Poole is one of Dorset's largest seaside towns. Dating from the 3rd century, it was at one time a busy centre for a variety of trades including the export of wool, salt and fishing. Today, Poole retains much of its 18th century character and is a more refined version of the nearby holiday resort of Bournemouth
. The town features a picturesque harbour, an excellent beach and a collection of historical old inns.
- Poole boasts a collection of 18th century buildings including an impressive Customs House and Guildhall. Also of historical significance is the medieval building which houses the Scaplens Court Museum
- it is the most complete, most well preserved example in town. The Waterfront Museum is also of interest and displays a range of exhibits such as an Iron Age Logboat.
The small, wooded Brownsea Island
is a popular natural visitor attraction and is protected by the National Trust. It's populated by deer and peacocks and can be explored via a number of paths that wind around the island. A ferry travels from the harbour on a regular basis which allows access to visitors. Coastal cruises to Sandbanks and other bay islands can also be arranged.
Water sports are popular in Poole and there are a good number of operators which offer activities such as powerboating, wake boarding and kite surfing. Some of the most notable include the Water Sports Academy
, Rockley Water Sports and Poole Harbour Water Sports. Boat cruises are also offered by companies such as Dorset Cruises, which take visitors around the bay and local waters.
Food and drink
- The Storm Fish Restaurant
, as the name suggests, specialises in seafood. It utilises only locally caught fish and shellfish and features a menu that changes according to the daily catch.
For authentic Italian cuisine, see La Lupa 3
on the Quay. This friendly, family-run restaurant serves traditional and regional dishes from the old country and features an extensive wine list.
The distinctive Poole Arms
with its green tiling is one of the oldest pubs in Pool. It's been included in the CAMRA guide
for its local ales and fine service. The Portsmouth Hoy
is also known for its ales and beers as well as its kooky interior, the walls of which are covered in maritime bric-a-brac.