High glamour on the Dorset coast

Timothy Barber
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FOR years there’s only been one place on the South Coast for the rich and glamorous to live (if ever properties became available) – the Sandbanks peninsula near Poole Harbour. Metre for metre, at one point it had the most expensive land value in the world – plots go for as much as £10,000 per square metre and mansions are crammed into its confines.

The competitive showiness of the locale and proximity of the properties on Sandbanks won’t be to everyone’s taste though. Christchurch, a town a little way along the coast, is a beautiful town overlooking a famous natural harbour, and at the centre of an area that offers many of the same pleasures of Sandbanks – wonderful marine views, proximity to the great sailing territory around the Solent – with more space and privacy and much better value for money.

Harbour Hide is one of the first Sandbanks-style properties to appear here. Built over the past couple of years at a cost of over £2m, it’s an extraordinary, ziggurat-shaped building with a vast roof-terrace, a spectacular basement swimming pool and rooms that have been designed to maximize the view out over the harbour to the Needles.

At its centre is a spiral staircase, winding up through the house and acting as a spine around which the rest of the circular building revolves. As you’d expect in a place like this, it’s as high-tech a building as they come – the bottom of the pool can even be electronically raised to be level with the floor for hosting parties.

The finish is of the first order too, with plenty of natural materials – burr oak doors, waltnut trim staircases, natural stone and slate flooring, including some fossilized pieces.

The garden leads down to the water where the house has its own dock, and it comes with a larger mooring in Christchurch harbour. It stands in a private area within the grounds of the Christchurch Harbour Hotel, whose room service and spa can also be used.

Call Winkworth on 01425 270 055 or visit www.winkworth.co.uk