3 locals with a passion for Sandbanks, Lilliput and Canford Cliffs

PUBLISHED: 16:06 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 24 July 2017

Sunset on Sandbank Jetty (Picture courtesy of Poole Tourism)

Sunset on Sandbank Jetty (Picture courtesy of Poole Tourism)


Want to know more about the Sandbank area? Andy Greeves talks to three locals who have a passion for the Platinum Peninsula and nearby Lilliput and Canford Cliffs

My Fabulous Beachside HQ

Liz Willingham, Owner of Liz Lean PR

Liz Lean PR (LLPR) was founded by Liz Willingham from the bedroom of her Sandbanks apartment back in 1998. Some 19 years on, LLPR is one of the leading boutique PR agencies in the South of England, specialising in media relations, crisis communications, marketing and event management. Their HQ is by the water in Sandbanks.

“Our gorgeous location brings plenty of respite to the busy working day: a lunchtime team meeting on the beach is not an unusual occurrence. On a sunny day, there is nowhere else I would rather be.

During my days off I can often be found out on the water with the family - on boats or paddle boarding. If it’s not a day to be on the water we’ll hop on the Sandbanks ferry and go for a walk on beautiful Studland beach with our dog Bryher. On our way home we sometimes enjoy a glass of something refreshing at Shell Bay on Ferry Road, just 250 yards to your right as you come off the ferry from Sandbanks, or we’ll pop into The Haven Hotel on Banks Road where you can watch the boats sailing in and out of the harbour entrance. The location is quite breathtaking.

One of the best kept local secrets is enjoying sundowners on the terrace at The Harbour Heights Hotel, on Haven Road. It offers the best views of Poole Harbour and you can enjoy watching the incredible sunsets. On a balmy summer evening it’s the perfect place for a glass of wine or cocktails and then stay on for dinner.”

My Place to Recharge

Darren Northeast: Founder of Darren Northeast PR

Set up in 2005, Darren Northeast PR is an award-winning agency based in Bournemouth offering bespoke PR services to clients from a variety of industries in the South West.

“I recently moved house so currently my perfect weekend is wandering through the glorious gardens at Compton Acres in Canford Cliffs to get some inspiration for my own modest plot. After lunch in their café, tucking into something like Lyme Bay crab linguine with a crisp, fresh salad, I pop into their plant centre to make a few purchases. After a week in the office, it’s a great way to unwind.

I particularly love walking along Holes Bay with its amazing views over the Purbecks. I always feel there’s something special about the light and air in our area – it’s so rejuvenating. I always come back from a walk here feeling like I can tackle anything!

I consider myself really fortunate to live and work in this part of Dorset. In my job I get to travel all around the area, working with clients and attending events, and I’m always struck by the beauty of this area and by the positivity and innovation of its business community.”

My Weekend Retreat

Andy Woodfield, Founder of Lilliput Dorset Gin

Lilliput Dorset Gin was launched at the start of this year, with founder Andy Woodfield aiming to “create a product that captures the invigorating spirit of summer on the Dorset coast”. The gin is created at Andy’s micro distillery in Lilliput, Poole.

“I live in London from Monday to Thursday and then escape to our house in Lilliput for the weekends. Our place overlooks Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, and I love sitting in the kitchen watching the boats. As a former Sunseeker owner, I find watching them to be much more cost effective! Most weekends are spent in our micro-distillery, creating Lilliput Dorset Gin. It’s a magical process that I find wonderfully therapeutic.

Once the important work is done a great weekend would need to start with a leisurely breakfast at CAFF on Banks Road (facebook.com/caffsandbanks) after an early morning walk with our naughty dog Lukas. You can take dogs inside and the recent refurbishment here makes it an even cooler place to hang out. My ideal lunch would involve buying some jumbo king prawns and oysters from Parkstone Fisheries (12 Bournemouth Road) and taking them home to sling on the barbecue, accompanied by a lovely bottle of sparkling wine from the English Oak Vineyard in Lytchett Matravers (englishoakvineyard.co.uk). If I don’t fancy cooking I am rather tempted by the lunchtime set menu at Rick Stein, Sandbanks offering three courses for £25. The team there are fantastic, the food delicious and the waterside location stunning; it will be even better when they start stocking Lilliput Dorset Gin!

My partner, Rodolfo would always include a good few hours of stand-up paddle boarding in the bay of crazy kite surfers in Sandbanks - this is usually my time for an afternoon nap or a gentle swim in our swim spa at home. We both absolutely love the Jet Ski Safari at Salterns Marina (salterns.co.uk), which are so much fun. We have friends who come down in the summer just for this exhilarating experience.

Lukas, the aforementioned naughty dog, would include on his itinerary for a perfect weekend, a walk from the football fields in Whitecliff along through Baiter Park. This would include going through all the mud, then a dip in the sea, before returning along the Quay having made sure he gets as dirty as possible. That’s his main objective from a walk!”

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