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Poole Harbour

Visit a forested part of this harbor’s archipelago after strolling along the charming promenade full of restaurants, pubs and boutiques.

Poole Harbour is a large natural bay with several small islands in the southern part of the city. It has an intriguing history, with its shores having been inhabited for thousands of years. A boat from the Iron Age was discovered here. Watch the lifting of Poole Bridge, built in 1927 and spanning the waterway between the harbor and Holes Bay.

Ride a ferry to Brownsea Island to see its woodland and picturesque nature trails. Camp in the Outdoor Centre and learn about the history of Scouts and their connection to this particular island. Brownsea Castle and St. Mary’s Church are among the cultural highlights. Take photos of other forested parts of the archipelago, including Long Island, Furzey Island and Green Island. The islets are known for preservation of the rare red squirrel.

The harbor and its archipelago have many fascinating birds. Bring binoculars to search the water and the sky for the pied avocet, common shelduck and black-tailed godwit.

Discover various private marinas around the harbor to look at the yachts and sport boats. Many sites around the bay offer watersport activities and lessons. Practice kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing.

Dine at one of many pubs and restaurants facing the water. Purchase souvenirs from the shops.

Learn about the 2,300-year-old Poole Logboat, which was excavated here and now displayed in the nearby Poole Museum along with other nautically themed items.

The harbor’s water is surprisingly shallow. This site played an important role in the Romans conquest of southern England. More recently, it was a major port. Its principal role now is passenger transportation.

Poole Harbour is south of the city center. Ferries depart from the quay beside Poole Museum with another stop near Poole Yacht Club. The harbor is served by Upton Lake and exits into the English Channel in the southeast. Regular ferries take passengers to the various islands and the northern coast of France. Find parking, for a fee, behind the harbor.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 304 Hotels near Poole Harbour
Holiday Inn Express Poole £52
Holiday Inn Express Poole

Holiday Inn Express Poole

Walking Field Lane, Poole
     
    3.8
    of 5, from 489 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Poole, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Poole Harbour. Brownsea Island is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

    Hotel du Vin & Bistro Poole £77
    Hotel du Vin & Bistro Poole

    Hotel du Vin & Bistro Poole

    Thames Street, Poole
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 140 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Situated by the sea, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Scaplen’s Court Museum and Poole Harbour. Brownsea Island is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.

      Thistle Poole £53
      Thistle Poole

      Thistle Poole

      The Quay, Poole
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 137 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Poole, this hotel is steps away from Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Poole Harbour. Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court Museum are also within 10 minutes.

        Quay Holidays - Dolphin Quays
        Quay Holidays - Dolphin Quays

        Quay Holidays - Dolphin Quays

        Various Addresses, Poole
           
          4.8
          of 5, from 12 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          These apartments are located throughout the area in Poole.

          Breath Taking Views - Sea Breeze - A Holiday Home on the Shore of Poole Harbour
          Breath Taking Views - Sea Breeze - A Holiday Home on the Shore of Poole Harbour

          Breath Taking Views - Sea Breeze - A Holiday Home on the Shore of Poole Harbour

          , Poole
             
            5.0
            of 5, from 4 reviews
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of Poole, this holiday home is steps away from Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Poole Harbour.

            The Merchant House - B&B £84
            The Merchant House - B&B

            The Merchant House - B&B

            10 Strand Street, Poole
               
              4.5
              of 5, from 85 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Poole, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Poole Museum and Poole Harbour. Brownsea Island is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.

              Antelope Hotel £60
              Antelope Hotel

              Antelope Hotel

              High Street, Poole
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 82 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated by the sea, this inn is within a 10-minute walk of Scaplen’s Court Museum and Poole Harbour. Brownsea Island is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

                Luxury Apartment on Poole Quay
                Luxury Apartment on Poole Quay

                Luxury Apartment on Poole Quay

                , Poole
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 1 reviews
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Poole, this property is steps away from Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court Museum.