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Poole, United Kingdom

Essential Poole

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We all know that if the kids are happy then so are their parents, so I hope you find the below guide useful to keep the youngsters entertained!


Fun Things to Do With City Cruises in Poole

City Cruises offers a variety of boat trips starting from 9:15 am and going on into the evening. These run seven days a week. This is a great educational opportunity to learn about Poole Harbour and The Jurassic Coast from our Captain’s onboard commentary. Taking a trip to Swanage, the children can visit the beautiful sandy beach with sheltered waters or visit the mini funfair located just off the promenade. A typical Victorian seaside town, Swanage is very much geared up to entertain the children. There is also the opportunity to travel to Corfe on a Victorian steam train or a Heritage Diesel Train. Run by volunteers, Swanage Railway is a ‘must do’ when you visit the area. A boat/train combination ticket can be bought at the City Cruises kiosks or online.

Daytime: Harbour & Islands Cruise, Jurassic Coast Cruise, Sea Train Adventure, Return trip to Swanage

Evening: Poole Christmas Lights Cruise, Fireworks Cruise, Poole Elvis Cruise

Special Events cruises throughout the year include gin night, jazz and prosecco, Mexican night, and much more!


Poole’s Swanage Railway

Swanage RailwayIf you are joining a City Cruise Sightseeing Trip to Swanage and the weather is inclement, then take the opportunity to visit Swanage Railway. Combination tickets are available from City Cruises. This volunteer-led railway has been operating since 1976. The railway was built in 1885 but with the introduction of cars, it went into decline in the 1950s and was finally closed in 1972. It has taken many decades to get it back to how it is today, and it now runs a regular service from Swanage to Corfe Castle on either a steam train or a Heritage diesel train. Plans are to extend the service to run to Wareham in the future.


Shopping in Poole

shopping in pooleWith a bustling high street and a large shopping centre, Poole has plenty to offer the avid shopper! Great opportunity for a bit of retail therapy when the weather is bad.


Explore Poole’s Brownsea Island

Owned by the Natural Trust and partly managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brownsea Island is well known for its wildlife such as rare red squirrels, and a wide variety of birds including dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns, and oystercatchers. The island can be accessed by boat from Poole Quay and is the largest island in Poole Harbour. The Island is one and a half miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide and makes for a lovely stroll through the nature trails ending up with refreshments in the café by the Brownsea port. The children love it as there are plenty of woodland trails and play parks and lots to see.

Brownsea Island is also home to Scout camps first introduced by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907 and are continuing today.


Poole Cockle Trail Self-Guided Walk

cockle trail in poole, uk

Try the Poole Cockle Trail Self-Guided Walk. Starting at Poole Museum, take an hour and a half walk around the old town in Poole following the brass plaques in the pavement to retrace Poole’s rich historical heritage, as well as learning about present-day landmarks. These clues in the pavement offer an opportunity for children to test their puzzle skills! A leaflet can be picked up at the museum or downloaded on the Poole tourism website.


Studio Poole

studio poole dolphin logo

Poole is probably most famous for making bright and cheerful pottery throughout the later part of the 1800s and throughout the 1900s. The factory in Poole no longer exists (now in production in Stoke on Trent) but Studio Poole opened in 2018 to keep the memory and legacy of Poole Pottery in Poole. The studio is a one-stop shop for Poole Pottery where you can buy discontinued tableware, vintage collectibles, and a whole host of other gift ideas. They still have an in-house studio that produces quality, handmade tribute reproductions of discontinued Poole Pottery ranges. And for those budding artists, you can paint your own ceramic masterpiece from a wide selection of bisque animals and fantasy creatures.


Sandbanks Beach in Poole

Naturally beautiful, with its golden sands and clear waters, Sandbanks has held the highly coveted international Blue Flag for the past 30 years. There are miles and miles of stunning beaches for the children to enjoy and at Sandbanks itself, watersport equipment can be hired or there is an outdoor play area. Easily accessible by buses from Poole or Bournemouth. Car parking is available but does fill up very early on in the summer and is a bit pricey!





Splashdown Waterpark

Just a 10-minute drive from Poole centre or easily accessible by bus, Splashdown waterpark at Tower Park is always a family favourite for the kids. With 13 thrilling inside and outside rides and 3 under 5’s splash pools, it is guaranteed fun! Also located at Tower Park are Hollywood Bowl, Cineworld, Buzz Bingo and a host of restaurants.


Farmer Palmers Farm Park

Perfect for youngsters, Farmer Palmers is a 15-minute drive from Poole and can also be easily accessible by bus from Poole bus station. There is a host of animals to see and learn about, Farmer Palmer’s has an indoor soft play area, a dinosaur trail, tractor rides, pedal tractors & go-karts, a sand & water play area, an outdoor play area, a wendy house, bouncy castles and much more. A full day’s entertainment!


Flipout in Poole

flipout in poole ukAn exciting new attraction is due to open in Spring 2023 and is located in The Dolphin Centre in the centre of Poole. Flipout is designed for adults and children offering seven new attractions including E-karting, interactive football, laser tag, bumper cars, a roller rink, a cannon blast arena, and a soft play area.


Eat and Drink Around Poole

There is a wide range of pubs and restaurants in Poole where you can shelter from the rain and grab a drink or a bite to eat. The town centre offers an abundance of cafes and bars.


Things to Do in Poole and the Surrounding Areas

Whether you are here for a day, a week or a fortnight, there is always something to see, do and enjoy.


FAQs – Fun Things to Do in Poole, UK

What are the top attractions in Poole?

Poole offers a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. Some top attractions include:

  • Poole Harbour – One of the largest natural harbours in the world, perfect for boating, sailing, and watersports.
  • Sandbanks Beach – Famous for its golden sands and clear waters, ideal for sunbathing and swimming.
  • Brownsea Island – A National Trust property with wildlife, walking trails, and historical sites.
  • Poole Quay – A vibrant area with restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as events and festivals.

What outdoor activities can I do in Poole?

Poole is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Popular outdoor activities include:

  • Watersports – Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding in Poole Harbour.
  • Cycling – Trails like the Castleman Trailway and the paths around Upton Country Park.
  • Walking and Hiking – Coastal walks along the Jurassic Coast, trails on Brownsea Island, and the South West Coast Path.
  • Fishing – Both sea fishing and freshwater fishing opportunities.

What are the best beaches to visit in Poole?

Poole is home to some stunning beaches, including:

  • Sandbanks Beach – Known for its clean sands, clear waters, and excellent facilities.
  • Branksome Chine Beach – A quieter option with beautiful scenery and good amenities.
  • Canford Cliffs Beach – A more secluded spot, ideal for a peaceful day by the sea.
  • Hamworthy Beach – A less crowded beach with lovely views and a grassy area for picnics.

Are there any scenic boat tours available in Poole?

Yes, City Cruises Poole offers several scenic boat tours and exciting cruises to choose from.

How can I get around Poole?

Getting around Poole is easy, and there are several ways to get around the area. You can take public transportation via a bus. Poole also has many cycling paths, so biking or walking is always a great option. There are car rentals for those who wish to drive, and taxi services for those who wish to be driven.

What accommodations are available in Poole?

Poole has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, with options such as luxury hotels, boutique hotels, charming bed and breakfasts, and private rentals.


Original Post Date: September 25, 2023

Featured in this post

Keep Exploring

Poole, United Kingdom

Essential Poole

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