Visiting Sandbanks

Visiting Sandbanks?

We want everyone to be able to enjoy everything Sandbanks have to offer - our seven best things to do in Sandbanks are below. But it can be very busy at peak times. With a bit of thought ahead of time, you can get the best from your experience. 


The main car park at Sandbanks is usually full by around 10.00 am on sunny, summer weekends. Once full, you might be waiting hours for a place. There is some metered parking on streets around Sandbanks but, again, they fill up quickly on days when good weather is forecast.

Haven ferry

Busiest times are Sat/Sun mornings from around 10:30am in the summer when queues can take about 45 mins to get on the ferry across the Studland then 4-6pm coming back the other way. Leave early and return early is the best advice. It can take traffic off the ferry up to an hour to get off Sandbanks on busy summer weekends late afternoon/early evening.

Take home your litter

Locals sometimes despair at the mountain of litter left strewn across the beaches after a busy weekend. The Council do an excellent job of cleaning up. However, damage to the environment and hazards to health from broken glass and worse are a serious issue.

Rick Steins

Book well in advance for Fri, Sat & Sun evening dinner during the summer.

Leave the car at home

There are plenty of ways to get to Sandbanks other than by car, especially if you are arriving at peak times in the summer. Take a taxi, catch the bus, cycle or just walk along Bournemouth beach

7 Best Things To Do in Sandbanks

The world class beaches, sheltered waters of Poole Harbour and open vistas of the Purbecks mean there's no shortage of things to do in and around Sandbanks. Where do you start? These top tips are our current favourites. Let us know what you think.

Rosie (Parsons Jack Russell terrier) enjoys the view of Sandbanks on a warm, sunny day


Visit Brownsea Island

Take the yellow ferry across to Brownsea island to see the teeming birdlife and famous red squirrels


Swim off Sandbanks Beach

If the weather is fine there are plenty of wonderful swimming spots off Sandbanks beach - it has held coveted Blue Flag status for 31 consecutive years


Take the Haven ferry to Studland

Enjoy a walk along Studland beach - famous as practice grounds for the D-Day Landings - from Sandbanks towards Studland enjoying the seaside air, the views and, for those so inclined, the nudist beach.


Play sandcastles

Kids love to dig in the soft golden sand of Sandbanks - bring a bucket & spade and build a great castle!


Wind and kitesurf in Poole Harbour

Some of the best wind-surfing in the UK once the wind gets up with safe, sheltered waters to learn and improve


Enjoy a drink at the Haven Hotel

Overlooking the iconic entrance to Poole Harbour, enjoy the amazing views and incredible array of boats and waterborne craft that go in and out of Poole Harbour in the summer months. But hurry, there are plans to demolish the Hotel and replace it with blocks of flats - SCG are campaigning against those plans but who knows what will happen?


Visit Corfe Castle and the Purbecks

On foot or by bike there are some fantastic places to walk or ride road or mountain bikes just across Poole harbour entrance

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