Despite cropping up almost every week on the Antiques Roadshow, Poole has more to it than just its pottery.
It’s a sweet little harbour town on the Dorset coast.
Whilst it doesn’t have a beach like its neighbour Bournemouth, it certainly has a lot of other things going for it.
Here are eight reasons why you should give Poole a try, rather than sticking to the same UK seaside towns.
Poole Quay is lined with pubs, cafes, the occasional museum and stands filled with seafood street food.
It’s the proper old fashioned kind too, with muscles sold in a polystyrene cup for a couple of quid rather than on a roof tile for a tenner.
Poole’s adopted animal is the dolphin, and if you’re lucky you may even spot one or two in the harbour. Otherwise you can always go crabbing and pick up some of your own snappy wildlife.
Brownsea Island is one of the last places where you can see red squirrels in the wild.
Strict controls have meant they have a safe haven for several other species of wildlife.
It’s also the birthplace of the Scouts and Guides movements, which is memorialised by the Baden-Powell Outdoor Centre where scores of excitable school children can learn to absail, and adults can pick up a woggle.
You can walk around it in a day, but don’t miss the lagoon.
Poole is home to Sandbanks, one of the most expensive pieces of land in the world. It’s a small peninsula where property goes for up to £13million.
There are designated BBQ areas on the beach, so pack up some cut-price sausages and do some people watching of the rich and famous, and see if you can spot notable residents such as Harry or Jamie Redknapp.
One of the strange things about Poole is that most of the industrial estates smell amazing. This is because Lush have their HQ in the town centre.
It’s a tiny shop by the Quay so if you’re a fan make sure you pop down and see where it all started.
As a result, their factories are now in several areas of Poole, so where you would expect tyre fumes and black smoke, you’re now hit with blasts of patchouli and bubblegum.
Other than its boating lake, lush green foliage and children’s play areas, there also used to be a miniature rideable railway.
It’s hopefully going to be up and running again in the summer and I thoroughly recommend it. It’s worth the leg cramps.
OK, I had to add it. But it’s not just for your nanna, I promise.
You can watch master craftsmen at work, and also join in yourself. There’s pottery painting for the kids as well as adults.
I spent a large part of my misbegotten youth in Mr Kyps. It’s not a euphemism, but the local bar where you can see ‘big bands in a small space’.
It’s been done up and refurbished since my day, when it was ‘see your mate’s band in a tiny space on a sticky floor’.
Or there’s The Lighthouse, the local arts centre which is host to theatre, comedy and music from all over the world.
The historic village of Corfe and it’s iconic castle are a short bus ride away. Other than its rich civil war history, it also has amazing views over the Purbeck Hills.
Enjoy a picnic within the ruins or head down to the village for some proper country pub grub.
There’s even a steam railway where you can hitch a ride to Swanage if you’re feeling adventurous. Or just like steam trains. And who doesn’t like steam trains?!
Poole packs in a wide variety of things to see and do in a small space. You can start at the modern Dolphin Shopping Centre and within a five minute walk be at the cobbled streets of the historic old town before stumbling onto the quay.
The train station is in the middle of town, so it’s really easy to take a day trip or a weekend break to Poole without any hassle.
On – 30 May, 2017 By Mirandakane