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Explore Dorset

Poole & Bournemouth

About Poole & Bournemouth

If you’re looking for seaside fun on a big scale, few places measure up to Poole and Bournemouth .

Second only to Sydney, Australia, in the size of its natural harbour, Poole is the place to be for fantastic water-based pursuits. Catch a wave, or even your dinner, before enjoying a huge range of culture and entertainment, beach bars and cafes.

The area is also home to five beautiful Blue Flag beaches, including Sandbanks, which has been awarded more Blue Flags than any other destination in the UK. For those looking to explore, catch the ferry to Brownsea Island. Owned by the National Trust, it is a haven for wildlife including the rare red squirrel and provided inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories.

Neighbouring Bournemouth is the largest resort in Dorset, with seven miles of sandy beaches on which to build your castle or take a coastal stroll. You’ll find plenty of shops, tourist attractions and activities as well as nightlife spots to enjoy. For those looking for a nostalgic seaside experience, why not visit the oldest beach hut in the world, identifiable thanks to a specially-awarded blue plaque on Bournemouth seafront? One of the first towns to offer beach huts, there is something very special about spending a day at the coast in your own colourful wooden quarters.

A walk pier to pier will give you plenty of chance to see the sights or, for an aerial view, those brave enough can fly down the PierZip zip wire located at the very end of Bournemouth Pier - the first in the world to take riders from pier to shore.

Inspire: Poole & Bournemouth Holiday Articles

Exploring Dorset - Day 1

We choose the delights of West Dorset for our minibreak, in an area stretching from Lyme Regis to Weymouth and Portland.

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Exploring Dorset - Day 2

On our second day in West Dorset, we set out to visit some of the region’s many fun-filled family attractions.

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Animal Attractions

Dorset’s picturesque plains aren’t just a wonderful draw for tourists throughout the year, they also make an idyllic permanent home for an array of animals. For holidaymakers that fancy a walk on the wild side, the working farms, bird reserves and conservation parks provide hours of entertainment.

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Active Escapes

With no cities or motorways, and over half the county designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the stunning beaches and countryside of Dorset make an awe-inspiring site for outdoor enthusiasts. The open terrain plays host to a great number of accessible activities, suitable for all tastes and capabilities.

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Best Foodie Pubs

Dorset is bursting with quality local ingredients, whether grown in the earth or straight from the sea. And all that fresh coastal air is perfect for working up a thirst and an appetite.

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Historic Sights

As can be expected of any area that boasts a Jurassic Coast, a trip to Dorset is ideal for those wishing to step back in time. Aside from its celebrated fossils, there is a fantastic diversity of intriguing human history waiting to be discovered.

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On The Trail

Boasting more than 4,700 well-signed and waymarked footpaths, bridleways and byways, there’s every reason to discover Dorset on foot.

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Explore: Holiday Cottages in Poole & Bournemouth