Poole is my home but it is often seen as the poor neighbour to Bournemouth, when in fact it has so many interesting places to visit and is also home to some of the most expensive houses in the UK.
Last week we attended an event at the Thistle Hotel which is situated on the waterfront on Poole Quay itself and it is the perfect location to stay if you are visiting the area with unrivalled views across Poole Harbour to Brownsea Island and beyond, yet it is affordable too.
The rooms are comfortable with huge Queen size beds, large wardrobes, a TV, ensuite bathroom and you are even welcomed with a box of truffles to treat yourself during you stay.
Thistle Hotels have some fabulous offers at the moment, with rooms starting from £59 or dinner, stay and breakfast from £95. I have to say their meals are second to none and the breakfast is the best I have seen with continental, cooked and traditional options, plus you get views like this!
The Thistle Hotel is sat directly on Poole Quay so there are many things to do within walking distance, including Poole Old Town, Poole Museum and the high street if it is shopping you are after, but it is the other direction that is special.
Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world and from the Quay you can catch a boat and sail around the Islands, stopping off for a stroll around Brownsea Island and see the famous Red Squirrels, go further in land towards Wareham or charter a boat and head out through Sandbanks and head towards Old Harry’s Rock and the Jurassic Coast.
If adventure is your thing then why not book a kayaking session at Studland Beach or if you are really brave you could try Coasteering from Dancing Ledge. We have done both and can highly recommend Fore Adventure for such excursions.
If history is more your thing then a visit to Corfe Castle is a must. You can then catch the steam train to the traditional seaside town of Swanage. It is here you will find Durlston Country Park and the famous Globe.
For beach lovers, Sandbanks is a beautiful stretch if beach with a fantastic children’s playground and crazy golf course. If you fancy something quieter, hop on the chain ferry over to Studland, which is much more as nature intended. Race around the sand dunes at Shell Bell, try and find wildlife at Knoll Beach or explore the Tank Traps at Middle Beach – do be aware that if you walk between the three beaches, their is a nudist beach too.
Poole is also the perfect base for exploring Dorset and its famous countryside and coastline. Find fossils at Kimmeridge Bay, walk in David Tennant’s footsteps at West Bay or visit the natural wonder that is Durdle Door and its close neighbour Lulworth Cove.
Of course, you could always just wander around Sandbanks and eye up all the houses that you could never ever afford (unless you won the lottery)!