Resort Dorset on FacebookResort Dorset on TwitterResort Dorset on Instagram

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is the largest of the islands in Poole harbour. It has been owned by The National Trust since 1962 and is open to visitors from March until October. 

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island by Ian Woolcock / shutterstock.com

A visit to Brownsea Island begins for most visitors with an exciting ferryboat trip across Poole Harbour from Poole, Sandbanks, Bournemouth or Swanage. The island is dramatically located at the entrance to the harbour and has spectacular cliff top views of the surrounding area including Studland and the Purbeck Hills. The island's fascinating and colourful history includes use as a coastguard station, Victorian pottery, Edwardian country estate, daffodil farm, decoy in World War 2 and in 1907 was the site of Baden-Powell's first scout camp. 

The island is managed primarily for nature conservation and for visitors. The pine woodlands on Brownsea have important populations of red squirrel, which are increasingly rare in Britain.  In fact in southern England they can only be seen on the Isle of Wight and on islands in Poole Harbour.  It's also important for nesting seabirds especially terns and overwintering birds like avocets, which use the lagoon at the eastern end of the island. There is also an area of heathland - a once common but now increasingly rare habitat in southern Britain. 

Please share or leave a comment

More Places of Interest

More Places of Interest...

Places to Go

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

Dorset Events

Poole
Christchurch
25 October 2019
Shaken' Fright Night
Bournemouth
New Forest
26 October 2019
Bonfire on the Beach
West Bay

Latest Dorset Features

22 Oct 2019
Cranborne Chase Becomes the World's 14th Dark Sky Reserve Cranborne Chase is a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) that covers 380sq miles of land across Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire, with Cranborne bordering the South perimeter. Cranborne Chase has recently been awarded its status as an International Dark Sky Reserve in October 2019, becoming the 14th Dark Sky Reserve in the world. A Dark Sky Reserve is a status that is given to an area of either public or private land that optimises levels of light ... Read more...
9 Oct 2019
A Seafood Lover's Guide to Dorset National Seafood Week is this week, which runs for a week every October, demonstrating the value of seafood and promoting it as a great, accessible source of food to everyone – and we’re joining in! Over the years, seafood in Dorset, just as it has across the world, has become a prized commodity within our lives. Seafood comes in many varieties, and along with being tasty and nutritious, its high demand and elegant associations define the quality of today’s ... Read more...
23 Sep 2019
Halloween Events in Dorset The October half-term is now synonymous with Halloween and the themed fun that takes place. If you’re out and about in Dorset, you’ll find many a Halloween event happening, so grab your broomsticks, sharpen those fangs, and prepare to have one hell of a good time! Dorset Halloween events include everything from zombie fests and enchanted illuminations, to pumpkin carving and the Sea Life Ascarium! It's scary how much there is to choose from... Halloween ... Read more...

More articles available in the features section.