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Things to do inPoole

Visitor information for Poole in Dorset

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From basking on the UK’s best beach – Sandbanks – to learning a new water sport or discovering miles of walks and cycleways, Poole is packed with ways to broaden your horizons and make the most of precious time out.

Adventurers of all ages can explore Poole’s stunning natural harbour, the largest in Europe, all year round. With its eight unique islands and striking peninsula, the harbour is a haven for sailors, wildlife and water sport enthusiasts and is the gateway to the world heritage Jurassic Coast.  

Start your adventure with the cliff-top woodland walkways, pirate play areas or by climbing giant woodland insects along Poole’s three miles of award-winning golden sands. Family-friendly Blue Flag beaches offer the perfect place for seashore detectives to play, explore and sharpen their sandcastle skills; whilst for the more adventurous, Poole Harbour’s safe and shallow waters are ideal for trying one of over 25 water-based activities.  

Buzzing with wildlife, the superb range of habitats and rare heathland around Poole Harbour make it one of the best places in the UK to spot birds, particularly in winter and during migration. Nurture your nature detectives and discover some of the UK’s rarest birds and reptiles by taking one of the many RSPB guided trips and walks designed for novices and experts and learn more about this world-class habitat.  

Poole Park has something for everyone, with play areas, a cricket pitch, tennis courts, tree climbing, pitch and putt, go-karts, water sport taster sessions with Rockley Park or the famous Poole Park Railway with its half-mile trip around the wildfowl lake. For the perfect family pit stop, visit The Ark in Poole Park for fantastic soft play, ice rink, café and ice cream.

For retail therapy, shop in comfort at Dorset's largest covered shopping centre, The Dolphin Centre, with shops ranging from top high street favourites M&S, Primark and Next to bespoke stores such as Beales and Animal as well as 1,400 parking spaces. 

More shopping is available on Poole High Street, which winds its way down to the bustling quayside. Weekly markets take place every Thursday and Saturday on Poole High Street. 

Poole is also home to the South’s finest privately owned gardens, Compton Acres, where distinctive Japanese, Italian and heather gardens transport you across the world. Relax in the restaurant or pick up treats and gifts in the deli and shop.

Tower Park Entertainment Centre is one of the original centres of its kind, and is a great destination for a huge range of activities and choice of dining venues. Situated just on the outskirts of Poole, on the A3049 and close to Bournemouth, the Park is a lively venue attracting both families and those in search of evening entertainment. Splashdown - Experience the newest ride Velocity, spin in the awesome Spacebowl, experience the scary Screamer and come face to face with the Dragon - if you dare to enter the lair! Younger ones can enjoy the water too in the under 8’s children’s wet play area. Lemur Landings is one of the largest indoor soft play centres in Dorset, with multi-level play frames, multi-slide bridges, tunnels, ball cannons and much more. Bowlplex offers 24, fully computerised tenpin bowling lanes and also features 4 full-size pool tables, a variety of fast food and video game entertainment amusements. The Empire Cinema offers wide, comfortable seats, 3D, full air conditioning, Dolby stereo surround sound and a selection of food to complete the cinema experience. 

Upton Country Park is an early 19th Century merchant’s residence. The newly expanded grounds include more areas and trails to explore as well as the beautiful grounds and formal gardens. The woodland and parkland areas feature a rustic play trail with plenty of opportunities to see rare bird species on the SSSI protected wetland habitat.

From Poole Harbour Boat Show to Poole Regatta, Poole is packed with events on and off the water to keep you entertained. Music lovers are spoilt for choice with three festivals featuring world-class performers from the worlds of folk, classical and blues, plus rampaging pirates, classic cars, and vintage and arts events for all the family.

Things to do in Poole

Poole Places of Interest

Places to Go

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You can also explore all of the venues on our Poole Map.

Poole Events

Latest Poole Features

8 Jul 2020
Plan your Dorset Staycation We’ve all had better years. If you’re looking for a much-needed break, look no further - here are 10 good reasons you can’t go wrong with a Dorset staycation in 2020. Dorset has lots of outside space. Whether on the coast or out in the country, there’s room to spread out and enjoy the great outdoors. Accommodation – there’s plenty of choice, and accommodation providers, from campsites and B&Bs to luxury cottages and hideaways, ... Read more...
3 Jul 2020
We've missed you too Firstly, thank you for staying away during lockdown; but now, here at Resort Dorset, we can’t wait to welcome you back. If you are looking for inspiration for this year’s staycation then look no further, Dorset has it all – beautiful beaches, rolling hills, rugged coastline, stunning coastal walks, and countryside rambles – breathe in the fresh air and leave your troubles behind. Dorset is a county of beauty and tranquillity, and although you will ... Read more...
4 Dec 2019
New Year's Eve Events in Dorset New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration. We raise a glass to the year that’s gone by, everything we’ve achieved, and that glass is also raised to the year ahead. It is often spent with family and friends, the ones who have been by our side for last 12 months, and the ones we look to spend the next 12 months with. For many of us, a change is about to happen. We step into the New Year with a fresh vision of exciting things to come. Whatever you’re ... Read more...
3 Dec 2019
Ice Skating in Dorset Christmas is nearly here and there’s a fun way to get you in the festive spirit — by ice skating in Dorset! Nothing beats wrapping up, getting your skates on and heading out to glide (or stumble) across the ice, before treating yourself to a delicious hot chocolate afterwards. Whether you’re a cling-to-the-side kind of skater or have a Torville and Dean style, ice skating is a fab activity for all and a great way to get together with friends and family to have ... Read more...
2 Dec 2019
Dorset Beaches Dorset is surrounded by an 88-mile stretch of quite remarkable coastline. One of the pleasures of visiting (or living in) Dorset is that you’re never too far away from the beach – whichever beach that may be, because there’s plenty! And by plenty, we mean loads! There are the major beaches such as the award-winning Bournemouth Beach and Weymouth Beach, along with the many smaller beaches such as Church Ope Cove. Take a look at some of many: Chesil ... Read more...

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