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The Buying Agent Insider Guide
Being a county of contrasts, Dorset pretty much has it all when it comes to property buying. From the uber exclusive delights of Sandbanks to the bucolic ‘Hardy country villages nestling in rolling valleys, there is something to suit all tastes.
Dorset could almost be described as two counties in one…the busy, urban communities of Poole, Christchurch, Weymouth and Bournemouth are still part of the same county as the likes of Swanage, Dorchester, Lyme Regis and Shaftesbury - with all the contrasts that brings.
Edged all along its south coast by either the English Channel or the stunning cliffs known as the Jurassic Coast, and enjoying excellent communication links to the South East, Dorset is a county to head for if you want to work, rest and play in delightful surroundings.
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Sandbanks – exclusive and enticing, Sandbanks has lots of properties to make the mouth drop as one traverses its exclusive leafy avenues – and plenty more besides tucked away offering seclusion and seriously superb living.
Dorchester – the county administration centre of Dorset, Dorchester is a traditional market town on the up. Sensitive urban regeneration programmes are bringing new housing opportunity – and don’t forget Poundbury, the Prince of Wales’ landmark community on the edge of the town which offers an amazing array of homes, built with sensitivity and style.
Lyme Regis – lovely Lyme, with its steep streets leading down to the iconic Cobb protecting the harbour, is a fabulous place in which to live. Plenty of magnificent Georgian homes offer stunning sea views and there are new apartment developments as well in a community which becomes ever more popular by the year.
Bournemouth – the joke used to be it was a centre for retirement, and while downsizing and taking some of the strain off still remain a reason to move to Bournemouth, no longer is at a place to slow down too much as development of new homes and restoration of old properties offers a fabulous choice for buyers.
Weymouth – given a much-needed shot in the arm when it hosted the Olympic sailing competitions as part of the London 2012 Games, Weymouth has continued to see exciting development, offering plenty of choice for homebuyers of all persuasions.
Best hotels in Dorset
The Pig On The Beach (https://www.thepighotel.com/on-the-beach/) is quite possibly THE most iconic of properties owned by this iconic and funky hotel chain, with fabulous views across the water, amazing rooms and distinctive, delightful menus. Summer Lodge (https://www.summerlodgehotel.co.uk) offers all one would expect from a five star country house and more with exceptional service and quiet, understated luxurious accommodation. The Alexandra Hotel (https://www.hotelalexandra.co.uk) makes the most of its location atop the hill looking out over Lyme Bay and offers stylish rooms, cosy firesides and fabulous food and service.
Best restaurants in Dorset
Hix Fish and Oyster House (https://www.hixrestaurants.co.uk/restaurant/hix-oyster-fish-house) is where the exceptional talent that is Mark Hix first made his name and it’s still the place to go to enjoy fabulous seafood in a stunning setting. Rick Stein’s at Sandbanks (https://www.rickstein.com) brings a touch of the TV presenter’s iconic Cornish restaurant to Dorset…and with use of local seafood to the fore you won’t be disappointed. You really can’t get closer to the sea to eat than the Hive Beach Café (www.hivebeachcafe.co.uk) a superbly chilled out dining experience on the beach with the sea almost lapping at your toes as you dine.
Best schools in Dorset
The reputation of Sherborne School (http://www.sherborne.org) for providing a first class education to its boys aged 13 to 18 is well founded – it has an enviable academic record and first class facilities. Talbot Heath School (http://www.talbotheath.org) gives girls aged 3 to 18 a fabulous education with a reputation for excellent pastoral care. Bryanston School (www.bryanston.co.uk) is an excellent independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.
Buying Agents Dorset Fact
The shingle at Chesil Beach is 18 miles long from end to end, a spectacular sight and justifying its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.