Nestled on the stunning south coast of England, Poole is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, picturesque scenery and endless activities, it’s no wonder that this seaside town has become one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled break or a relaxing getaway, Poole has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore our top 9 best things to do in Poole!
Things to Do in Poole for Couples
- Romantic Sunset Cruise: Embark on a romantic sunset cruise around Poole Harbour, enjoying stunning views and the tranquil atmosphere.
- Dinner Date at a Waterside Restaurant: Indulge in a romantic dinner at one of the Waterside restaurants along the quayside, savouring delicious cuisine while admiring the harbour views.
- Couples’ Spa Day: Treat yourselves to a rejuvenating spa day at one of Poole’s luxurious spa retreats, where you can relax with massages, facials, and other pampering treatments.
- Coastal Walks: Take a romantic stroll along the scenic coastal paths, hand in hand, and enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline.
- Wine Tasting: Visit a local winery or wine bar and enjoy a wine-tasting experience together, sampling a variety of wines and learning about their production.
- Visit Sculpture by the Lakes: Explore the beautiful Sculpture by the Lakes, an outdoor art gallery set within 26 acres of picturesque countryside, featuring stunning sculptures and tranquil lakeside settings.
- Beach Picnic: Pack a picnic basket with your favourite treats and head to one of Poole’s picturesque beaches for a romantic picnic by the sea.
- Live Music at a Local Venue: Enjoy live music performances at one of Poole’s intimate music venues or jazz clubs, immersing yourselves in the vibrant local music scene.
- Couples’ Cookery Class: Join a couples’ cookery class where you can learn to prepare a delicious meal together under the guidance of a professional chef.
- Private Boat Charter: Arrange a private boat charter and explore the stunning coastline of Poole and its neighbouring areas, creating unforgettable memories together on the water.
Things to Do in Poole for Families
- Poole Park: Spend a fun-filled day at Poole Park, enjoying activities such as boating, miniature golf, and playing in the various play areas.
- Splashdown Waterpark: Visit Splashdown Waterpark, a thrilling water park with flumes, slides, and pools, that provide endless excitement for the whole family.
- Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park: Take the kids to Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, where they can meet and interact with farm animals, enjoy tractor rides, and play in the adventure playgrounds.
- Monkey World: Embark on a short drive to Monkey World, a renowned primate rescue centre that offers educational experiences and the opportunity to see various species of monkeys up close.
- Poole Museum: Explore Poole Museum, which provides interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the town’s maritime history, archaeology, and local art.
- Poole Pirates Speedway: Attend a thrilling speedway racing event at Poole Stadium, where you can cheer on the Poole Pirates as they compete against other teams.
- Tower Park: Visit Tower Park, a leisure complex offering a wide range of family-friendly activities including a cinema, bowling alley, adventure golf, and indoor play areas.
- Sandbanks Crazy Golf: Challenge each other to a round of crazy golf at Sandbanks Crazy Golf, a fantastic course with unique obstacles and stunning views of the beach.
- Compton Acres Gardens: Explore the beautiful gardens of Compton Acres, which provide a serene setting for family walks and picnics amidst stunning landscapes.
- Poole Pottery Painting: Unleash your creativity as a family by visiting a pottery painting studio, where you can paint and decorate your own ceramic pieces.
Things to Do in Poole at Night
- Quayside Dining: Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants along Poole Quay, where you can savour great food while soaking in the evening ambience.
- Live Music at The Cellar Bar: Experience live music performances at The Cellar Bar, a popular venue that hosts local bands and musicians, creating a lively atmosphere for a night out.
- Poole Theatre: Catch a captivating performance at the Poole Theatre, which showcases a variety of shows including plays, musicals, and comedy acts.
- Cocktail Bars: Explore the vibrant cocktail bar scene in Poole and indulge in expertly crafted cocktails while enjoying the stylish and trendy ambience.
- Nighttime Harbour Cruise: Embark on a nighttime harbour cruise to admire the twinkling lights and breathtaking views of Poole Harbour, providing a romantic and memorable experience.
- Cinema Experience: Watch the latest blockbuster movies at one of Poole’s modern cinemas, complete with comfortable seating and state-of-the-art sound and visuals.
- Poole Quay Night Market: Visit the Poole Quay Night Market, held on selected evenings, offering a variety of stalls selling local crafts, street food, and live entertainment.
- Pub and Bar Hopping: Explore the diverse selection of pubs and bars scattered throughout Poole, hopping from one venue to another, sampling different drinks and enjoying the lively atmosphere.
- Casino Night: Try your luck at the casino in Poole, where you can enjoy a thrilling evening of gambling and entertainment, with a range of table games and slot machines.
- Nighttime Beach Walk: Take a romantic stroll along the moonlit beaches of Poole, enjoying the peaceful ambience and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.
Things to Do in Poole with Dogs
- Canford Heath: Take your furry friend for a walk in Canford Heath, one of Poole’s largest nature reserves, offering expansive heathland and woodland trails to explore together.
- Sandbanks Beach: Enjoy a day out at Sandbanks Beach, where dogs are welcome in designated areas, allowing your four-legged companion to run, play, and swim in the sea.
- Upton Country Park: Discover Upton Country Park with your dog, taking advantage of the vast open spaces, gardens, and woodland areas that offer pleasant walks and plenty of fresh air.
- Brownsea Island: Dogs on leads are welcome on Brownsea Island, providing a fantastic opportunity for a scenic walk amidst beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife.
- Poole Park: Explore Poole Park with your dog, where you can enjoy leisurely walks around the lake, allowing your furry friend to stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors.
- Wareham Forest: Venture to Wareham Forest, located near Poole, offering a dog-friendly environment with numerous trails and paths to explore, surrounded by lush woodland.
- Branksome Chine Beach: Visit Branksome Chine Beach, a dog-friendly beach where your canine companion can frolic in the sand and surf alongside you.
- Moors Valley Country Park: Take a trip to Moors Valley Country Park, which features beautiful woodland and lakeside walks that both you and your dog can enjoy.
- Dorset Dogs Festival: Keep an eye out for the annual Dorset Dogs Festival, a dog-friendly event that celebrates our furry friends with activities, displays, and entertainment.
- Dog-Friendly Pubs and Cafes: Enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the dog-friendly pubs or cafes in Poole, where you and your pooch can relax together and socialize with other dog lovers.
Things to Do in Poole Indoors
- Poole Pottery Studio: Get creative at a Poole Pottery Studio, where you can paint and decorate your own ceramic pieces, creating unique and personalized artwork.
- Tower Park Entertainment Complex: Visit the Tower Park Entertainment Complex, which houses various indoor activities such as a cinema, bowling alley, trampoline park, and soft play area, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
- Escape Rooms: Test your problem-solving skills by participating in an escape room challenge. Choose from a variety of themed rooms in Poole, where you and your team will need to solve puzzles and unravel mysteries to escape within a time limit.
- Poole Museum: Explore the fascinating exhibits at Poole Museum, delving into the town’s rich history and maritime heritage. Learn about archaeological finds, view local art, and discover the stories that shaped Poole.
- Laser Tag: Engage in an exciting game of laser tag at a dedicated indoor arena in Poole. Strap on your gear, form teams, and navigate through the adrenaline-filled laser tag battleground.
- RockReef Indoor Adventure: Experience indoor adventure activities at RockReef, an adventure centre with climbing walls, a vertical drop slide, a pier cave, and a Highline aerial obstacle course, providing thrilling challenges for all ages.
- Splashdown Waterpark: Have a splashing good time at Splashdown Waterpark, an indoor water park featuring thrilling slides, flumes, and interactive water play areas, perfect for family fun regardless of the weather outside.
- Fitness and Leisure Centers: Stay active and visit one of Poole’s fitness and leisure centres. Enjoy swimming in the indoor pools, make use of the gym facilities, or join fitness classes for healthy and invigorating indoor activity.
- Poole Pottery Factory Tour: Take a guided tour of the Poole Pottery factory, where you can witness the craftsmanship and techniques behind the creation of Poole’s iconic pottery. Learn about the history of the brand and see skilled artisans at work.
- Indoor Shopping: Explore the indoor shopping centres in Poole, such as the Dolphin Shopping Centre, which houses a variety of shops, boutiques, and cafes, offering a delightful retail therapy experience.
Best Things to Do in Poole – Top 9
1. Explore Poole Harbour
Poole Harbour is a true natural beauty and the perfect place to begin your adventure in Poole. With endless activities available, it’s impossible not to find something that suits your taste. For a more relaxed experience, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and admire the breathtaking views of the harbour.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are several thrilling water sports options such as kayaking or paddleboarding. These activities allow you to get up close and personal with nature while experiencing an unforgettable ride through the picturesque waters of Poole Harbour.
If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the view from afar, then taking a boat tour is just for you! Explore all corners of this magnificent harbour while learning about its history. This will give you insights into how this beautiful town has evolved over time.
No matter what activity you choose, exploring Poole Harbour is sure to be one of your favourite experiences during your trip. So put on some comfortable shoes or grab your gear – let’s start exploring!
2. Visit Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island is a nature lover’s paradise situated in the heart of Poole Harbour. Take a short ferry ride to this peaceful sanctuary managed by the National Trust and be mesmerized by its serene surroundings.
This stunning island offers scenic walks, where you can spot rare wildlife like red squirrels, peacocks, and deer amidst the lush greenery. The island has several trails that offer breathtaking views of the harbour and surrounding landscapes.
One of the most significant attractions on Brownsea Island is Brownsea Castle, which dates back to the 16th century. The castle has an intriguing history as it was once owned by Mary Bonham-Christie who founded Girlguiding UK here in 1909.
Apart from natural beauty and historic buildings, Brownsea Island also boasts an array of outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding or simply relaxing on one of its secluded beaches.
In addition to all these offerings, visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas over Poole Harbour while enjoying mouth-watering refreshments at one of many cafes located across the island.
3. Relax on Sandbanks Beach
Sandbanks Beach is a must-visit destination when in Poole. The beach boasts golden sand and crystal-clear waters, perfect for sunbathing or swimming on a warm summer day.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by lounging on the soft sand while listening to the gentle sound of waves crashing onto the shore. Kids can build sandcastles or play beach volleyball, while adults can try their hand at water sports like windsurfing or jet skiing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, hire equipment from one of the many shops along the promenade and take it to the open sea. You’ll be amazed at how exhilarating it feels to ride over waves with nothing but your skills keeping you upright.
Sandbanks Beach also has plenty of amenities including the best restaurants, cafes, and ice cream vendors so you won’t go hungry during your visit. In short, Sandbanks Beach is an excellent place to relax after exploring other attractions around Poole.
4. Explore the Old Town
Poole’s Old Town is a must-visit destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. The charming Georgian and Victorian buildings lining the streets are truly a sight to behold, transporting visitors back in time to the town’s rich heritage.
Wandering through the historic streets of Poole’s Old Town is like taking a step back in time. You’ll discover independent shops selling everything from handmade crafts to vintage clothing, as well as art galleries showcasing work by local artists.
Traditional pubs also dot the area, offering a cosy spot to rest your feet and enjoy some classic pub fare while immersing yourself in the town’s fascinating history. Don’t forget to sample some locally brewed ale!
One of the highlights of exploring Poole’s Old Town is simply admiring its stunning architecture. From grand Tudor-style mansions to quaint cottages with thatched roofs, every building has its own unique charm.
Be sure not to miss St James’ Church, one of Poole’s oldest buildings dating back over 900 years! Its beautiful stained-glass windows and intricate carvings make it an architectural gem worth seeing.
Wandering through Poole’s Old Town is an experience that should not be missed on any visit to this lovely seaside town.
5. Visit Poole Museum
If you’re a history buff, the Poole Museum is an essential stop on your visit to the town. Located on the quayside, this museum showcases Poole’s rich maritime heritage through its exhibits. You’ll find displays of ships and boats that once sailed from Poole Harbour, as well as artefacts related to fishing, trade and shipping.
But that’s not all there is to see at the museum; it also has collections of local art and archaeological finds. One section of the museum focuses on Poole during World War II, showcasing how life was for locals during wartime. The galleries are spacious and thoughtfully curated, making it easy for visitors to navigate their way around.
One highlight is a scale model of Old Town which shows how it looked in 1810 complete with over 1000 miniature figures made by volunteers! Another standout exhibit is “Poole: My Home Town,” which features objects donated by residents who share stories about living in this vibrant coastal town.
Visiting the Poole Museum offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about this fascinating seaside town’s past while enjoying engaging exhibits that showcase its unique culture and character.
6. Discover Upton Country Park
Upton Country Park is a serene oasis in the heart of Poole. This picturesque park offers visitors the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some tranquillity amidst nature.
The park boasts beautiful gardens, woodlands, and lakes that are perfect for strolling around or taking a leisurely picnic with family or friends. Discover the stunning formal rose garden, which features an array of vibrant blooms that fill the air with their sweet fragrance.
For those looking for something more active, there are plenty of walking trails throughout Upton Country Park. Explore winding paths through lush greenery and take in views across sparkling lakes where wildlife abounds. Keep your eyes peeled for rare birds including kingfishers and herons.
After exploring all that Upton Country Park has to offer, be sure to stop by Upton House’s tea rooms for a refreshing cuppa or delicious slice of cake. The historic house itself is also open to visitors who want to learn more about its fascinating history.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to unwind amid natural surroundings, Upton Country Park promises an unforgettable experience for all ages!
7. Take a Trip to Poole Park
Poole Park is a must-visit destination for families looking for a fun-filled day out. This expansive park boasts plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, from boating on the lake to enjoying a game of mini-golf.
One of the highlights of Poole Park is the boating lake, where visitors can rent rowboats or pedalos and take in the scenic views while paddling around. For those who prefer something more relaxing, there are swan-shaped paddle boats available as well.
If you’re interested in learning about trains, make sure to check out Poole Park’s miniature railway. This charming train ride takes you on a journey through the park’s picturesque surroundings and offers an exciting experience for children and adults alike.
For kids who love playgrounds, Poole Park has several play areas that cater to different age groups. There are also picnic areas throughout the park where families can enjoy lunch or snacks while taking in nature’s beauty.
Mini-golf enthusiasts will be pleased with Poole Park’s 18-hole course which features challenging obstacles and is surrounded by stunning scenery. It’s perfect for family-friendly games or competitive matches between friends.
If you’re looking for a relaxing yet action-packed day out with your loved ones, don’t miss out on visiting this fantastic family attraction!
8. Explore Compton Acres
Compton Acres is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts alike. This stunningly landscaped garden boasts an impressive range of themed gardens, each with its own unique charm and beauty.
One of the highlights of Compton Acres is the Japanese Garden, which features tranquil waterfalls, bridges, and carefully manicured foliage. Take a leisurely stroll through this serene space to experience a sense of calm and relaxation.
The Italian Garden showcases elegant sculptures, fountains, and vibrant floral displays reminiscent of classic Tuscan style. It’s the perfect spot to take in some sun while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re looking for something more rustic, head over to the Woodland Garden where you can meander along winding paths shaded by old trees while listening to birdsong. The natural beauty here makes it easy to forget that you’re still in town.
No matter what time of year you visit Compton Acres; there will always be plenty to see with seasonal flowers blooming throughout every part of these stunning grounds. So why not spend a day exploring this peaceful haven?
9. Enjoy Watersports at Poole Quay
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Poole Quay is the perfect destination to enjoy a range of exciting watersports activities. Jet skiing is a popular option for thrill-seekers, with the chance to race across the water at high speeds and feel the wind in your hair.
If you prefer something more laidback but still fun, try wakeboarding. It’s a combination of snowboarding and surfing on water using a board that is pulled by a motorboat. This activity provides an opportunity to test your balance while enjoying scenic views of Poole Harbour.
Sailing enthusiasts will love exploring Poole Harbour aboard one of many sailboats available for rent. Whether you’re new to sailing or experienced, there are options available for everyone – from beginners’ lessons to advanced charters.
Poole Quay offers other exhilarating activities like kayaking and paddleboarding as well, which provide great opportunities to explore beautiful coves around the harbour. Not only do these sports offer exercise benefits but they also allow visitors to get a closer look at rare wildlife found in this area
No matter what activity you choose, don’t forget your safety gear including life jackets and helmets before heading out onto the open seas! Enjoy unforgettable moments embracing adventure on Poole Quay’s thrilling watersports experiences!
There you have it, the top 9 best things to do in Poole. From exploring the natural beauty of Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island to relaxing on Sandbanks Beach and immersing yourself in the town’s rich history, there is something for everyone in this stunning coastal destination.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly day out or an action-packed adventure, Poole has plenty to offer. So why not plan your next trip today and experience all that this beautiful town has to offer? You won’t be disappointed!
FAQs on Things to Do in Poole
1. Is it worth visiting Poole?
Yes, it is. Poole offers a variety of attractions and activities that can appeal to different visitors. Its picturesque harbour, beautiful beaches, and charming Old Town are some of the highlights. Poole also boasts a rich maritime history, with the iconic Brownsea Island, famous for being the birthplace of the Scouting movement. Additionally, the town offers a range of water sports, boat trips, and nature reserves for outdoor enthusiasts. If these aspects appeal to you, then a visit to Poole could be enjoyable.
2. Should I visit Poole or Bournemouth?
When deciding between Poole and Bournemouth, it depends on what you are looking for in a destination. Bournemouth is a larger and more vibrant coastal resort town with a bustling nightlife, extensive shopping opportunities, and a wide range of entertainment options. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, Victorian architecture, and the popular Bournemouth Pier. On the other hand, Poole offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, with a focus on its historic harbour and maritime heritage. Both towns have their unique charm, so your choice may depend on your preferences for activities and atmosphere.
3. What is Poole England famous for?
Poole is famous for its natural harbour, which is one of the largest in the world. The harbour attracts sailors, water sports enthusiasts, and visitors seeking picturesque views. Brownsea Island, located within the harbour, is renowned for being the site of the first Scout camp in 1907, organized by Robert Baden-Powell. The island is now a nature reserve managed by the National Trust and is home to a variety of wildlife.
4. Does Poole have a beach?
Yes, Poole has a beach. The town boasts several beautiful sandy beaches, including Sandbanks Beach, which is famous for its golden sand and shallow waters. It is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding. Other beaches in Poole include Shore Road Beach and Canford Cliffs Beach, both offering scenic coastal settings.