuck in. If the end of the day is nearing, so much the better. What’s life without a little sunset sushi every now and again?

11. Wimborne

‘Life happens, coffee helps.’ This is the philosophy of the owners of Happyccino, a family-run coffee and brunch bar that promotes positive wellbeing. You know what else helps? Their pancake stack with melted Biscoff spread and bananas, or Cherry Bakewell smoothie. On the same premises, you can jump, squat, pull, and press at the E-motion Fitness Hub, then browse the creative creations at Walford Mill Crafts inside the converted watermill.

Another activity that will promote positive wellbeing is walking or cycling along the 16.5-mile Castleman Trailway, which runs from Upton Country Park to Ringwood, passing through – among other places – Wimborne. Along the trailway, make sure you stop to appreciate the magnificently ornate 1853 Lady Wimborne Bridge, named after Winston Churchill’s aunt. For another history lesson, visit the 1686 Chained Library inside Wimborne Minster, one of the first public libraries in the country. While you’re there, be sure to look up and wave to the Quarter Jack on the side of the Minster, a miniature soldier who dings his bells every 15 minutes. For more miniature things, Wimborne Model Town – a one-tenth scale model of the town exactly as it was in the 1950s – will put a nostalgic smile on your face.

All that walking/cycling/exploring is thirsty work. Seek out traditional country pubs The White Hart or The Old Inn Holt, where you can relax with a pint. Or a glass of red. Or a burger with all the trimmings. The Minster Arms will also get your mouth watering, as will The Wimborne Pig, which breeds its own pork and grows many of the ingredients used in its dishes.

The riverside, historic market town of Wimborne is utterly charming; the perfect antidote for never-ending to-do lists, hectic school runs and demanding work schedules. In fact, it may just be a case of ‘Life happens, Wimborne helps’.

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