|From:||Poole Civic Centre (SZ029913)|
|To:||Sandbanks Ferry (SZ037871)|
|Distance:||3.6 miles (5.8 km)|
|Meets:||A35, B3065, Sandbanks Ferry|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3369 links the centre of Poole with beach and the ferry across to Studland and Swanage. This busy road provides access to extensive and increasingly expensive residential areas, and as it is the primary link to Poole beaches, it gets very busy in the summer.
The road starts on the Poole Civic Centre gyratory system and heads southwards through the suburbs of Poole. After passing through a narrow railway bridge, we run through the residential areas of Whitecliff and Lilliput, passing several boatyards and occasionally getting glimpses of Poole Harbour. The quality and price of the properties gradually increases the further we head along the road.
After passing through the Lilliput shopping area, the road climbs through a wooded area before emerging at the top of Evening Hill, with magnificent panoramic views across Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and the sea beyond. The road descends to run along the edge of the harbour, a favourite area for windsurfers. After a junction with the B3065, Shore Road carries straight on to the beach whilst the B3369 curves around to the right.
The road here runs along the sandspit with (from south to north) the beach on the seaward side, very expensive house and flats, the road and then the harbour side. The harbour side of the road also has parking, which is very popular in the summer. After half a mile, there are large car parks for Sandbanks beach and then the road runs around Sandbanks head in a large one-way system, so large there are 4 residential roads inside the one-way system. The land on the seaward and harbour sides of the road is reputed to be the most expensive real estate in the UK.
The start of the one-way road is also the location of the first sign warning of the waiting times for the Sandbanks Ferry. At nearly half a mile still to go, the first sign warns of a 1.5-hour wait - and in high summer the queue will be this far back. Just before getting to the ferry, the road splits, with a spur down to the ferry slip, whilst the road carries on around the headland to rejoin the road near the Sandbanks beach car parks. The ferry across the mouth of Poole Harbour is a chain ferry due to the currents through the narrow opening, which limits the ferry to a single boat and explains why the queues are so long in the summer.
Across the other side of the Poole Harbour mouth is the Studland Motor Road, a private road through Studland nature reserve, which then becomes the B3351 to Studland village, carrying onto Corfe Castle, but with an unclassified road carrying on down to Swanage.