Destination UK

Ten of the Best Places to Visit in Poole with Kids this Half Term

Posted on
May 23, 2017

When people visit the south coast they always think of Bournemouth as the “go to” place to visit, but Poole has lots to offer visitors to the area.
Not only does Poole have the second largest natural harbour in the world, second only to Sydney, but it is also home to one of the most expensive places to live in the UK – Sandbanks and has lots to offer visitors, young and old.
1. Visit the Bustling Quay
Visit the Old Lifeboat Station Museum and enjoy crabbing on the quayside next door. Walk along the Quay, lusting after the Sunseeker boats on display and explore historic Poole by walking the Cockle Trail, Poole Trail or Treasure Hunt and finish off the day with a portion of fish and chips by the waters edge.
Poole Quay
2.  Brownsea Island
From the Quay, or next to the Sandbanks Ferry terminal, you can catch a boat over to Brownsea Island. Owned by the National Trust, Brownsea Island is home to wild deer, roaming peacocks and the infamous red squirrels. See what you can spot as you wander through the wild woods, dip your toes in the water at the beach or head to their natural play area. New for 2017 is the Great Brownsea Storybook trail which we have yet to do, but cannot wait to give it a try.
Brownsea Island
3.  Sandbanks
Sandbanks Beach is part of Poole’s three miles of sandy beach and is perfect for building sandcastles, swimming safely in the sea, paddling or just ambling along the promenade. If you fancy a challenge it is also home to a fabulous crazy golf course too.
4. Lemur Landings
The British weather doesn’t always play ball, especially during the kids holidays but at Tower Park there are plenty of things to keep the kids occupied whatever the weather.
Lemur Landings
For tots, up to the age of ten a visit to Lemur Landings is order of the day. It is a large soft play area complete with a role play village and climbing frame for the little ones, two climbing walls, a sky tykes course and a large play frame for older children.
Lemur Landings
5. Splashdown Poole
Tower Park is also home to Splashdown, an all-action water park. I would recommend it for ages 7 and up, although there is a Splash zone and small pool for smaller children to enjoy.

6. Hollywood Bowl
Also at Tower Park is Hollywood Bowl where you can enjoy a bowling match, a game of pool or air hockey or try and win prizes in the arcade.
Hollywood Bowl
7. Farmer Palmers
Farmer Palmers is a family run activity farm and one of our favourite haunts. You can meet and greet the animals, bottle feed the lambs and goats, cheer on the pigs in the Pig Race, or just whizz down the slides in the hay barn or enjoy the soft play areas.
Farmer Palmers
8.  Upton Country Park
Upton Country Park is an award winning country park in Poole with formal walled gardens and splash zone, a grand Georgian house, a children’s woodland play trail and Segway Tours for the teens.
Dorset Segway
9.  Poole Park
Poole Park is a large urban park that borders Poole harbour and features two play parks, a miniature train, The Ark Soft Play Area and Ice Skating rink, ducks & swans to feed, crazy golf, tennis, walking, fitness, and watersports.
Poole Harbour
10.  The Lighthouse
Not an actual lighthouse, but The Lighthouse, Poole is an art centre in the middle of Poole that houses a symphonic concert hall, mid-scale theatre, small-scale studio theatre, independent cinema and art galleries. Over May half term they have Gangsta Granny live on stage as well as Boss Baby at their cinema.
There are also a multitude of fabulous parks that I have neglected to mention which are also worth a visit, including Hamworthy Park, Whitecliff and the Treasure Island playpark and Pinecliff Play Sculptures.
Where is your favourite area of Poole to visit?

  1. Reply

    Sophie's Nursery

    May 24, 2017

    I have only been to Poole to get a ferry so have never explored the area. It sounds fab tho! I have always wanted to go to Brownsea Island to see the wildlife and the new trail sounds really good 🙂 x

  2. Reply


    May 24, 2017

    Wow! So many fantastic places to visit – I’ve bookmarked this post just in case we head anywhere near these places in the future. We love Sandbanks and Lemur Landings looks like the kind of place my daughter would love 🙂

  3. Reply


    May 24, 2017

    So many fantastic places to visit I love that part of the country hopefully the weather will hold but if not some good indoor options too!

  4. Reply

    Suzy McCullough

    May 24, 2017

    What a handy post 🙂 The Lemur wall looks great fun. What a good idea. Thanks for this. I am saving for later.

  5. Reply


    May 24, 2017

    There is so much to do in that part of the UK – it’s why Dorset was always our preferred destination for “home” holidays!

  6. Reply


    May 24, 2017

    Looks like lots of fun to be had in Poole. We’re heading on a grand adventure in our motorhome and the second-half of the trip is set to be in the South West. I’m definitely bookmarking this post for ideas to do with our 2 pre-schooler boys. Thanks for the info!

  7. Reply

    Erica Price

    May 24, 2017

    So many things to do and so many by the water – looks a wonderful place for a holiday.

  8. Reply


    May 24, 2017

    some great tips there i cant wait to explore this half term! we have only been to lemur landings so far! I love the look of Upton Country Park especially the Splash Zone!

  9. Reply

    Ana De- Jesus

    May 24, 2017

    I never knew that there was so much to do at Poole but I am impressed. Who knew that it had the second largest natural harbor in the world?

  10. Reply

    Emma Raphael

    May 24, 2017

    We went crabbing in Poole last year, and I went into the cute little lifeboat museum… Lots of great tips for our next trip there, thank you! 🙂

  11. Reply

    Nadine Hill

    May 25, 2017

    I love how you are offering Poole as a Bournemouth alternative! I agree – it is a great area and you guys certainly seem to do a lot there. Love the segways!

  12. Reply

    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    May 25, 2017

    So many lovely places to visit. Brownsea Island sounds a nice place to explore with the kids, especially the great Brownsea storybook trail, my boys would love that.

  13. Reply

    Mary Louise

    May 25, 2017

    I really like poole and your post has reminded me how much there is to do there. Think I will take the dog over with us for a visit in the Summer. I really like sandbanks at Christmas time and driving through to see people’s Christmas lights in the evenings!

  14. Reply

    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...

    May 25, 2017

    Not been to Poole but it looks fab! Great selection of varying activities to suit all interests

  15. Reply

    Jaime Oliver

    May 25, 2017

    All of these sound like places we would love. A little too far for me but will keep my fingers crossed that you have lots of sunshine to visit them all in

  16. Reply


    May 26, 2017

    We have never been to Poole before and this place looks great, I do love a family friendly town.

  17. Reply

    Kate Williams

    May 28, 2017

    Oh it looks fabulous, I went to Poole as a kid and loved it!

  18. Reply


    May 28, 2017

    Oh wow so much to see and do in Poole perfect for kids and adults! Really didn’t know there was so much to do! Going to book mark this post if we ever head down that way
    Laura x

  19. Reply


    May 29, 2017

    I’m properly impressed with Poole! I know Bournemouth a little but it didn’t seem to have half the things Poole does. As I start into the half-term I’m certainly going to see if we can squeeze a visit down there. PS: The climb wall is brilliant!

  20. Reply


    May 29, 2017

    I have not yet visited Poole and always discounted it but now I know it has so much to offer. Thanks so these suggestions

  21. Reply


    June 17, 2017

    Sounds great. Poole seems to be a very interesting place, lots of stuff to do for kids. Appreciate you have shared this with us, i hope we will visit Poole may be in near futufre.

  22. Reply

    Mandi - Big Family Little Adventures

    June 17, 2017

    You are so right, everyone always talks about Bournemouth, but after reading this, I think I would probably rather come and visit Poole.

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