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About: With Poole being home to Europe’s biggest harbour, boat trips and cruises are popular for both locals and visitors. These cruises offer fantastic views over to Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Studland Bay as well as the opportunity to spot the incredible sea-life and wildlife that our beautiful harbour and islands have to offer.
Most cruises come with live commentary too, so the on-board crew will talk you through the sights that you’ll see on the trip. Boat trips run throughout the year, although please check individual operators for specific dates and times.
Where: Boat Trips are available with City Cruises Poole , Brownsea Island Ferries and Greenslade Pleasure Boats
Or make the trip a little bit extra and explore Poole Bay on a luxury private skippered boat with The Poole Bay Boat Company. The Poole Bay Boat Company will give you the trip of a lifetime with their luxury power boat.
Price: Varies per operator, from £7.50pp
Sea Train Trips
About: Swanage Railway and City Cruises in Poole run Sea Train Adventures beginning at Poole Quay and sailing through the glorious harbour and down the Jurassic Coast to Swanage, where you can then catch a steam train which travels through idyllic Dorset villages Purbeck, the world-famous Corfe Castle and back to Swanage, where you can catch the boat back to Poole.
This is a full-day tour which allows you to see most of the best sights and amazing landmarks that Poole and south Dorset has to offer, and gives you time to explore each location freely and in as much depth as you’d like.
Where: Sea Train Trips available with Swanage Railway and City Cruises daily from Apr 1st – 31st Oct.
Price: Adults £27, Children £19. Family tickets are available from £46.
City Sightseeing Bus Tours
About: City Sightseeing Bournemouth run hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus tours from Poole Bay down to the magnificent Sandbanks Peninsula, allowing you to marvel over the coastal views towards the harbour and Brownsea Island, as well as views of Poole’s idyllic town too. These tours run hourly from Poole Quay, and 24 and 48-hour tickets can be purchased to make the most of your trip, and allowing you to hop on and off as you please.
If you want to explore more of the surrounding area, you can upgrade to a bus and boat ticket, which will allow you to venture further afield and see the breath-taking highlights of the Jurassic Coast, which is England’s only Natural World Heritage Site.
Where: Departing from Poole Quay hourly from 10am – 6pm.
Price: Adults 24hr tickets £13, 48hr £16. Children under 5 go free. Bus and Boat tickets available from £22 (for 24hrs).
Hot Air Balloon Flights
About: If you’re more of a thrill-seeker and would prefer to see Poole’s spectacular sights and scenery from the air, a Virgin Balloon Flight may be for you. This special treat will give you memories to last a lifetime, with views of the Dorset countryside and the overwhelming depths of the ocean unfolding before your very eyes.
Flights can be taken 7 days a week, and you have the choice of locations so you can take a ride over wherever takes your fancy! Go on, we dare you to bite the bullet and enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Poole – you won’t regret it!
Price: From £117. Please check the website for more details.
About: Keep active and discover the magic of Poole and the sights it has to offer by two wheels because you can’t beat breathing in the fresh, sea air as you cycle along the seafront. If you like the idea of beginning and ending your bike riding adventure in different locations, then Beryl Bikes are ideal, as bikes can be dropped off in multiple locations around Poole and Bournemouth.
Another bicycle hire service around Poole is Front Bike Hire, which is located in Bournemouth. Bournemouth to Poole via bicycle is approx 6.3 miles, so it makes the perfect distance for keen cyclists and you can stick to the seafront for those consistent coastal views.
Where: Bike Hire available from Beryl Bikes (located in various areas across Poole and Bournemouth) and Front Bike Hire, located in Bournemouth (on the seafront near the Pier).
Price: Day passes from £12, or £0.05p per minute.
About: Watersport lovers… this one is for you! Jetski Safaris take place from Poole’s famous harbour, and range as far as Old Harry Rocks and Bournemouth Pier, giving you a wide scope of the glorious Poole Bay to explore! You’ll have spectacular views in the Marina towards the islands, and then clear views out on to the English Channel when you’re ready to hit the open waves!
No experience as a jet skier is needed – as long as you can swim 20m in deep open water and be able to understand all instructions in English without the aid of translator. If you love water sports and would love to explore the English Channel up close and personal, then a Jetski Safari is one of the best ways to sightsee, in our opinion!
Where: 40 Salterns Way, Poole BH14 8JR
Price: From £70pp