15 Best Things To Do In Poole, England

15 Best Things To Do In Poole, England

By will

As a travel enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for hidden gems and exciting destinations to explore. One such place that has captured my heart is Poole, England. Located on the picturesque south coast, Poole offers a plethora of activities and attractions that are sure to delight any traveler.

From stunning beaches to historic landmarks, there is something for everyone in Poole. One of the highlights of my visit was exploring the world-renowned Sandbanks Beach, with its golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or try your hand at water sports, this beach has it all.

Another must-visit spot is the historic Poole Harbour, where you can take a boat trip to the enchanting Brownsea Island. Home to diverse wildlife and stunning natural beauty, this island is a true paradise for nature lovers.

In addition to these natural wonders, Poole also boasts fascinating historical sites such as Scaplen’s Court and the Quirky Tiny Museum. These hidden gems provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of the town and are a treat for history buffs.

And if you’re in the mood for some relaxation, there’s nothing quite like taking in the breathtaking views of the Poole Twin Sails Bridge while enjoying a leisurely stroll.

No matter what your interests may be, Poole has something to offer. Join me as we embark on a journey to discover the 15 best things to do in Poole, England.

Explore the Stunning Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach
Photo by N Chadwick

You’ll be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of Sandbanks Beach as you take in its pristine shores and crystal-clear waters.

This stunning beach is renowned for its golden sand that stretches for miles, offering the perfect spot for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply strolling along the shore.

The beach is backed by impressive sand dunes and lined with colorful beach huts, creating a picturesque backdrop for your day at the beach.

Not only is Sandbanks Beach visually stunning, but it also offers a range of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a more relaxed day in the sun, there’s something for everyone here.

You can try your hand at water sports such as paddleboarding or windsurfing, or simply take a dip in the crystal-clear waters to cool off.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a boat trip from the beach to explore the stunning coastline or visit the nearby Brownsea Island.

With its breathtaking beauty and array of activities, Sandbanks Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Poole, England.

Relax and Unwind at Shore Road Beach

Shore Road beach at Poole Head, Poole
Photo by Peter Jordan

Indulge in ultimate relaxation and unwind at Shore Road Beach, where you can soak up the sun and let all your worries melt away.

This picturesque beach is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in tranquility.

The soft golden sand stretches for miles, inviting you to take off your shoes and feel the warmth beneath your feet.

As you lay back on your beach towel, the gentle sound of waves crashing against the shore creates a soothing rhythm that lulls you into a state of pure bliss.

The clear turquoise waters beckon you for a refreshing swim, and as you dive in, you feel the coolness envelop your body, washing away any tension or stress.

Shore Road Beach is not just a place to relax, but also offers a range of activities to keep you entertained.

From beach volleyball to paddleboarding, there is something for everyone.

You can also take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, enjoying the stunning views of the coastline and the vibrant beach huts that line the shore.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day of sunbathing or an adventure-filled afternoon, Shore Road Beach has it all.

So grab your sunscreen, pack a picnic, and get ready to unwind in this little slice of paradise.

Discover the Historic Poole Harbour

Poole Harbour
Photo by David Dixon

As I explore this magnificent coastal town, I can’t help but uncover the rich history and charm of Poole Harbour. This historic harbor has been a bustling hub of activity for centuries, playing a significant role in the town’s development and maritime trade.

With its picturesque views, bustling quayside, and fascinating maritime heritage, the Poole Harbour is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The first thing that strikes me about Poole Harbour is its sheer size and beauty. Spanning over 36 square kilometers, it is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. As I stroll along the quayside, I am captivated by the sight of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels bobbing gently in the water. The harbor is also home to Brownsea Island, a nature reserve that offers breathtaking views and abundant wildlife. I make a mental note to visit the island and explore its woodlands, lagoons, and beaches.

As I delve deeper into the history of Poole Harbour, I discover its significant role during World War II. The harbor served as a crucial embarkation point for the D-Day landings, with thousands of troops and equipment departing from here. I am amazed by the stories of bravery and sacrifice that unfolded in this very place. The harbor’s history is further brought to life at the Poole Museum, where artifacts and exhibits tell the story of the town’s maritime heritage.

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Poole Harbour is a captivating destination that offers a blend of natural beauty and rich history. Whether you’re interested in exploring the harbor’s picturesque views, discovering its fascinating past, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the quayside, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

As I continue my exploration of this coastal town, I’m excited to uncover more hidden gems and treasures that Poole has to offer.

Take a Boat Trip to Brownsea Island

Exploring Poole Harbour wouldn’t be complete without taking a boat trip to Brownsea Island, where you can immerse yourself in its stunning natural beauty and discover its rich wildlife.

As soon as you step foot on the island, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with an abundance of wildlife to admire.

From the iconic red squirrels to a variety of bird species, Brownsea Island is a haven for animal enthusiasts.

One of the highlights of visiting Brownsea Island is the chance to spot the rare and elusive peacocks that roam freely around the island. Their vibrant plumage and graceful presence add a touch of magic to the already enchanting surroundings.

Take a leisurely walk along the well-maintained trails, and you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and the Dorset countryside.

Whether you’re interested in birdwatching, picnicking on the beach, or simply enjoying a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a boat trip to Brownsea Island is a must-do activity when visiting Poole.

Visit the Famous Poole Quay

When you step onto Poole Quay, you’ll be transported to a bustling waterfront filled with vibrant colors, lively chatter, and the tantalizing aroma of freshly caught seafood wafting through the air.

The famous Poole Quay is truly a sight to behold, with its picturesque views of the harbor and an array of charming shops and restaurants.

As you walk along the quay, you’ll notice the historic buildings that line the waterfront, each one telling a story of Poole’s rich maritime history.

From the old warehouses that have been converted into shops and cafes to the beautiful Georgian buildings that overlook the harbor, every corner of the quay exudes charm and character.

One of the highlights of visiting Poole Quay is the opportunity to indulge in some delicious seafood.

Whether you’re a fan of fish and chips, fresh oysters, or succulent lobster, there’s something to satisfy every seafood lover’s palate.

You can choose to dine at one of the many waterfront restaurants and enjoy your meal while taking in the breathtaking views of the harbor.

Alternatively, you can grab a takeaway and enjoy your seafood feast by the water’s edge, watching the boats come and go.

Whatever you decide, a visit to Poole Quay is a must for anyone looking to experience the vibrant atmosphere and culinary delights of this charming waterfront destination.

Immerse Yourself in History at Poole Museum

Step back in time and immerse yourself in history by visiting Poole Museum. Located in the heart of Poole, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich heritage of the area.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Poole’s past.

One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of maritime history. From the famous Poole Pottery to the historic ships that once sailed in Poole Harbour, there is so much to discover.

As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll learn about the town’s role as a bustling trading port and its connections to the fishing industry. The museum also delves into the fascinating history of Poole’s famous pirates and smugglers, providing a captivating insight into the darker side of the town’s past.

But it’s not just maritime history that you’ll find at Poole Museum. The museum also houses a variety of art collections, showcasing the works of local artists and craftsmen. From paintings to sculptures, there is something for everyone to appreciate.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to explore the cultural heritage of Poole, a visit to this museum is a must. So take a step back in time and let the fascinating exhibits at Poole Museum transport you to a bygone era.

Enjoy a Leisurely Stroll along Poole’s Historic Quayside

Immersing myself in Poole’s rich heritage, I enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the historic quayside. As I meandered along the cobbled streets, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the atmosphere and the sense of history that enveloped the area.

The quayside is lined with beautifully preserved buildings, each one telling a story of Poole’s maritime past. I marveled at the impressive warehouses that once stored goods from far-flung corners of the world, imagining the hustle and bustle of the trading activity that took place here centuries ago.

The quayside is also home to a number of quaint shops and cafes, where I took the opportunity to pause and soak in the surroundings. I couldn’t resist stepping into a traditional fisherman’s pub to savor some fresh seafood while gazing out at the boats bobbing in the harbor. The sound of seagulls echoed in the air, adding to the maritime ambiance. It was fascinating to see the old sailing ships and modern yachts side by side, a testament to Poole’s enduring relationship with the sea.

As I continued my stroll, I discovered various plaques and statues that commemorated Poole’s maritime history. One particularly striking sculpture depicted a fisherman casting his net, a poignant reminder of the town’s connection to the sea. The quayside also provided breathtaking views of the famous Poole Harbour, with its sparkling blue waters stretching out into the distance. I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos to capture the beauty of this picturesque spot.

Overall, a leisurely stroll along Poole’s historic quayside is a must-do for anyone visiting the town. It offers a delightful blend of history, charm, and natural beauty, allowing me to immerse myself in the essence of Poole. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of maritime tales, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, this quayside walk will leave you with memories to cherish.

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Discover the Natural Beauty of Upton Country Park

Take a leisurely stroll through Upton Country Park and let the natural beauty of the surroundings transport you to a peaceful oasis.

As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by sweeping green fields, vibrant flower beds, and towering trees that provide a soothing shade.

The park’s well-maintained pathways guide you through various landscapes, allowing you to explore its diverse habitats. From tranquil lakes to meandering rivers, Upton Country Park offers a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

As you walk along the winding trails, take a moment to appreciate the abundant wildlife that calls the park home. Keep an eye out for graceful swans gliding across the water, playful squirrels scampering up the trees, and a variety of bird species singing their melodic tunes.

The park also features a beautiful walled garden, bursting with colorful blooms throughout the year. It’s the perfect spot to pause and immerse yourself in the fragrant scents and vibrant colors of nature.

Upton Country Park not only offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it also provides plenty of amenities for visitors to enjoy.

Take a break at one of the picnic areas and savor a delicious meal surrounded by nature’s tranquility. The park also boasts a charming tea room, where you can indulge in a delightful afternoon tea and soak in the picturesque views of the parkland.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an opportunity to reconnect with nature, Upton Country Park is a must-visit destination in Poole.

Experience the Thrills of Poole Park’s Adventure Playground

Get ready to have a blast at Poole Park’s Adventure Playground, where excitement and fun await around every corner. This thrilling playground is a must-visit for families and adventure enthusiasts alike.

As soon as you step foot into the park, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant and lively atmosphere, with children laughing and playing in the various play areas.

One of the highlights of Poole Park’s Adventure Playground is the impressive array of play equipment. From towering climbing frames and challenging obstacle courses to exciting slides and swings, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The playground is designed to cater to children of all ages and abilities, ensuring that no one is left out of the fun.

As you explore the playground, you’ll discover hidden tunnels, secret pathways, and interactive play features that will keep you entertained for hours.

In addition to the thrilling play equipment, Poole Park’s Adventure Playground also offers beautiful surroundings to enjoy. The playground is nestled within the stunning Poole Park, which boasts picturesque lakes, lush greenery, and panoramic views.

Take a break from the excitement and wander through the park, soaking in the natural beauty and tranquility. Whether you’re swinging from the monkey bars or enjoying a picnic on the grass, the Adventure Playground provides the perfect setting for a fun-filled day out in Poole.

Indulge in Retail Therapy at Poole’s High Street

Experience the sheer joy of exploring Poole’s High Street, where endless shopping opportunities await to satisfy your every retail desire. As I stroll down this bustling street, I’m captivated by the vibrant atmosphere and the wide array of shops that line the sidewalks.

From quaint boutiques to well-known high street brands, there’s something here for everyone.

The High Street offers a delightful mix of fashion, homeware, and specialty stores, making it the perfect destination for a shopping spree. I find myself drawn to the charming independent shops that showcase unique and locally made products. From handmade jewelry to vintage clothing, these hidden gems add a touch of individuality to my shopping experience.

One of the highlights of Poole’s High Street is the weekly market that takes place every Thursday. Here, I can browse through stalls filled with fresh produce, artisanal food, and unique crafts. The sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling market create a lively atmosphere that’s hard to resist.

As I continue my exploration, I can’t help but notice the inviting cafes and restaurants that line the street. They provide the perfect spot to take a break from shopping and indulge in some delicious food or a refreshing drink. Whether it’s a cozy coffee shop or a trendy eatery, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy my cravings.

Poole’s High Street truly offers a retail therapy experience like no other. With its wide range of shops, vibrant atmosphere, and delicious dining options, it’s a must-visit destination for all shopaholics and those looking for a unique shopping experience.

So, come and join me on this retail adventure and discover the delights that await on Poole’s High Street.

Take a Scenic Walk along Hengistbury Head

After indulging in some retail therapy on Poole’s High Street, I highly recommend taking a scenic walk along Hengistbury Head.

As someone who loves exploring nature, this breathtaking stretch of land is a must-visit when in Poole, England.

Hengistbury Head is a stunning headland that offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

The walk begins at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the history and wildlife of this unique area.

From there, you can follow the well-marked paths that meander through the nature reserve.

The walk is relatively easy, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

As you stroll along, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the coastline, with the sparkling waters of the English Channel stretching out before you.

Keep an eye out for the diverse range of bird species that call this area home, as well as the wildflowers that bloom along the path.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous hike, Hengistbury Head offers something for everyone.

So lace up your walking shoes and get ready to be amazed by the natural beauty that awaits you on this scenic walk.

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Explore the Fascinating Scaplen’s Court

While strolling through Poole, don’t miss the chance to explore the captivating Scaplen’s Court. This historic building is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

As you step inside, you’re immediately transported back in time to the 16th century, when the Court was first built. The timber-framed architecture and intricate detailing of the house are truly remarkable, showcasing the craftsmanship of the era.

Walking through the rooms, you can imagine what life was like for the Scaplen family who once called this place home. The Court is filled with period furniture, artwork, and artifacts, giving you a real sense of the history and culture of the time.

You can explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, complete with a charming courtyard and a tranquil pond. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to share stories and answer any questions you may have, making your visit even more enriching.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate the beauty of old architecture, Scaplen’s Court is a must-visit attraction in Poole.

Discover the Quirky Tiny Museum

Get ready to be amazed as you step into the Quirky Tiny Museum in Poole, where you’ll discover a collection of fascinating oddities and curiosities. This hidden gem is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and offbeat experience.

As soon as you enter, you’re greeted by an eclectic mix of artifacts that’ll transport you to a different time and place.

The Quirky Tiny Museum may be small in size, but it’s big on charm and character. From vintage toys and antique medical equipment to unusual taxidermy specimens, there’s something to pique the interest of every visitor. The museum’s collection is ever-changing, so you never know what new surprises await you on each visit.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff are always on hand to provide interesting tidbits of information and answer any questions you may have.

As you explore the museum, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of eccentricity and wonder. Every corner holds a new discovery, from quirky artwork to bizarre historical artifacts. The attention to detail and the passion behind each exhibit is evident, making the Quirky Tiny Museum a truly unique and captivating experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply someone who appreciates the unusual, the Quirky Tiny Museum is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, why not step off the beaten path and immerse yourself in this captivating world of oddities and curiosities? You won’t be disappointed.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Arne Nature Reserve

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Arne Nature Reserve, where you can reconnect with nature and experience the serenity of the natural world.

As I wandered through the reserve, I was instantly captivated by the tranquil atmosphere and stunning landscapes that surrounded me. The reserve is home to a diverse range of habitats, including heathland, woodland, and salt marshes, which provide a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife.

As I strolled along the winding trails, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the abundance of birdlife that calls Arne Nature Reserve home. From elegant herons and graceful swans to colorful kingfishers and majestic ospreys, there was always something incredible to see. I even had the opportunity to spot some rare and endangered species, such as the Dartford warbler and the sand lizard.

The reserve offers a range of activities for nature enthusiasts, including birdwatching, guided walks, and photography workshops. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Arne Nature Reserve is the perfect place to unwind and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

So, grab your binoculars, lace up your walking boots, and prepare to be amazed by the wonders that await you at Arne Nature Reserve.

Relax and Take in the Views at the Poole Twin Sails Bridge

Take a moment to relax and enjoy the stunning panoramic views offered by the Poole Twin Sails Bridge as you walk or cycle across it. This iconic bridge isn’t just a functional transportation route, but also a beautiful architectural masterpiece.

The sleek design and unique double-leaf lifting mechanism make it a sight to behold.

As you make your way across the bridge, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Poole Harbour and the surrounding coastline. The shimmering waters, dotted with boats and yachts, stretch out before you, creating a tranquil and picturesque scene.

On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the famous Jurassic Coast in the distance.

The bridge itself is a marvel of engineering, with its twin sails rising and lowering to allow boats to pass through. It’s fascinating to watch this process in action and appreciate the precision and ingenuity behind it.

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Poole, taking the time to experience the Poole Twin Sails Bridge is a must-do activity. Soak in the beauty of the surroundings, feel the gentle sea breeze on your face, and marvel at the wonders of human design and nature’s splendor coming together in perfect harmony.


In conclusion, my trip to Poole, England was nothing short of amazing. From the stunning beaches to the historic sites, there was never a dull moment.

Sandbanks Beach and Shore Road Beach provided the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up the sun. The crystal-clear waters and golden sands were simply breathtaking.

Exploring Poole Harbour was a highlight of my trip. The history that surrounds this area is truly fascinating. Taking a boat trip to Brownsea Island allowed me to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding nature and spot some incredible wildlife.

The famous Poole Quay was bustling with activity and I enjoyed strolling along the waterfront, taking in the sights and sounds.

Scaplen’s Court and the Quirky Tiny Museum offered a unique glimpse into the past, and I found myself captivated by the stories they had to tell. The Arne Nature Reserve was a haven of tranquility, where I could truly immerse myself in the beauty of nature. And finally, the Poole Twin Sails Bridge provided the perfect spot to relax and take in the mesmerizing views of the harbor.

Overall, my time in Poole was filled with incredible experiences and unforgettable moments. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a beach lover, or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, Poole has something for everyone. I highly recommend visiting this charming coastal town and discovering all it has to offer.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.