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Located on the beautiful South Coast of England, in the historic county of Dorset, close to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, Bournemouth and Poole offer a year-round experience unlike any other.

Ten miles of golden sand

Stretching from Bournemouth to Poole are 10 miles of stunning award-winning beaches with beautiful, crystal clear water and golden sand. It’s the ultimate escape at any time of the year.

  • Bournemouth was ranked 14th best beach in the world (TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice awards 2018 and 2019).
  • Bournemouth has the UK’s best beach (TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice awards 2018 and 2019).
  • The beach has won more Blue Flags for the highest standards of cleanliness than any other UK beach resort.
  • Bournemouth and Poole boasts its own micro-climate, giving it some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK.

You can enjoy various water sports, volleyball, Pierzip (The world’s first pier to shore zipwire), mini golf, children’s play areas, water park play areas, designated barbecue spots, beachside dining, beach hut hire, picturesque bay walks, magnificent views and tropical gardens.

Harbour life

Poole’s natural harbour is the largest in Europe and the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. It’s a haven for sailors, wildlife, water sports and boat chartering.

Coast

Home to scenic nature reserves and historic award-winning gardens, you will find a unique, temperate microclimate with natural habitats from Hengistbury Head to Poole’s iconic Sandbanks.

Parks

Bournemouth and Poole have award-winning Victorian parks, gardens and internationally important heathlands and green spaces. Bournemouth is home to 1.5 miles of Grade II listed Victorian gardens (The Lower, Central and Upper Gardens) and nearly a fifth of Poole is open green space! Victorian Poole Park has a 55-acre lake surrounded by a range of facilities including water sports, places to eat, children's play areas, tennis courts and a fitness trail.  Neighbouring Hamworthy Park combines a sandy beach with an extensive grassed area, seasonal paddling pool and playground facilities. Upton Country Park is home to Grade II listed Upton House and Compton Acres is one of the finest privately-owned gardens in southern England.

Town centres

Both Bournemouth and Poole town centres and suburbs are a shopper’s haven and food lover’s delight. After dark, you can check out live music, West End stage shows, comedians and touring entertainment.

Events, festivals and attractions

Bournemouth hosts a wide variety of top festivals, such as the annual Air Festival, Arts by the Sea Festival, Bournemouth 7s Festival and the Christmas Tree Wonderland. Poole is home to Wave 105 Summertime in the South, with events including Poole Harbour Boat Show, British Beach Polo Championships, Sandbanks Beach Volleyball Festival, Folk on the Quay and Poole Goes Vintage.

Beach Life

There is so much to do beside the seaside – Here are some top tips:

Hire a beach hut: The perfect way to spend the day on the beach. Choose a traditional beach hut or a funky beach pod or stay overnight at a fantastic Beach Lodge.

Jump on board: Hop on the land train, which runs along the promenade eastwards towards Boscombe and westwards towards Branksome Chine.

Lift me up: Take a ride in one of Bournemouth’s famous funicular cliff lifts (April to October), situated alongside the zig-zag pathways at West Cliff and Fisherman’s Walk at Southbourne.

Sit back and relax: Deckchairs are available to hire from various seafront offices, along with sunbeds, windbreaks and parasols. At Sandbanks Beach Office in Poole you can hire equipment for slacklining, volleyball and table tennis. There are also beach and water-accessible wheelchairs available to hire at various beach locations.  

Beach safety: RNLI Lifeguards are on duty in designated swimming areas every day 10am - 6pm from 1st May – 30th September. In July and August, children can wear an LV=KidZone wristband to keep them extra safe.  

Beach dining: Enjoy one of the many beachfront cafés, restaurants or kiosks. There are also designated barbecue areas along the beach.

Water sports

The coastline is packed with more water sports than any other UK resort. From surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddle boarding, to jet-skiing, cruising, sea kayaking and snorkelling, there’s action and adventure for everyone. Whether you’re trying something for the first time, bringing your own wetsuit or need to hire a surf board, you can embrace life on the water!

Poole Harbour

Poole Harbour is simply stunning. Europe’s largest natural harbour and the world’s second largest after Sydney, this beautiful national treasure is the gateway to incredible wildlife, countryside, woodland and water sports.

A site of nature conservation, one of the best ways to see the harbour, scenery and Poole’s five unique islands is on a harbour cruise. The largest, Brownsea Island, is owned by the National Trust. Take a short boat trip from Poole Quay or Sandbanks to discover history, adventure and wildlife, including the famous red squirrels.

Poole Harbour is a Ramsar site which recognises wetlands of international importance particularly for wildfowl. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which recognises the country’s most spectacular and beautiful habitats and a Special Protection Area (SPA).

Poole Quay

Poole’s bustling quayside offers something for everyone. Here you can enjoy a harbour cruise, a trip to the National Trust Brownsea Island or go further afield on a sea train adventure to the Victorian seaside town of Swanage or cruise down Wareham River. Try crabbing, or spy the stunning collection of ships, vessels and luxury Sunseeker yachts in the busy harbour.

Take in the sights of Poole’s beautiful old town just a couple of minutes’ walk from the quay. Stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets and high street before heading out towards the quay to take in the shops, restaurants and cafés all with stunning waterfront views.

Explore the town’s pirate history and heritage with the Cockle Trail self-guided walk and interactive interpretation panels on the Poole Trail or visit the free-entry Poole Museum which tells Poole’s story with four floors of galleries and displays including over 150 pieces of Poole Pottery.