Poole Harbour is the largest natural harbour in Europe and has eight unique islands. fringed with unspoilt woodland and coastal walks. The harbour has 18 sites of Special Scientific Interest and nature conservation. With over a dozen yacht clubs and marinas, and a public slipway for boat launching at Harbourside Park, the harbour buzzes with all types of craft and attracts all ages and abilities keen to get on the water. Over 100 events take place in the harbour each year from regattas to international sailing competitions.
The Harbour’s safe shallow waters make it the perfect place to learn watersports. Qualified instructors are on hand to provide everything from taster sessions for beginners, to opportunities for professionals to fine tune their skills in everything from sailing and windsurfing to kayaks and stand up paddle boards.
The largest island in the harbour, Brownsea Island, is owned by the National Trust and is accessed by boat from Poole Quay or Sandbanks. It is open daily from end of March-end October, with special restricted openings in the winter.
The harbour can be crossed on a short journey by chain ferry from Sandbanks to Studland which takes foot and car passengers, or using one of Poole’s two lifting bridges, Poole Bridge opened in 1927 or the iconic Twin Sails Bridge which opened in 2012.
With its own fishing fleet Poole is well known for its fresh seafood.