When people visit the south coast they always think of Bournemouth as the “go to” place to visit, but Poole has lots to offer visitors to the area.
Not only does Poole have the second largest natural harbour in the world, second only to Sydney, but it is also home to one of the most expensive places to live in the UK – Sandbanks and has lots to offer visitors, young and old.
1. Visit the Bustling Quay
Visit the Old Lifeboat Station Museum and enjoy crabbing on the quayside next door. Walk along the Quay, lusting after the Sunseeker boats on display and explore historic Poole by walking the Cockle Trail, Poole Trail or Treasure Hunt and finish off the day with a portion of fish and chips by the waters edge.
2. Brownsea Island
From the Quay, or next to the Sandbanks Ferry terminal, you can catch a boat over to Brownsea Island. Owned by the National Trust, Brownsea Island is home to wild deer, roaming peacocks and the infamous red squirrels. See what you can spot as you wander through the wild woods, dip your toes in the water at the beach or head to their natural play area. New for 2017 is the Great Brownsea Storybook trail which we have yet to do, but cannot wait to give it a try.
Sandbanks Beach is part of Poole’s three miles of sandy beach and is perfect for building sandcastles, swimming safely in the sea, paddling or just ambling along the promenade. If you fancy a challenge it is also home to a fabulous crazy golf course too.
4. Lemur Landings
The British weather doesn’t always play ball, especially during the kids holidays but at Tower Park there are plenty of things to keep the kids occupied whatever the weather.
For tots, up to the age of ten a visit to Lemur Landings is order of the day. It is a large soft play area complete with a role play village and climbing frame for the little ones, two climbing walls, a sky tykes course and a large play frame for older children.
5. Splashdown Poole
Tower Park is also home to Splashdown, an all-action water park. I would recommend it for ages 7 and up, although there is a Splash zone and small pool for smaller children to enjoy.
6. Hollywood Bowl
Also at Tower Park is Hollywood Bowl where you can enjoy a bowling match, a game of pool or air hockey or try and win prizes in the arcade.
7. Farmer Palmers
Farmer Palmers is a family run activity farm and one of our favourite haunts. You can meet and greet the animals, bottle feed the lambs and goats, cheer on the pigs in the Pig Race, or just whizz down the slides in the hay barn or enjoy the soft play areas.
8. Upton Country Park
Upton Country Park is an award winning country park in Poole with formal walled gardens and splash zone, a grand Georgian house, a children’s woodland play trail and Segway Tours for the teens.
9. Poole Park
Poole Park is a large urban park that borders Poole harbour and features two play parks, a miniature train, The Ark Soft Play Area and Ice Skating rink, ducks & swans to feed, crazy golf, tennis, walking, fitness, and watersports.
10. The Lighthouse
Not an actual lighthouse, but The Lighthouse, Poole is an art centre in the middle of Poole that houses a symphonic concert hall, mid-scale theatre, small-scale studio theatre, independent cinema and art galleries. Over May half term they have Gangsta Granny live on stage as well as Boss Baby at their cinema.
There are also a multitude of fabulous parks that I have neglected to mention which are also worth a visit, including Hamworthy Park, Whitecliff and the Treasure Island playpark and Pinecliff Play Sculptures.
Where is your favourite area of Poole to visit?