A guide to some of England's finest seaside towns

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.

Visitor Attractions - 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.
PoolePoole Quay Poole Beach Sandbanks Peninsula
Images of Poole and its visitor attractions

Poole Beach: Sand
Lifeguarded: Yes
Water grade: Not tested

Poole cottages and self catering properties

Holiday LettingsHoliday Lettings - 90 Poole cottages as well as holiday apartments, modern holiday homes, penthouses, and seaside bungalows. Booking rates range from £340 to £1000+ p/w, depending on season. Their properties can be found in local beauty spots and locations like the Canford Cliffs, Lilliput, Poole Quay and Poole Harbour. Visit the site for more details.

Holiday RentalsHoliday Rentals - Close to 70 Poole holiday cottages and self catering properties to rent. Their collection ranges from old townhouses to luxury harbour apartments with low season seven day stays available from about £340. They vary significantly in size with some able to accommodate parties of up to 20 people. See their websites for the latest pricing information.

Cottages 4 YouCottages 4 You - 6 Poole cottage properties including other types of self catering accommodation. Their collection consists mostly of traditional holiday properties although there's also a number of modern apartments, lodges and holiday homes. Prices begin at £300 per week in some cases and customer comments features for most of their properties.

Cottages directStilwells - A small collection of cottages in Poole from this rental company as well as 100 in Dorset and the surrounding region. Seaside locations include Weymouth and Lyme Regis with a range of Swanage cottages as well. Some of their self catering properties are available for just £220 per week and a selection of special offers are also provided.

Sykes CottagesSykes - 1 Poole self catering holiday property at the time of writing and a further 9 within 20 miles of the town which include terraced cottages, barn conversions, thatched cottages and holiday apartments. Seven day holiday breaks are available for £254 per week during off-peak times. Visit the site for the latest pricing and availability information.

South West England Seaside Towns

Poole Visitor Attractions - Top 5

Brownsea Island
Poole Harbour, Dorset, BH13 7EE
Tel: 01202 707744
Email: brownseaisland@nationaltrust.org.uk
Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Brownsea Island Ferries
Hethfelton Offices, Hethfelton, East Stoke, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6HJ
Tel: 01929 462 383
Website: http://www.brownseaislandferries.com

Dorset Cruises
Parkstone Bay Marina, Turks Lane, Poole, Dorset, BH14 8EW
Tel: 01202 724910
Email: info@dorsetcruises.co.uk
Website: http://www.dorsetcruises.co.uk

Poole Harbour Watersports
284 Sandbanks Road, Poole, Dorset, BH14 8HU
Tel: 01202 700 503
Email: info@pooleharbour.co.uk
Website: http://www.pooleharbour.co.uk

Watersports Academy
Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset
BH13 7PS
Tel:01202 708 283
Email: info@thewatersportsacademy.com
Website: http://www.thewatersportsacademy.com
Poole accommodation - popular places to stay in Poole
The Burleigh B&B Bed and Breakfasts
The Burleigh B&B
Foundry Arms Pub Accommodation
Foundry Arms
Poole holiday resources
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Plan your route to Poole
Poole map location
Poole Location
Coastal holiday resources

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