Less than 100 miles from London, Poole is an ideal commuter location for those wanting to escape the bustle of city life. It’s easily accessible by car in less than three hours, or alternatively, regular train services run to Waterloo throughout the day, transporting commuters into the heart of the capital in just under two hours.

The beautiful Blue Flag beaches which surround this quaint coastal retreat are reasons alone to visit the area, particularly if you’re keen on watersports — Poole Harbour is rife with windsurfing, sailing, kitesurfing and paddle boarding — but if watersports aren’t your thing, you can soak up the scenic seven-mile stretch of award-winning beaches by foot or by bike instead.

A popular location for families, there are plenty of well-regarded schools in the area, each with glowing Ofsted reports. Notable mentions include Springdale First School, Broadstone First School and Rushcombe First School, which have all been rated “Outstanding”. Lilliput first school and Court Hill are also very popular. There are also 2 grammar schools; Parkstone Grammar for girls and Poole grammar for boys.

But it’s the surrounding beaches and glorious rolling countryside that make Poole such an attractive location for families. Kids and parents alike will have endless fun exploring the nearby Purbeck countryside, the Jurassic Coast — a World Heritage Site that sweeps 95 miles of coastline from East Devon to Dorset — and the majestic New Forest National Park. There is also the lovely Poole Park, leading onto Whitecliff Park, Upton Country Park, Hamworthy beach and park, which are popular for all ages.

As well as the rolling countryside, Poole itself is a bubbling hot pot of activity. In the Old Town, remnants of the medieval town remain with beautiful character facades, and heading further into the more modernised parts you’ll find an array of slick new buildings, shops, cafes and restaurants serving up delicious local produce and freshly-caught seafood.

The elegant area of Poole Quay is one of the busiest parts of town, where a blanket of fishing boats, yachts, powerboats and cruisers float atop the rippling waterfront. The perfect backdrop for an evening soiree or brisk afternoon walk.

Poole is also blessed with the second largest natural harbour in the world, where you’ll see large cruise liners pass through in search of sunnier climes, and smaller vessels transporting passengers to the surroundings areas of Brownsea Island, Sandbanks, Wareham, Swanage and Bournemouth.

Towns and cities close by include Weymouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Christchurch, which are all easily accessible by car, and there are several charming villages dotted around the area, just waiting to be explored.

The residential areas of Poole offer huge variety, having something for everyone from first homes, retirement homes and family homes to multi-million pound homes in Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs and sea front settings, holiday homes and excellent investment opportunities. There are modern developments and large areas of character properties ranging from Victorian to the 1930’s of all shapes and sizes.

Away from the main shopping centres are little urban “villages” which have grown hugely in popularity and value.  These include, Lilliput, Penn Hill, Canford Cliffs and Ashley Cross with their café cultures, boutique shops and where there is never an artisan bakery too far away!

Some say the “jewel in the crown” of Poole is Sandbanks, the small picturesque peninsula, which is a millionaire’s marvel! It is considered one of the most sought-after enclaves in the country attracting a throng of high profile residents to the area. The blue flag sandy beaches stretch all the way from there to Hengistbury Head.

But whilst the plush millionaire’s enclave boasts some of the smartest properties around, it’s not just Sandbanks that’s putting Poole on the map, its enviable location and dramatic coastal backdrops are attracting more and more new residents to the area. The variety of homes and extensive leisure pursuits makes Poole a town that is just wonderful to live in and an ideal lifestyle choice as well as a growth area for investment.