The town of Poole sits on one of the largest natural harbours in the world, thought to be second only to Sydney's. A traditional fishing town for hundreds of years, the town now benefits from a thriving tourist industry. With easy access to the famous Jurassic Coast, home to some of the cleanest beaches in Great Britain, and a sanctuary for wildlife, Poole is an ideal seaside location for any visitor. Away from the coastline, the town is packed with history, culture and entertainment to suit all ages.


A short boat trip from Poole Harbour takes you across to Brownsea Island, a National Trust wildlife reserve. Meet the large and rare population of red squirrels on this 500-acre natural haven. The Abbotsbury Swanery along the Jurassic Coastline provides another opportunity to encounter the local wildlife. Take part in the mass feeding of over 1000 wild swans.

At the bustling Poole Quay, visit the Boathouse Museum and take a ride on the Poole Park Railway, which runs around the lake. Poole’s varied history can be explored on The Cockle Trail, which runs along old cobbled side streets and tells of the town’s 750 year old history.

Take a world tour of garden design at Compton Acres. This 10-acre mixed garden park features traditional gardens from all over the world.

A day out at one of the beaches along Poole’s 3 miles of coastline is one of the most popular reasons for a visit to the town. In particular, Sandbanks beach has won many awards for its clean sand and water.


In the centre of the town is the covered Dolphin Shopping Centre, ideal for convenient high street shopping. For some fresh local produce, visit the Farmers’ Market on Falkland Square on Thursdays. Wednesdays during the summer months can be spent browsing the Arts Market on High Street.For some traditional craft items, there is a regular boat service to the old Dorset market town of Wareham.

Nightlife and Eating Out

For al-fresco dining on the seafront, head to one of many restaurants along the harbour, specialising in seafood and locally caught produce. For a wide range of restaurants, head to the Canford Cliffs, Poole Quay or to one of the many gastro-pubs in the local Dorset countryside.

The Mowlem Theatre has regular productions and there are many pubs and wine bars in the centre.

Tourist Information

Poole Welcome Centre, Enefco House, Poole Quay, Poole, Dorset. BH15 1HJ. Tel. 01202 253253info@pooletourism.com


Located just 10 miles away from the town centre, Bournemouth Airport is Poole’s main access to air travel. There is a regular coach service running from the centre of the town to the Airport.

Southampton Airport is also accessible, and London airports are also within reach.

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