Poole’s traditional working Quay is the gateway to its stunning harbour and islands. Getting there is easy with either a 15-minute walk from the Bus Station down the High Street or on the ‘Route One’ Bus Service. Leaving every 15 minutes, jump on and off the circular shopping route at your leisure, stopping at the Dolphin Shopping Centre and ending up on Poole’s Quayside (no Sunday service available).
To help you make the most of your visit, Poole’s Tourist Information Centre is located in Poole Museum, just along the Quay at the bottom of the High Street, where a dedicated team of staff is on hand to help.
On the Quay, see artists creating new designs at Poole Pottery’s studio, or paint a pot and create your own unique masterpiece. Stop for a coffee whilst deciding which bargain jewellery, fashion, toys, homeware and glassware to take home.
Quayside retail and leisure is a great place to relax and watch the world go by. With shopping and dining overlooking the harbour, find a bargain in Pavers shoes, be pampered at Robin James salon and spa or enjoy a meal at Banana Wharf, Deli on the Quay or Quay Cafe.
Other quayside shopping delights include Purbeck Pottery, Quayside Emporium and Titan Leathercraft Gift Shop and Leather workshop.
Delve into the town’s rich pirate history at Poole Museum and medieval Scaplen’s Court with tactile trails, arts, crafts and hands-on activities. Entry is free.
Explore the Old Town with the self-guided Cockle Trail or Treasure Hunt available from the Tourist Information Centre, or use your mobile to follow the interactive Poole Trail which features film and photos of the town’s past. Guided walks and ghost walks revealing more of Poole’s past are also available.
For younger adventurers, Poole Quay is ideal for a quayside quest. Catch the relatives of Jurassic predators with a traditional crabbing net, or keep the kids entertained with the Treasure Hunt available from the Tourist Information Centre. Another welcome addition for families is Neptunes Funplex, a family entertainment complex with soft play for under 5s, indoor crazy golf, café and amusements.
From Poole Quay, voyage across the sea for a harbour cruise or stop off on Brownsea, the National Trust’s island of adventure, to build dens, unearth mini beasts, spot squirrels and sika deer or try the new natural play trail. Home of the scouting movement and site of the first scout camp held by Lord Baden Powell in 1907, adventure islands don’t come with a better pedigree. Boat trips to the island run from 18 March – 29 October 2017.
Learn more about the crews and volunteers of the RNLI with a 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour which includes the lifeboat simulator at their College Headquarters, a short walk from Poole Quay.
Photo (top): Chris Jones