If adventures by the sea or in the countryside are your idea of paradise, then look no further than Poole for a fun-filled holiday! Located on the south coast (on the edge of the West Country) Poole is ideally situated for travellers from London and the surrounding areas, looking for a breath of fresh air that’s not too far away.
Poole is not your average British seaside down – granted, seagulls stealing your chips on a rainy day is a frequent mishap, but Poole has so much more to offer than that. As well as one of Europe’s finest beaches on your doorstep, Poole boasts the biggest natural harbour in the UK, with many islands to explore. One of these islands is Brownsea, which has one of the only remaining Red Squirrel populations in Britain! Seek out these bright, fuzzy creatures for yourself, whilst admiring the multi-coloured peacocks that wander freely all around you. Marvel at all the different kinds of plants and flowers that can be found, or stop for a lovely cream tea in the gardens of the Elizabethan-era castle, right on the island’s shores.
Or, if people-watching appeals to you more, take a look around Britain’s answer to Beverly Hills. Sandbanks is a sandy outcrop that marks the entrance to the harbour, and has some of the most expensive houses in the world – ranking similarly to London, Tokyo and New York. Celebrity residents include Harry Redknapp, the football manager, and his son Jamie.
As we all know, British weather is unreliable, so if the rain dampens your day then you can always go to shelter in Splashdown, the indoor water park, or take a look around Poole’s museums. This includes Scaplen’s Court, a medieval building that teaches local schoolchildren about the lives of ordinary people like themselves throughout the ages. The Poole Museum, across the road from Scaplen’s court, is a museum of the town that covers Poole’s earliest settlers in the prehistoric era, right up to today. This includes a fascinating exhibit of smugglers and pirates. Poole is also home to the Lighthouse, which is a large indoor venue containing a cinema, a theatre, and a concert hall – all under one roof. Sample a wide variety of arts and cultural activities, all conveniently placed in the centre of town.
Speaking of pirates, if sport takes your fancy, then why not see a motorbike race at Poole Stadium? This is home to one of the UK’s best teams, the Poole Pirates, who have been World Champions in 2001 and 2002. Or, go to neighbouring town Bournemouth to watch AFC Bournemouth (the Cherries) play football.
Poole is also close to rural Dorset, with sights like Corfe Castle (a ruined castle, destroyed in the 17th Century by Oliver Cromwell’s fighters) visible from the town. Poole’s local geography is also a source of fun and learning for all – slightly further West along the coast, you can go fossil hunting, and search for your very own dinosaur! The picture of this article is of Durdle Door, a natural rock archway just a few miles from Poole.
Poole has a slogan for itself – “Poole – it’s a beautiful place”. Perhaps after paying a visit, even if it’s only for one day, you will see why.