Anna Lloyd-Morell: Similar in feel to the main drag at Studland Bay on the other side of Poole Harbour, but with the added benefit of a lack of seedy swingers sharing the beach, and with much better views, Branksome boasts endless, fine white sand and bright, clear, clean sea.
Where Studland looks out across the built-up towns of Poole and Bournemouth, making an otherwise lovely rural beach feel a little 'Spanish Costas', Branksome Chine keeps the buildings to its back, resulting in an uninterrupted view across the sea to Old Harry Rocks - grand chalk stacks which once reached to the Isle of Wight. Much less busy than Bournemouth, Branksome boasts endless, fine white sand and has a lifeguarded bathing area, boardwalk and a sweet, 1940s-style, Blyton-esque cafe, shop and toilet block for families. Head a little further towards Poole though and things feel somewhere between rural British and tranquil Caribbean as the sand squishes between your toes as you plunge into wide open water. It is the sense of space that makes this feel less like a family beach and more like the line between a barley-there, bygone British seaside resort and the great, grey infinite you want from a good sea swim. Best on a warm day, just out of season.