Kaz, we are in Boscombe, bournemouth. There is an excellent primary here but it is difficult to get in if you are not a church goer, there are also 2 grammar schools nearby. Christchurch also has some good primaries and Twynhams Secondary in Christchurch si meant tobe excellent.
Although its not right on the coast, I live between Southampton and Winchester. We have excellent state primary and secondary schools, and those in Winchester itself are equally good. Winchester is an hour from London on the train, we're close to the M3 and M27 for the coast, 20 minutes from Portsmouth for the ferries to France and close enough to get to the New Forest, South Downs or beaches in Bournemouth. Downside is not as much nightlife as you'd get in Bournemouth though (or Brighton, come to that), a bit pricey and maybe a bit 'burbish, but lots of families in the area.
I live in Poole and it is a really beautiful place. Tend to take it for granted though living here. It's only since I've had dds that I have started to really appreciate the surrounding area. House prices have shot up around here though - mind you haven't they everywhere? There are stacks of restaurants around here. Maybe when you've pinpointed where exactly you are thinking of visiting - we can lead you in a direction for a good restaurant. Happy hunting. xx
I live western edge of new forest.Great local schools,house prices really high.Around 300-400 for 4 bed house in Ringwood.Thats a house on an estate.
Cheaper housing closer to ferndown or verwood but not much.
Salisbury is nice aswell,don't know about schools or prices though.
Have fun looking