CHRISTMAS and new year are over – which means a new rental opportunity may be especially appealing for those looking for an extended break from loved ones.

A tiny island off the coast of Poole is now available to rent for those after a Robinson Crusoe lifestyle.

Round Island, which covers just 15 acres, lies in the middle of Poole Harbour. It is now available to rent for £15,000 a month.

For that, the lucky tenants will get the use of three cottages on the island, as well the services of two resident caretakers who live in another property.

The caretakers will provide 15-minute motorboat rides to the mainland on request.

The nearest shops, restaurants and amenities are three miles away in Poole.

The island also comes with a jetty that can accommodate vessels up to 40ft in length, a private sandy beach, a boat shed, a water tower and summer house that is used as an observation room.

Dorset Beaches:

Round Island is known as a wildlife haven and has its own colony of peacocks.

Since 1968, the land has been owned by the Palmer family, members of whom run a local building firm, and the cottages rented out as holiday lets.

However, the family are using the island less and less and are hoping to find more permanent tenants.

They have placed the island on the market with estate agents Albury and Hall. Serious candidates will be interviewed and vetted.

Dorset Beaches:

Simon McIntyre, from Albury and Hall, said: "The owners want to find someone who will use this more often than just as a holiday home.

"They are not getting any younger and aren't getting over there as much as they have done in the past.

"The island is around 15 acres and the nearest mainland is at the Arne Nature Reserve which is quite remote in itself.

"But for shopping, restaurants and all amenities it is a short mile trip to Poole which takes about 15 minutes.

"There is an interview and referencing process for the lead tenant and we'd expect this to appeal to a big family."

The three properties the come with the tenancy are Curlew Cottage, Sandpiper Cottage an Pier Cottage.

At the opposite end of the isle is a main house, which is owned and used by the Palmer family.

Round Island is one nine islands in Poole Harbour.

Dorset Beaches:

Brownsea Island, where Lord Baden Powell started the Scout movement, is the largest. Long Island and Green Island are also privately owned and have property on.

Round Island formed part of the Rempstone and Wareham Estate from 1886 until 1935, when it was sold to the Hon Kathleen Laurence, Daughter of Lord Illiffe.

From 1940 it was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and combined as a training ground with HMS Turtle, a Royal Marines base at nearby Hamworthy.

The island helped the marines train for the D-Day invasion.