The BH13 and BH14 area is an excellent part of the world in which to live, work, raise a family and retire. In terms of quality of life, I can’t rate it highly enough; offering a simply stunning geographical location, commutable to the city of London and only a stone’s throw from Southampton, the New Forest and the Jurassic Coast. The area boasts highly regarded schools, close proximity to the beach, exceptional properties and a wealth of local amenities and businesses amidst several vibrant and unique ‘village’ communities.
Canford Cliffs is referred to affectionately as ‘the village.’ It enjoys a strong sense of community, a particularly attractive high street, complete with well-regarded hairdressers, bakery and post office, and a popular local library. The village hall is very much at the hub of community life, running regular events, clubs and classes such as bridge and yoga and there are some beautiful coastal pathways with direct access to the beaches and children’s playparks just a short stroll from the centre. On a thursday morning Oxford bakery hosts a fresh fish stall and on a friday a fresh fruit and vegetable stall.
The hub of Lilliput life revolves around the well regarded local Lilliput first school and Holy Angels church as well as the sailing club and an array of local individual businesses. Among others these include; the florist, a surf and bike/coffee shop and award winning patisserie. There is also a very popular Thai restaurant and a usefully situated Tesco Express. Salterns hotel is the ideal place to have a glass of wine overlooking the marina on a summers evening. Lilliput is ideal for families, those who enjoy getting outdoors, second home owners and those looking for an ideal location to retire. Parkstone Yacht Club is here as well as the Lilliput Sailing Club.
Whitecliff has a huge park boasting cricket and football pitches as well as an award-winning children’s play park. There are great dog walks along the harbour’s edge and from here you can walk on a footpath all the way to Poole Quay and also to Poole Park, with its cafes, soft play area and miniature train. Whitecliff has become increasing popular as it is walking distance from both Lilliput and Ashley cross. Turks Lane café is a real hidden jewel, offering fantastic food in an informal environment on the water’s edge adjoining the popular Parkstone Bay Marina
Branksome Park offers a beautiful leafy suburb, comprising many substantial properties enjoying their own grounds and privacy. The majority of Branksome Park falls under the conservation area where the plots have a minimum size of ¾ of an acre, ensuring privacy. Broad, tree-lined streets lead off to lovely woodland walks and various trails down to the beach. The Branksome Beach Café sits by the water’s edge alongside the Blue Flag and dog friendly beach. Both Westbourne and Canford Cliffs are within easy distance, with a unique selection of individual business and local amenities such as libraries, medical centres, post offices and an M&S Food store.
Ashley Cross is the cosmopolitan centre of Lower Parkstone, comprising bars, restaurants, a great local butcher and a vibrant sense of community centred around the Green, which often plays host to local events. Penn Hill is another ‘sub-village’ within Lower Parkstone which boasts an attractive night life and then of course there is Parkstone Golf Club with breathtaking views over Poole Harbour. Parkstone railway provides train services to Winchester, Southampton Airport Parkway and London Waterloo.
Connecting Westbourne to the beach Alum Chine is known for its beautiful wooded chine which leads the sea. A popular children’s playpark is on the beach front, together with local restaurants Vesuvio and The Edge and many sought after beach huts.
Sandbanks is very well known for its award winning Blue flag beaches with a specified dog walking area. There are several eateries including the Haven Hotel with it's leisure facilities, Rick Stein as well as the Sandbanks Yacht Company which offers its members a private gym, dry boat storage and restaurant open to the public which has live music during the summer. The peninsular also has its own news agency, café, crazy golf and children’s play park. The chain ferry connects Sandbanks to the Purbecks.
Poole itself is home to the ever popular Quay with a number of restaurants and firework displays during the summer months - from here you can catch a boat to Brownsea Island.
Bournemouth town centre is the place to shop with many high street brands as well the exclusive Westover Road. In winter we see the arrival of the Christmas market and ice rink. For a larger choice West Quay in Southampton is popular with many high streets brands under one roof, including a large John Lewis and Ikea.