Sandbanks is a spectacular peninsular of land at the entrance to Poole Harbour. As you drive along the peninsula you can see the harbour on your right. Brownsea Island is clearly visible in the middle of the harbour. The water on the harbourside is very shallow for a long way out and perfect for practising watersport activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and dinghy sailing.

Sat Nav postcode of Sandbanks Beach car park is BH13 8QJ (Google map)

Aerial view of Poole Harbour showing sandbanks peninsula at the bottom of the image and Brownsea Island in the middle. Photo taken from a light aircraft.
Aerial view of Poole Harbour showing the Sandbanks Peninsula in the foreground, Brownsea Island in the middle of the harbour and Poole Quay and Poole in the background. On the far left you can just see the Sandbanks Ferry at the entrance to Poole Harbour. The large beach car park is towards the bottom right of the photo.

There’s a dedicated zone for kitesurfing in front of the small beach on Shore Road (Google map). You’ll find some mobile surf schools set up here. You can also hire kayaks, paddleboards and windsurfers from The Watersports Academy just to the right of Tesco Express.

Two joggers exercising along Banks Road near to the North Haven Yacht Club.
Exercising along Banks Road.

As you travel along the peninsular you’ll see some very expensive residential properties backing onto the sea. Sandbanks Beach has been voted the best beach in Britain many times and is a very popular destination. Sandbanks Shore Road Beach is just next door and much quieter but still has beautiful golden sands with all the facilities you need. At the end of the peninsula is Sandbanks Car Ferry. This operates throughout the day taking cars and passengers across the narrow harbour entrance to Studland. The road then continues to Swanage or Corfe Castle. There is also a small yellow kiosk next to the car ferry where you can buy tickets to Brownsea Island and Poole Quay. For more info see our page Boat Trips from Sandbanks

View from Sandbanks across Poole Harbour to Brownsea Castle on Brownsea Island
View from Sandbanks across Poole Harbour to Brownsea Castle on Brownsea Island. The castle is leased to John Lewis and used as holiday accommodation for its workers, it’s not open to the public. The rest of the Island is open to the public (owned by the National Trust). Ferries depart from Poole Quay or from a yellow kiosk just next to Sandbanks Ferry.
North Haven Yacht Club with Brownsea Island in the background
Views across the Poole Harbour at low tide. North Haven Yacht Club is in the foreground with Brownsea Island and Brownsea Castle in the background.
Parade of shops opposite the main beach car park. You can find the excellent Rick Stein Restaurant here.
Parade of shops just across the road from the main Sandbanks Beach car park on Banks Road. Rick Stein Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Poole. CAFF cafe also do a great cooked breakfast as well as plenty of more healthy dishes.
Shore Road Harbour Beach is a great place for learning and practising kitesurfing
Shore Road Harbour Beach (Google map). A popular spot with kitesurfers and watersports enthusiasts. The water here is very shallow for a long way out so ideal for learning. The area in front of the beach is known as Whitley Lake. Permits are required to kitesurfing in the harbour There are several companies offering windsurfing and kitesurfing lessons see our Activities webpage.
kitesurfing in Poole Harbour
Kitesurfing in Poole Harbour. For more information about companies offering tuition or equipment hire see our Kitesurfing page
Sunset at the bottom of Evening Hill looking across the harbour to Brownsea Island
View across the harbour to Brownsea Island. This photo was taken at the bottom of Evening Hill near the wooden jetty at the East Dorset Sailing Club (Google map). This is a great place to take photos at sunset.
A family walks along the beach at sunset at the bottom of Evening Hill.
Sunset at the bottom of Evening Hill looking across to Brownsea Island.

Related Pages: Sandbanks Beach / Sandbanks Shore Road Beach / Sandbanks Ferry / Boat Trips from Sandbanks / Shell Bay Beach / Studland Beaches / Studland Village