The list of activities in Poole is almost endless, thanks to the sprawling harbour, amazing beaches and raft of indoor and outdoor attractions.
Head to our Poole Harbour page to find out more about one of the largest natural harbours on the south coast.
As you’d imagine from a coastal town, Poole is a watersports haven. While the Aquatic Jetpacks centre near Poole might sound like something out of Tomorrow’s World, there’s no cooler experience than strapping on a jetpack and hovering 10ft in the air, powered by a torrent of water. They offer Flyboard, Hoverboard and Jet Pack experiences, and while they’re not cheap, if you’ve ever wanted to indulge your inner Aquaman, then this is one experience you can’t pass up.
If you prefer to take a more conventional approach to watersports, Jetski Safari will take you on a one-hour guided tour of Poole Harbour and out into the open sea along the Jurassic coastline. Located in Sandbanks, The Watersports Academy meanwhile offers a wide range of sea-faring activities, including windsurfing, yacht charter, paddleboarding, powerboating and more.
The most relaxing way to take in the ocean aspect is with City Cruises Poole. Running from March to October, you can choose from a variety of trips including a two-hour cruise around Poole Harbour and the Jurassic coast, a day trip to Swanage or a 70-minute harbour cruise.
Back on terra firma, Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park is a popular family-attraction. Located several miles from our Poole Centre hotel, the farm has large indoor and outdoor play areas, dozens of farm animals, woodland trails and a summer maize maze.
If golf is your game, there are few finer courses in the area than Parkstone Golf Club. Ranked as one of the 100 best golf clubs in the country, the course dates back to 1909 and has an excellent clubhouse offering up everything from a quick snack to a three-course meal.
Poole might be home to a wide range of watersports, but you can get wet and wild even when it’s raining or snowing outside. Splashdown Waterpark is a huge leisure complex with 13 flumes, three splash zones for kids under five and their brand new Infinity ride. There are outdoor rides, flumes and pools for when the sun is shining, but there are plenty of covered options as well, making this a great year-round activity.
If you prefer to get your aquatic exercise without flumes and wave pools, the Dolphin Leisure Centre has three pools, including a diving pool, and offers swimming fitness sessions, swimming and diving lessons. There’s also a 40-station gym, sauna and steam room to enjoy.
Those who know their ollies from their nollies should head to the Prevail Skatehouse between Oakdale and Newton. Open from 10am-10pm daily, the covered concrete skatepark has plenty of drops, ramps, boxes and rails, and offers lessons, hire and open sessions for skateboarders, BMXs and scooters.
If you’re looking for a soft play for the kids, look no further than Lemur Landing near Tower Park. One of the largest indoor soft play areas in Dorset, you’ll find a roleplay village, a climbing zone, ball pits, slides and more.
Just next door is Hollywood Bowl, a popular bowling alley with pool tables, plenty of arcade games, a licensed bar and of course, dozens of lanes set up for strike action. Finally, there are few better ways to spend an afternoon or evening than watching a glorious Hollywood blockbuster, popcorn in hand. Cineworld Poole is next to the Hollywood Bowl and is a state-of-the-art cinema complex open daily and showcasing the latest films.
Discover the amazing charms of the region’s beaches, including Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs, with our Poole beaches guide.
At less than 10 miles, the Poole Heritage Cycle Route is a circular route that takes in historic points in and around Poole, including Upton Country Park, the town centre and Poole Quay. Perfect for families or those looking for a relaxed couple of hours seeing the sights, there are plenty of places to stop off for a coffee, pint or ice cream along the way.
Slightly longer at 17 miles, the Castleman Trailway Route is a gentle, well-signposted route popular amongst cyclists, walkers and horse riders that follows the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line. Along the way, you’ll take in Lady Wimborne Bridge, an ornate stone railway arch and Canford Magna Parish Church.
Opened in 2004, the Bourne Valley Greenway is a 6.5km largely flat trail that runs from Gravel Hill in Broadstone to Bournemouth Gardens taking in Talbot and Canford Heath.
A 90-minute walk that retraces Poole’s rich history, the Cockle Trail takes in over 70 buildings across the Quay, Old Town and Harbourside Park; simply follow the numbered cockle signs set into the ground.
Choose from one of three interactive online trails as part of the Poole Trail, including the Museum Trail, the Adventurers’ Trail and the in-depth Poole Trail. Allow around an hour for each walk and log onto pooletrail.com to get the most out of each guide.
Running every Wednesday night during August, Granny Cousins Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town is a great way to explore the historic quay, back alleys and Old Town. Now into its 21st year, the walk starts at 8pm with entertainment guaranteed.
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