Poole is about 2.5h from London 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.
There are coaches between Poole bus station and London about once an hour, via Bournemouth.
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.
- Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, BH13 7EE, ☎ +44 1202 707744, e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA, ☎ +44 1202 883402, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A large house and estate formerly 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.
- Lighthouse (Poole's Centre For The Arts), 21 Kingland Road, BH15 1UG.
- Upton Country Park, Poole Road, BH17 7BJ. Oct - Mar 8am to 6pm, Apr - Sep 8am to 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.
- Poole Pottery. Famous manufacturers of pottery and ceramics. Poole Pottery has a long history of designing and creating ceramics but also has a contemporary ranges.
- Westfield Dolphin Shopping Centre, BH15 1SZ (3 minutes walk from Poole Station). 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.
- Storm, 16 High St, BH15 1BP, ☎ +44 1202 674970. serves mostly fish dishes with seafood caught locally the same day. mains £16-20.
- Tandoori Nights, 50 High St, BH15 1BT, ☎ +44 1202 679712. is an excellent curry house, which can get quite busy Friday and Saturday nights.
- Branksome Beach, Pinecliff Rd, Branksome Chine (Located at the foot of Pinewood Road, looking out over Poole Bay), ☎ +44 1202 767235. has a ground floor restaurant and first floor cafe which are perfect for a Saturday afternoon coffee reading the papers or a more formal dinner in the evening. 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.
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.
- 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 Mon-Sat 11am and 2.30pm, but must be booked in advance on +44 1202 308 500. Riggers restaurant has mains from £10.
- Holiday Inn Express Poole, Walking Field Ln, ☎ +44 1202 649222.
- Harbour Heights Hotel, 73 Haven Rd, ☎ +44 800 484 0048.
- 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.