Things to do in Poole, Dorset

Poole, located in Dorset, England, is a charming coastal town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and relaxation. With its stunning beaches, picturesque harbor, and vibrant atmosphere, Poole is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a memorable seaside getaway. Whether you're interested in exploring historic landmarks, enjoying water sports, or simply unwinding on the beach, Poole has something for everyone. Come and experience the laid-back charm of this coastal gem.

Things to do

Visit Poole Harbour

Poole Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and a must-visit destination in Poole. With its stunning views, picturesque islands, and bustling marinas, it offers a range of activities for visitors. You can take a boat trip around the harbour, go fishing, or simply relax on the sandy beaches. The harbour is also home to a variety of wildlife, including seals and birds, making it a great spot for nature lovers. Don't forget to visit the historic Brownsea Island, located in the middle of the harbour, which is known for its red squirrels and beautiful woodland walks.

Explore the Old Town

Take a stroll through the charming Old Town of Poole and discover its rich history and heritage. The narrow streets are lined with Georgian and Victorian buildings, housing a variety of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Visit the Poole Museum to learn about the town's maritime past and explore its collection of art and artifacts. Don't miss the medieval Poole Guildhall, which dates back to the 15th century and is now used as a venue for events and exhibitions. The Old Town is also home to the famous Poole Pottery, where you can see pottery being made and purchase unique pieces as souvenirs.

Relax at Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Poole and is known for its golden sand and clear blue waters. It is a great place to relax, sunbathe, and enjoy a picnic with family and friends. The beach is also a hotspot for water sports, including windsurfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at kiteboarding or jet skiing. There are plenty of facilities available, including beach huts, cafes, and toilets. Don't forget to take a walk along the promenade and enjoy the stunning views of the coastline.

Visit Poole Park

Poole Park is a beautiful public park located near the town center and offers a range of activities for all ages. Take a leisurely stroll around the park's picturesque lake, feed the ducks, or enjoy a picnic on the grassy areas. The park also features a miniature railway, a play area for children, and a boating lake where you can hire pedalos or rowing boats. If you're a fan of sports, you can play tennis, bowls, or try your hand at crazy golf. Poole Park is a great place to relax and unwind amidst nature.

Discover Poole Quay

Poole Quay is a vibrant waterfront area that offers a mix of history, entertainment, and stunning views. Take a leisurely walk along the quayside and admire the beautiful boats and yachts moored in the marina. Visit the Poole Museum, located in a converted Victorian warehouse, to learn about the town's maritime history and see its collection of artifacts. Enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the many waterfront restaurants and bars, and watch the sunset over the harbor. You can also take a boat trip from Poole Quay to explore the Jurassic Coast or visit the nearby Brownsea Island.

Go on a Jurassic Coast Cruise

Embark on a Jurassic Coast Cruise from Poole and explore the stunning coastline of Dorset. The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its unique rock formations, fossils, and stunning cliffs. During the cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see iconic landmarks such as Durdle Door, Old Harry Rocks, and Lulworth Cove. The knowledgeable guides on board will provide interesting insights into the geology and history of the area. You can choose from a variety of cruise options, including half-day trips, full-day trips, and sunset cruises.

Visit the Poole Pottery Museum

If you're interested in ceramics and pottery, a visit to the Poole Pottery Museum is a must. Located in the heart of Poole, the museum showcases the rich history of Poole Pottery, which dates back to the 19th century. Explore the collection of beautifully crafted pottery, including iconic designs from different eras. Learn about the production process, from clay preparation to glazing and firing. You can also try your hand at pottery painting and create your own unique piece to take home as a souvenir. The museum shop offers a wide range of pottery for sale, including limited edition and collectible items.

Take a Boat Trip to Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is a stunning nature reserve located in Poole Harbour and is famous for its wildlife and natural beauty. Take a boat trip from Poole Quay and explore the island's diverse habitats, including woodland, heathland, and lagoons. Brownsea Island is home to a variety of wildlife, including red squirrels, deer, and a wide range of bird species. You can take a guided walk to learn more about the island's flora and fauna, or simply relax on the sandy beaches and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Don't forget to visit the Brownsea Island Castle, which dates back to the 16th century and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Explore Upton Country Park

Upton Country Park is a beautiful country park located just outside of Poole and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the town. The park features expansive lawns, woodlands, and formal gardens, perfect for leisurely walks and picnics. Explore the park's historic buildings, including Upton House and the Walled Garden, which date back to the 19th century. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including outdoor concerts and craft fairs. Don't miss the chance to spot wildlife, such as deer and swans, in the park's tranquil surroundings.

Visit the Poole Lighthouse

The Poole Lighthouse is a prominent landmark in the town and is the largest arts center outside of London. It hosts a variety of performances, including theater shows, concerts, and dance performances. Check the schedule and catch a show during your visit to Poole. The Lighthouse also has a cinema, showing a range of films from blockbusters to independent productions. Enjoy a meal or a drink at the Lighthouse Cafe Bar, which offers stunning views of Poole Harbour. The Lighthouse is a cultural hub and a must-visit destination for art and entertainment enthusiasts.