Poole is a coastal town and seaport in Dorset, on the south coast of England. Poole is a tourist resort, attracting visitors with its large natural harbour, history, the Lighthouse arts centre and Blue Flag beaches.


Holes Bay, Poole

The town has cross-Channel freight and passenger ferry services, which connect with the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, as well as the French port town of Saint-Malo, Brittany.

In 2016, it was home to 15,000 people.

Visitor information


Get in


By train


1 Poole station is about 2½ hr from London Waterloo with 2 trains per hour for most of the day. There are regular, quick and convenient trains on the South West Trains service, but rail fares are generally expensive, so be careful.

By coach


There are coaches between Poole bus station and London Victoria about once an hour, via Bournemouth.

By road


From the east, take the M27 until it becomes the A31. Continue past Ringwood, and follow the signs for Poole. From the west, come in on the A35.

By bus


There are regular buses on the More and Yellow Buses services. However, more buses tend to go further, with links to Southampton, Dorchester and Salisbury.

By boat


Daily ferry services from Poole Harbour run to Cherbourg in France as well as Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Get around

Map of Poole


  • 1 Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, BH13 7EE (by ferry from Poole Quay or Sandbanks), +44 1202 707744, . A National Trust site, famous for its large population of red squirrels, and as the birthplace of the Scout Movement. The animals on the island are very tame and will happily wander up to you. It can be reached by boat from the quay but note that the price of the boat trip does not include admittance to the island. Adult £7.90, child £3.95. Brownsea Island (Q751086) on Wikidata Brownsea Island on Wikipedia
  • 2 Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA, +44 1202 883402, . A large house and estate that was owned by the Bankes family and donated to the National Trust in the 1980s. The house contains paintings, furniture and Egyptian artefacts accumulated over 300 years. Kingston Lacy (Q1232310) on Wikidata Kingston Lacy on Wikipedia
  • 3 Lighthouse (Poole's Centre For The Arts), 21 Kingland Road, Poole BH15 1UG, +44 1202 280000, . The Lighthouse (Q7747306) on Wikidata The Lighthouse (Poole) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Upton Country Park, Poole Road, BH17 7BJ. Oct-Mar: 8AM-6PM; Apr-Sep: 8AM-9PM. It has a surrounding woodland with many footpaths. It also has various birdwatching sites overlooking holes bay. By the main Upton House there are two tea rooms where one can enjoy tea and cake for around £3. free.


  • Kite flying. From the quay, when facing the water turn left and walk for about half a mile until you reach a park. This is known as Baiter Park and is very close to Poole Park. On a good day, the kites will probably be visible from afar.
  • In the summer, there are fireworks displays alternately in Bournemouth and Poole.
  • Every Tuesday evening from April to September, motorbike enthusiasts converge on Poole. Apparently there are sometimes as many as 1000 cycles and, of course, the pubs on the Quay do good business from them. A good opportunity to swap tales or see what everyone else is riding. All parking on the quay is reserved for motorbikes but there is a charge of £1 and a prize for the best bike.
  • 1 Jet Ski Safaris, 40 Salterns Way, Poole, BH14 8JR, +44 1202 706784, . Jet ski experience & jet ski training.
  • Tower Park, indoor waterpark, movie theatre, various restaurants, bingo, and more.
  • Folk on the Quay is a folk festival, held in late June.


  • 1 Westfield Dolphin Shopping Centre, 110 Dolphin Centre, BH15 1SZ (3 minutes walk from Poole Station), +44 1202 673906. M-Sa 8:30AM-6PM, Su 10:30AM-5PM. A large indoor shopping centre with the usual high street brands including Marks and Spencer, Boots, Next and Primark.



Most restaurants are along the quay, but there are a number of great eateries further into the Old Town.

  • 1 Storm, 16 High St, BH15 1BP, +44 1202 674970, . W-Sa 6PM to late. Market-fresh fish and seafood served up on rustic wooden tables, plus cooking courses. mains £18.50-22.50.
  • 2 Tandoori Nights, 50 High St, BH15 1BT, +44 1202 679712, . noon-2:30PM, 6PM-midnight. An excellent curry house, which can get quite busy Friday and Saturday nights.
  • 3 Branksome Beach, Branksome Beach Pinecliff Road Branksome Chine BH13 6LP (at the foot of Pinewood Road, looking out over Poole Bay), +44 1202 767235, . M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa Su 9:30AM-5PM. Restaurant on the ground floor and cafe on the first floor. The adjoining car park tends to get busy during the summer season with beach-goers, so it is advisable to park a few minutes away and walk down.
  • 4 The Guildhall Tavern, 15 Market Street BH15 1NB (overlooking the Guildhall), +44 1202 671717. Tu-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Classic French cuisine and signature seafood dishes in simple, nautical-themed dining room.
  • 5 The Courtyard Tea Rooms, 48a High St, BH15 1BT, +44 1202 670358.
  • 6 Karma Mediterranean Grill & Bistro, 22 High St BH15 1BP, +44 1202 670181. Tu-Th 5:30-9PM, F Sa 5:30-10PM. Unpretentious outlet serving Greek and Turkish-style meze, grilled skewers & veggies in unfussy digs.
  • 7 Isan Thai, 129 Parkstone Rd BH15 2PB, +44 1202 736690. Tu-Th 11AM-3PM, 5-10PM; F Sa 11AM-3PM, 5-10:30PM; Su noon-4PM, 6-10PM.



There are lots of pubs along the quay and a little inland.



There are many hotels and guesthouses in Poole, especially in the town centre. There are also camping sites in neighbouring towns such as Swanage and Merley. There is a Youth Hostel in Swanage.

  • 1 RNLI College, West Quay Road, BH15 1HZ. Comfortable accommodation in the building used for training volunteers to man the lifeboats around the coast. Profits from the accommodation help this national charity. Building tours are also available M-Sa 11AM and 2:30PM, but must be booked in advance on +44 1202 308 500. Riggers Restaurant has mains from £10.
  • 2 Holiday Inn Express Poole, Walking Field Ln BH15 1RZ, +44 1202 649222. £57.
  • 3 Harbour Heights Hotel, 73 Haven Rd, +44 800 484 0048. Panoramic outlooks over Poole Harbour and beyond.
  • 4 Hotel du Vin Poole, Thames Street The Quay, BH15 1JN, +44 1305 819027. Check-in: from 3PM, check-out: 11AM. £94.
  • 5 Haven Hotel, 161 Banks Rd, Sandbanks BH13 7QL (at the tip of the Sandbanks peninsula), +44 800 484 0048. £109.
  • 6 Salterns Harbourside Hotel, 38 Salterns Way BH14 8JR, +44 1202 707321. £94.



As of June 2022, Poole has 4G from O2, and 5G from EE, Three and Vodafone.

Go next

  • Bournemouth is nearby and has other places to visit, such as the oceanarium.
  • MonkeyWorld, near Wareham, is about 30 minutes away by car.
  • The New Forest is about an hour away by car and very popular in the summer.
Routes through Poole
END  N  S  Guernsey/JerseySaint-Malo
END  N  S  Cherbourg
END  N  S  Studland for Swanage
Dorchester  W  E  Bournemouth

This city travel guide to Poole is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.