Sunset at Poole, Dorset
Sunset, Poole harbour

The port of Poole is the largest urban centre in the county of Dorset. For many years a busy fishing port, today Poole is most popular as a resort town and boating centre. The area of Sandbanks Beach has been awarded the EC highest commendation for cleanliness for its three miles of family-oriented seafront.

Located in Poole Harbour is the 500 acre Brownsea Island, the base for the very first Boy Scout camp. The island is still used by scouts, but today it is preserved as a natural wildlife habitat and reserve administered by the National Trust.

Brownsea is notable for its large population of red squirrels, rare in the rest of England. The nature reserve at Brownsea covers 180 acres and is a popular day-trip destination from Bournemouth and Poole. Regular boat service also lets visitors explore Poole Harbour and up the River Frome to the old market town of Wareham.

Overlooking Poole Harbour is Compton Acres, 10 acres of remarkable mixed gardens, including a Japanese, Roman, Old English, Italian, Canadian, and Spanish garden area among others. The gardens at Compton Acres are composed so that each area is separate and can be experienced independent of the others, creating a tour of world gardening styles in miniature.

On Poole Quay is the Boathouse Museum, dedicated to telling the tale of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Poole RLNI station, which has been in operation since 1865.

The Poole Park Railway is a narrow-gauge railway which takes daily 1/2 mile trips around Poole Lake during the summer months and on weekends during the rest of the year.

About Poole
Address: Poole, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England
Attraction Type: Town
Location map
OS: SZ014 910
Photo Credit: N Chadwick, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

Brownsea Island - 2.3 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Compton Acres - 2.6 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Arne, St Nicholas Church - 3.2 miles (Historic Church)

Arne RSPB Nature Reserve - 3.3 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum - 4.8 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Deans Court - 5.4 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Wimborne Minster Church - 5.5 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Studland, St Nicholas Church - 5.5 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

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