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Trains to Poole

Great days out by train

The stunning sight of Poole Harbour - the largest natural harbour in Europe - is enough to make a visit to this socially and historically rich city worthwhile. If that doesn’t float your boat, then Poole’s beautiful Sandbanks and Branksome Chine beaches will be sure to take your breath away, and are often heralded as Britain’s best beaches.

Also easily reachable from Poole and well worth a visit is Brownsea Island, a National Trust property and a haven of peace and tranquillity. The Scouting movement was founded on Brownsea Island, and visitors can follow various nature walks across the 500 acres of heath and woodland.

Travel to Poole from London with our Advance Fares for just £12 Standard Class and £20 First Class, one way, when you book early.

What's more, Poole railway station is only a stone's throw away from most of the attractions!


Get some inspiration on what to do when visiting Poole from our list below:

1. Sandbanks

Holiday makers flock to Poole every summer to enjoy the fine, golden sand and clear, clean waters of Sandbanks beach. It is renowned for being one of the most beautiful beaches in England and has been a holder of the European Blue Flag for a record 25 years!

Sandbanks has a wide selection of water sports so, why not grab a board and surf the waves or hop onboard a jet ski and enjoy the sun, sea and adrenaline rush!

Plus, the beach also has plenty of ice cream kiosks and burger bars as well as designated BBQ areas so why not have a feast with the family on the beach.  

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2. Branksome Chine Beaches

It’s no wonder Branksome Chine is another of Poole’s Blue Flag beaches, with its golden sands and gently shelving beach, it ensures it is safe for even the smallest of children.

Sit back and relax on one of the many deckchairs dotted along the beach and enjoy the beautiful views of the Isle of Wight and Ballard Downs whilst enjoying sunny Poole! Or for those looking to escape the summer sun, you can hire a traditional beach hut which line Branksome Chine beach on a daily or weekly basis through Poole council. 

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3. Lighthouse – Poole's Centre for the Arts

Lighthouse Poole’s Centre for the Arts is only a five - ten minute walk from Poole train station and situated opposite the bus station and Dolphin Shopping Centre. Visitors can take the town centre bus, Route One from the railway station with a stop outside Lighthouse.  As Poole’s cultural centre of excellence for live performance, film and visual arts, Lighthouse is an iconic building and a well established venue with an excellent reputation. Lighthouse is also home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  The building is fully accessible with disabled facilities and a lift to all levels.  Contact the Lighthouse on: 0844 406 8666.

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4. Poole Quay

Poole quay has a long history dating back to Roman times, from the 16th to the 19th century many fishing vessels sailed from Poole to fish off Newfoundland for cod. Today, set within Poole Harbour; one of the largest natural harbours in the world, the surrounding area is known for its ecology, supporting varied habitats as well as the Brownsea Island nature reserve. This beautiful harbour is also home to many food outlets and opportunities to take boat trips around Poole and to nearby Brownsea Island.

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5. Shopping in Poole

Poole is home to Dorset's largest indoor shopping centre, The Dolphin Shopping Centre. With over 110 stores including fashion, beauty, music, food and gifts. And with the railway station just a 5 minute walk away, why not nip in after a day out in Poole? Also, every Thursday and Saturday Poole hosts the weekly street market along the High Street and a genuine Farmers Market in Falkland Square on a Thursday.

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6. Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is dramatically located in Poole Harbour, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. Thriving natural habitats - including woodland, heathland and a lagoon - create a haven for wildlife, such as the rare red squirrel and a wide variety of birds, including  dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns and oystercatchers. Visitors will be fascinated by the island's rich history, for as well as boasting daffodil farming and pottery works, it was the birthplace of the Scouting and Guiding movement. This beautiful island is owned by National Trust so free if you are a member! Click here to find out more. 

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7. Poole Park

Poole Park has been a family favourite since it opened in 1890. It is situated in the heart of the town of Poole and has something for all the family.

There are plenty of things to keep your little ones busy from Gus the Gorilla's Jungle Playground to feeding the ducks and swans at Swan Lake. There is also plenty to keep the dads busy, from a miniature railway to model yachts racing. Plus, with the rose gardens blooming with colourful flowers and allsorts of wildlife, there is something for mums to enjoy as well! Poole Park is a great family day out.   

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8. Splashdown Water Park

Splashdown Waterpark is a great day out for family and friends. There’s something for everyone – from big kids to little ones – with some of the UK’s most exciting waterflumes. They are open all year with indoor rides in the winter. In the spring, take the slide outside where the Mississippi pours into the Grand Canyon. And, in May, bring on the awesome Screamer Tower – it’s fluming good fun!

For more information, visit their website.

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9. Blue Line Cruises operating by City Cruises Poole

Blue Line Cruises are the Poole arm of City Cruises, the leading operator of sightseeing services on the River Thames.

Blue Line Cruises operate daily from Poole Quay on Dorset's premier vessel - The Solent Scene. Book online, come to the Red & White Kiosk or contact us for details of our Harbour Cruise, Old Harry Cruises, Swanage and Bournemouth Cruises and Private Charters.

A smart uniformed crew are on every cruise to welcome you and provide commentary on the glorious coastline and famous landmarks. Refreshments are available on all sailings, including a fully stocked bar. Food can be provided if booked in advance.

Cruises are particularly popular with coach and school parties of all ages. Educational field trips along the Jurassic Dorset coast, trips to the Victoria resort at Swanage and the Steam Railway. Also available are bespoke charters for groups, special group rates and schedules so do contact Blue Line Cruises to find out more.

Visit for more information and to book your tickets.

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The photo of Poole was taken by Sue Sieger.