Sandbanks Beach – National Trust Sandbanks

Sandbanks Beach in Poole is arguably the best beach in the UK. Along with Bournemouth beach, it is an award-winning blue flag beach. Looked after by the National Trust Sandbanks.

sandbanks beach
Miles of Soft Golden Sand

Sandbanks have 3 miles of golden sand, clear waters, and lovely views. It is known for its high property prices and award-winning beach. Being only a 20-minute drive from Bournemouth and easily accessible by bus, it’s a lovely day out. The beach has a children’s play area and water-sports facilities.

Can anyone go to Sandbanks beach?

Yes everyone is welcome at the Beach. Each year thousands of holidaymakers travel to Bournemouth and take a trip to Sandbanks and Poole. Sandbanks is protected by the National Trust Sandbanks. Anyone is allowed on Sandbanks beach but it is protected.

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Is Sandbanks beach private?

The beach is not private, it’s owned by the Bournemouth council and is maintained for the public. Anyone can go to Sandbanks. Areas are preserved by the National Trust Sandbanks.

What time does Sandbanks beach open?

The beach is open 24 hours a day.

Are dogs allowed on Sandbanks beach?

Sandbanks beach is a dog-friendly beach. There is an all year round designated area for dogs at the western end of Sandbanks beach, near the chain ferry. Dogs are allowed on ALL beaches between October and April.

From May to September dogs are not allowed on the main beach. They must be kept on a lead on the promenade, zig-zags, and paths.

For more information on which beaches in Bournemouth, Poole and, Christchurch dogs are allowed on, take a look at our Dog Friendly Beaches in Bournemouth guide.

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Are Guide Dogs allowed on the beach?

Guide dogs, when working, are allowed on all beaches in Bournemouth and Poole including Sandbanks all year round. To find out more about the beaches in Bournemouth dogs are allowed on, take a look at our Dog friendly Beaches in Bournemouth guide.

Is there parking at Sandbanks beach?

Yes, there is a car park, in the summer it does get extremely busy and may be difficult to find a parking space. Luckily it’s easily accessible by bus with buses leaving and going every 30 minutes to Bournemouth. The nearest train station is Parkstone train station which is 2.6 miles away from Sandbanks beach.

Poole Council also puts on a park and ride in the summer months. Park and Ride Buses leave from Poole Civic Centre every 30 minutes. Its free parking and a family day ticket will be needed for the bus which is a more bus number 60.

For bus time timetables to Sandbanks beach please visit the following websites. morebus Yellow buses

sandbanks beach
Sandbanks Beach

Is there disabled access on the beach?

There is level wheelchair access to the promenade from the carpark. Mobi-Mats are in place from May to September.

The beach can be accessed by a ramp. A beach-accessible wheelchair can be hired on a first come first serve basis from Sandbanks beach office from May to September from 9:30 pm to 4:30 pm. (a refundable £50 cash deposit is required).

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Is a barbecue allowed on the beach?

Disposable barbeques are allowed at Sandbanks beach, between the times of 6 pm and 10:30 pm.

Electrical barbeques are available on a first-come-first-serve basis from 10 am to 10 pm.

For guidelines and beach rules on taking a barbeque to Sandbanks beach please read the official guidelines to Sandbanks

Gas barbeques are not allowed on the beach at any time.

Barbeques of 30 or more people will need permission from Bournemouth and Poole council. These types of barbeques will need to take place in designated barbeque areas between 6 pm and 10:30 pm. To get permission for barbeques over 30 people you will need to complete the barbeque application form.

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Are open fires allowed on the beach?

Open fires on Sandbanks beach are prohibited at any time. You could be prosecuted if you start a fire on Sandbanks beach.

Can you camp on Sandbanks beach over night?

It is prohibited to camp overnight on Sandbanks beach. You are likely to be prosecuted if you camp anywhere on the seafront at any time day or night. There are legal campsites nearby though. Some areas of the beach are protected by the National Trust Sandbanks.

Ferry to Studland

If you wanted to nip over to Studland while at Sandbanks there is a chain ferry. Sandbanks ferry runs daily, weather permitting. The ferry will carry pedestrians, cars, bikes, motorcycles, vans, camper vans, and buses.

Studland is maintained and protected by the National Trust Sandbanks. It is a protected area and beach with many protected species that live there.

The ferry does not operate a pre-booking ticket system. Tickets can be bought at the ferry on the day you travel.

The Bramble Bush ferry as it’s named; crosses the entrance of Poole Harbour between Sandbanks and Shell Bay.

How busy is Sandbanks Beach?

In the summer Sandbanks beach is extremely busy. People from all over the UK and abroad come to spend their summers at Sandbanks beach. Each year it’s calculated that over 1 million people visit the beach. Every year Sandbanks hits capacity fairly quickly and some people then have to be turned away.

To find out in the summer months if the beach has reached its capacity, there is a beach app you can download.

Alternatively to find out more about Studland Beach you can go to the National Trust Sandbanks site.