South Coast Home Buyers Uncover The Charms Of Chines In England

It is the season for buying coastal and waterside homes and coastal Dorset has seen more of a wave than a ripple of buyer activity this year. Here is Poole, Dorset we have already been named one of the country’s key areas outside London affected by the housing bubble (Land Registry prices up 15-20% since 2009)

Much has been written about the beachfront homes of Sandbanks, Poole. However home buyers are less well versed in the hidden charms of the coastal chines of England.


There are only three areas where you will find chines in England: Dorset, Devon and the Isle of Wight. The word chine is only used in the south of England and describes a steep-sided ravine or valley that leads down to the seafront. Not only are chines interesting for their geological history but they make highly desirable locations for holiday home buyers and family home buyers, as many are discovering today.
Dorset’s coastline has a host of chine’s spread between Bournemouth and Canford Cliffs, adjacent to Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset. The chines have created interesting walks along beautiful ravines, which often contain a stream flowing into the sea. They also harbour some wonderful clifftop homes delivering a contrasting combination of wooded landscape and sparkling seascape.

“We recently sold two beautiful homes overlooking Canford Cliffs Chine and Branksome Dene Chine,” explains Pippa Sole, Branch Partner at Berkeleys Poole, “Our buyers appreciated the dual coastal and wooded land/seascape that a chine creates as well as the healthy lifestyle benefits. Looking at average prices achieved for properties located on a chine, a price premium of 10-15% is not uncommon when factoring in a sea view with proximity to a chine,” Pippa explains, “the chines in Poole also command higher prices currently than the chines situated in either Bournemouth or Boscombe.”

These properties also make attractive rental investments. Gemma McGowan, Head of Lettings at Berkeleys notes, “We have recently rented some very attractive apartments on Alum Chine and Branksome Chine, notable for the speed at which they were snapped up. Savvy locals know that a chine based property is likely to be in close proximity to the beachfront or clifftop.”

Every chine is unique offering differing lifestyle benefits. Some chines are more secluded, others more family-friendly whilst one is designated a wildlife conservation area. When buying on a chine, by doing some research first, buyers can uncover truly wonderful properties that will fit their lifestyle today, be they families, second home buyers or young professionals with a passion for water sports.

Alumhurst Road 7

Original Arts and Crafts Family House For Sale In Poole, Dorset

A prestigious BH13 address, original Arts and Crafts style architecture and the ability to express one’s imagination combine to make this home highly desirable today.

This hidden gem nestles within a private, natural setting framing its striking gables; a beacon of a by-gone age, awaiting the enthusiasm of a most discerning buyer. Capitalising on the Arts and Crafts heritage from which its design derives, this is a house with immense charm and picturesque features including the signature red-brick chimney.

Haig Avenue A&C

With the feel of a cottage, it has the space and arrangement of an expansive, family home and its asymmetrical design contributes to the relaxed and unostentatious character. Within walking distance of the local shops and restaurants in Canford Cliffs Village, and a short distance of beaches, golf course and yacht clubs, this house promises all the pre-requisites for a contented family lifestyle.

The heart of this home’s cosiness lies in the kitchen, both internally with a large family dining area, but also externally. Looking out one way over the lawn and flower borders, the south-facing garden is surrounded by mature pines but it is still a complete sun-trap. The other side of the house looks over the secluded garden, again with a lawned approach to the house from Haig Avenue.

Haig Avenue A&C 4

There’s a delightfully sunny drawing room (off which, subject to planning, it might be possible to create a conservatory), a study and a double garage. There’s even scope to extend the kitchen to the side of the property – lots of opportunity for the creative imagination.

Typical of Arts and Crafts homes, the first floor nestles partially within the overall pitched roof and low eaves. There are 4 bedrooms, two of which face over the southerly garden, and with 2 bathrooms (one en-suite), this is already sizeable, well-designed and attractively decorated property. That said, one could envisage the possible creation of a 5th bedroom and an additional bathroom without great difficulty (and probably without the need for planning consent given that this is entirely internal) so as to create a property which – because of its inherent character and design – offers an unusual perspective into another architectural age. And, even if that doesn’t work for you, there’s a loft which might be converted; or perhaps extend out over the garage roof. Lots of possibilities to exercise the mind.

The Arts and Crafts movement favoured the revival of heritage building crafts such as timber framing and tile-hanging, and is clearly celebrated in this home. It was a popular architectural style across the Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park areas of Poole, Dorset during the early part of the 20th Century.

For more details contact Berkeleys on +44 (0)1202 708383