March 08, 2018

Coastal Life | A Beach Retreat In Canford Cliffs

beach retreat in canford cliffs

Coiffed hair, cakes & coast line in Canford Cliffs

If you’re a lover of an expanse of sandy beaches set below a leafy cliff path walk (and I suspect you might be seeing as you’re reading this blog), then you may be interested in this next instalment in the Coastal Life series.

Nestled between Branksome and Sandbanks is the stylish suburb of Canford Cliffs. I learned from a (very) brief stint working in a local estate agent for my brother in law that a Canford Cliffs postcode is a much sought after postcode.

Whilst you may not be planning on acquiring said postcode on a permanent basis, a stop over is definitely high on the Must Visit list when it comes to coastal vacations in Dorset.

D O G S  &  B E A C H E S . . .  A N D  W A L K I N G  D O G S  O N  B E A C H E S !

Whilst I’ve been to both Branksome Chine and Sandbanks beaches many a time, Canford Cliffs was a place I’d only driven through until recently.

A chance encounter that began when Mr OS and I were spotted by the lovely Joanne who owns the Beach Retreat apartments whilst shooting this post, later on lead to an Instagram chat about our shared love of dogs and beaches. And walking dogs on beaches!

Joanne then kindly invited us to stay as a guest at one of her apartments so that we could explore a different stretch of beach and find out more about Canford Cliffs.

walking on canford cliffs beach

beach walker in silhouette

So on a bright February morning, having despatched H to school, Mr OS and I headed over to spend the day mooching about. In my opinion there should be lots more time given over to mooching about…

Leaving Patrick with a book and coffee, I disappeared off for a wash and blow dry at his hairdressing salon – Dune. I’ve been looking for a local salon to take on the mighty mantle of my colour and cut for a while now. Travelling up to London to get my hair done just doesn’t make sense in terms of time… and money!

On the basis of the blow dry I had, I’ve since been back for a spring chop and fresh colour and am thrilled with the results. Who knew that the husband was harbouring such hairdressing talent all this time!

If you’re local to the area and are looking for a good hair day then I can highly recommend Anthony for cut and Alison for colour!

oxfords bakery

cakes at oxford bakery canford cliffs

Freshly coiffed and in need of sustenance, we stopped in at Oxford’s Bakery to grab lunch on the go – the cake selection was pure heaven and I was transported straight back to my childhood with a Bath Bun. Remember those?

Having topped up our sugar intake to a suitable level, we walked down to the beach via the cliff path. Being used to our own pebbly, rugged stretch of coastline, seeing that endless expanse of sand never fails to take my breath away. When it’s out of season and practically empty, theres nothing quite like it.

walking along the cliff tops in spring in dorset

leafy coastal path to canford cliffs beach

online stylist in canford cliffs

online stylist wearing hush military jacket

WEARING:    Sunglasses – Muse by Quay Australia | Jacket – hush  | Striped Tee – hush  | Bag – DKNY (old style) but this one similar | Faux Leather Joggers – (old) Warehousesimilar here | Converse All Star Low

Giddy at the prospect of both sunshine and a few hours to ourselves, we meandered along the beach, headed back up the cliff path and came across The Plantation.

Glass of afternoon Rosé? Don’t mind if I do!

the plantation canford cliffs

glass of rose at the plantation in canford cliffs

Later on, having picked up H from school and zipped back again, we met Joanne to pick up the keys for our stay.

We stayed in Apartment 2 with it’s two generous sized bedrooms and interior colours that could have been chosen specifically to fit in with my Instagram feed.

H instantly declared that she wanted an apartment just like this when she was older. Here’s hoping that her intended (so far) career choice of architect is a resounding success then huh?

living room beach retreat apartments

white roses and coffee

Dinner was a short walk away at The Cliff where we enjoyed a lovely meal and an even better family chat. It was one of those moments when we were all relaxed, H was engaged and proceeded to regale us with plenty of school and friend stories all evening long..

Anyone who’s a parent of a teen will know that these times are few and far between so when they arise, you grab them with both hands!

light and airy bedroom at beach apartment

coffee in bed

weekend breakfast tray

breakfast bowls from blue orange juice bar

Next morning’s breakfast was little granola bowls of goodness provided by Blue Orange Juice & Smoothie Bar which I’m told is the place to go for all things healthy and tasty. The breakfast bowls are delicious and I’d like to try lots more healthy stuff from founder and former Bondi Beach native, Jacqui.

relaxing with coffee on a saturday moring

sitting in a window seat reading a book

eating cake in the kitchen

WEARING:   Roll Neck Sweater – Pure Collection c/o | Girlfriend Jeans (old) – GAP :  Similar here

Places to eat & drink

The Cliff

Loch Fyne

The Plantation

Harbour Heights Hotel

Branksome Beach

Rick Stein at Sandbanks

silouhette on beach through archway

Places to visit nearby

Brownsea Island

Compton Acres

Sandbanks Beach – a Baywatch-esque stretch of beach… minus the red bathing suit slow motion running you understand. And no sign of The Hoff. I just look at the lifeguard huts there in the summer and always think of that show – although not in the same was as Joey and Chandler did in Friends!

And if you feel like a drive around the peninsula to gaze at the glass-topped beach houses residing in the most expensive coastal area in the UK, knock yourself out. But do so with discretion. No open-mouthed gawping as I often say to H.

Studland Bay –  Catch the chain ferry across – there’s more about this beautiful part of Dorset to be found here.

Corfe Castle in Wareham

beach view from cliff top

If you’re thinking of coming to visit Dorset to score a little quality coast time and you love a sandy stretch of beach that looks like it could be in LA, Canford Cliffs is ideal. And I would highly recommend a stay at Beach Retreat – the thoughtful touches that Joanne provides for her guests are perfect!

The only question is… where to next in the Coastal Series?

Disclaimer:  Our stay at Beach Retreat was complimentary – thank you to Joanne and her lovely family for their hospitality!

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2 comments on “Coastal Life | A Beach Retreat In Canford Cliffs”

  1. What a wonderful post. You have made me want to play tourist in my own county now too…As a Dorset dweller I know most of this area well. However your superb shots have made me not recognise them !
    Looking forward to the next I stallment …

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