Poole

If you’re looking for a popular seaside town that offers visitors plenty to see and do, then look no further than Poole, located on the South Coast in the county of Dorset. The town is renowned for its Quayside and Harbour, along with some of the best beaches in England.

Many of the activities on offer here are based on or around the water. Poole Windsurfing School has been offering lessons and windsurf hire in Poole Harbour for 15 years, while it’s also possible to charter luxury power boats in the area. You can also head for dry land and take a ferry over to Brownsea Island, owned by the National Trust. The island has a mix of woodland, grassland, heath, cliffs and beaches to explore. Brownsea is also home to Sika Deer, Wading Birds, and is one of the few places remaining that has a Red Squirrel habitat. GuidedSquirrelWalks form part of their events schedule in autumn, while in the summer months you can enjoy an open air theatre program.

There’s plenty to explore back on the mainland as well, with several large gardens open to visitors. Exbury Gardens is a 200 Acre Woodland Site, home to many species of Azaleas, Magnolias and Camelias, while Compton Acres offers something completely different. Here, every garden has a theme, such as the Italian Garden or Japanese Garden, and there’s also a plant centre, restaurant and railway exhibition.

Other places worth a visit include the famous Poole Pottery, where you can paint your own pots, and view the working pottery studios, and Poole Museum which has displays on everything from archaeology to pirates! Active children haven’t been forgotten in Poole either, with the Splashdown Water Park, Bowling Alley and Soft Play Area in the Tower Park complex, while Central Park offers another play area and an Ice Skating Rink. There’s also a regular program of events along the Quay, including Street Theatre, Live Music and Firework displays.

With so much on offer, Poole could be an ideal base in Dorset, and there are hotels, guesthouses, camping and caravan parks, and self-catering facilities located throughout the town. All this and more is easy to reach, with Bournemouth Airport under 10 miles away, regular coach and rail services arriving in Poole from locations across the UK, a good road network, and local ferry services running down the South Coast. In short, everything you need for a UK break can be found in Poole.