Poole... in pictures

PUBLISHED: 11:04 26 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 20 February 2013

Poole Harbour, looking towards the Lifting Bridge

Poole Harbour, looking towards the Lifting Bridge

James Kingston visits Poole and reveals some fascinating facts for you, and some places that just must go on your 'to do' list

Prime Attractions

All-weather Shopping in Poole

Poole's Dolphin Shopping Centre is every shopaholic's dream. Should the weather be less like 'flaming June' than you would like, take a stroll through its elegantly-glazed portals into a world of enticing fashion boutiques, nationally recognisable stores and smaller individual local shops. There are restaurants, coffee shops and a fruit-juice bar in the concourse, should your adventure leave you needing refreshment.

Compton Acres

Many of the world's most beautiful garden plants and features are used in 10 acres of stunningly beautiful themed gardens at Compton Acres. The grand Italian landscape garden, the mystical Japanese Garden, Palm Court and Roman Garden are just a few of the delights not to be missed. For more information (01202 700778 or visit www.comptonacres.co.uk

The Second Largest Natural Harbour

in the World

Sydney is the world's largest natural harbour but Poole Harbour is more natural. You can enjoy fabulous boat trips around the harbour, and up the River Frome to Wareham. There are lots of creeks and inlets, a bird sanctuary on Brownsea Island and a host of hostelries on the Quay when you return.

Pipler's Turk

Pipler's Chandlery was founded in 1860, remaining a family business until Norman Pipler sold it 10 years ago. Sadly, its traditional sail loft no longer exists. The Turkish gentleman on the outside wall is based on the figurehead on the Grand Turk, a replica of a three-masted frigate of Nelson's time.


The Guildhall was built in 1761 with the council chamber and courtroom above open-fronted market-shops. The building houses Poole's Register Office and the elegantly sweeping steps are the backdrop to one stage of Poole's annual 'Beating the Bounds' ceremony. The nearby 18th-century Angel Inn was a famous coaching inn.

A bit of history

Wartime Shipyards

Where multi-million-pound luxury yachts are now produced by the dozen on the Town Quay side of Poole Harbour, J Bolson & Son was a busy shipyard until quite recently. Working day and night during the later years of the Second World War, they built one landing craft every day, more than any other shipyard in Britain.

Operation Overload

Poole was the third largest embarkation point for US troops heading for the D-Day assault on Normandy's beaches. During Operation Overlord, 300 vessels left Poole on 5 June 1944 with US Army troops of the 29th Infantry Division and the US Rangers. Storming Omaha Beach, they suffered 2,400 casualties, but 34,000 troops successfully landed that day.

Thames Street

Previously known as 'Wool House' and 'King's Hall', the 15th-century Local History Centre was originally 120ft (36.5m) long. An arched entrance led through to the Tudor King Charles' inn building behind it. When Quay Street was extended and renamed Thames Street in 1788, it cut straight through King's Hall. It still lines up perfectly.

Harbour Office

Next to the King Charles is the colonnaded Old Harbour Office, originally built in 1727 as a reading room. The colourful 3D plaque commemorates Benjamin Skutt who was Mayor of Poole in 1727, the year the reading room was built. He was also Mayor in 1717 and 1742. The present building dates from 1822.

Famous for...

Baden-Powell and Brownsea

In 2007, Scouts and Guides from all over the world descended on Poole to celebrate the centenary of the first-ever Scout Camp on Brownsea Island. Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell organised the first Scout Camp, based on the principles of military scouting techniques. The great man's bronze statue now sits patiently on the Quay where pleasure-craft passengers embark for this lovely island.

Things to do and see

The Cockle Trail

Opened in 1998 to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Poole's first charter, and tracing Poole's rich historical heritage, the Cockle Trail around the Old Town takes about 11/2 hours. Seventy-eight numbered cockle signs set into the ground link with numbers in the guide, which is available from Poole Welcome Centre on Poole Quay.

Hamworthy Park

Beyond the Ferry Port, Hamworthy Park is a peaceful spot on the upper harbour's edge. The shallow harbour is popular for canoe and sail-training, as well as wading birds and families with beach huts.

Poole's museums

Poole Museum occupies one of Poole's 18th-century warehouses. Adjacent 15th-century Scaplen's Court was once a courtyard inn frequented by merchants and pilgrims. The walled herb garden is open to the public during summer holidays.

(01202 )633558

Enjoy Sandbanks beach, which has more Blue Flags than any other UK beach and three miles of golden sands

Summer Breeze on the Quay - Thursday nights are firework display nights in Poole.

(01202) 253253

Paye Day, 20 June - Join the gathering of pirates on Poole Quay! Family fun, rowing races and live music. (01202) 253253

Poole Afloat, 20 June - Enjoy a showcase of boats, including 'Try a Boat' sessions.

(01202) 253253

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