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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 Primark and Next to bespoke stores such as Beales and Boiler Room Records  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, Friday 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 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. Hollywood Bowl offers 24, fully computerised tenpin bowling lanes and also features full-size pool tables, a variety of fast food and video game entertainment amusements. The Cineworld 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 Sandpolo 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

Find places to go and things to do in Poole using the options below.

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

Poole Events

22 May 2024
Rave On
14 Jun 2024 to 16 Jun 2024
Upton House Food & Music Festival
14 July 2024
SandFest
26 Jul 2024 to 28 Jul 2024
Poole Harbour Festival

Latest Poole Features

8 Apr 2024
Stay Safe on the Dorset Coast Dorset Coast Safety Messages Stay safe on the Dorset Coast Dorset Beach Safety Information - Visit Dorset (visit-dorset.com) Image by Sarah Middleton Photography www.sarahmiddletonphotography.com/ Walking Jurassic Coast Trust cliff falls The Jurassic Coast is constantly eroding. This erosion has created the beautiful coastline that we see today, but it’s important to remember that rock falls and landslides are part of this process. Although they are more likely ... Read more...
7 Nov 2023
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...
4 Nov 2023
Dorset’s Christmas Markets and Festive Fairs ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and you will be when you discover the fantastic selection of Christmas markets and festive fairs that are set to be held around Dorset in the coming weeks. If you’re getting organised with your shopping, these events are a great way to find those perfect gifts; if delicious food and drink is on your wish list, then you’ll love the tasty selection available from local producers; or maybe you’d like a day out to get you in the ... Read more...
1 Nov 2023
Whether you call him Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St Nicks or simply Santa, your little ones will want to meet the real deal this year. Lucky for you, many of Dorset's businesses have arranged magical experiences for you and your family to do just that. So why not take a look at the festive fun to be found in Dorset this year. Read more...
27 Oct 2023
Dorset Firework Displays in 2023 Celebrate with a bang this weekend as Dorset plays host to a wide range of firework displays and bonfire events. A selection of fireworks / bonfire events can be found below: Read more...

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