Poole is a friendly and busy town, smaller in population than the neighbouring town of Bournemouth, but with much to offer. It has a long tradition as a working port and fishing and boat-building are still important local industries, as well as tourism and leisure.
Poole Harbour is Europe’s largest natural harbour and enjoying the water and watersports is popular here. Kite-surfing, wind-surfing, sailing and jet-skiing are year-round activities. From the Quayside in Poole you take a harbour cruise round the harbour or set sail for Brownsea Island with its peaceful wooded walks and wide variety of wildlife.
The beaches in Poole have won the International Blue Flag Awards for the past 19 years for their high standards of management and cleanliness. On some beaches you can enjoy different watersports, play volleyball or just relax on golden sand.
For theatre and cinema lovers, there’s the highly-acclaimed Poole Lighthouse, home of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The Lighthouse offers a wide range of contemporary and classical dance, theatre, comedy, film and art. Nightlife in Poole is centred in the bars, restaurants and clubs of Old Town Poole, set in the narrow, cobbled streets close to the Quay. Tower Park is a large entertainment centre on the outskirts of Poole with a 10 screen cinema, 10 pin bowling lanes, indoor and outdoor fun pools with water rides, bingo hall and restaurants.
Poole also offers a good shopping centre – the Dolphin Shopping Centre, conveniently located by the train station (direct to London, Waterloo) and bus station. The long pedestrianised High Street leading down to the Quayside also has a lot of shops, restaurants and pubs.
Other attractions near Poole include Compton Acres - considered one of the finest gardens in Europe and Upton Park with its amazing residence built in the 19th century, with gardens and wooded area.