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Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

The Basics

The most popular way to explore Brownsea Island is on a day trip from Poole—it’s a short ferry ride from the mainland. Alternatively, a sightseeing cruise around Poole Harbour affords spectacular views of Brownsea Island, as well as the surrounding islands and mainland attractions such as the Sandbanks, Old Harry Rocks, Corfe Castle, and the Purbeck Hills.

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Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
star-4.5
USD15.45 per adult
Traveller Favourite
A lovely time spent in Poole harbour
Staff were great especially lady in the hut !!!a lovely way to spend a couple of hours The children absolutely loved it especially having loo and cafe!!!
Nicky_T, Jun. 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Poole

star-5
Great boat tour
Lisa_H, May 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great trip lots of interesting commentary. Easy to find on the quay. Easy access to board. Very clean boat. Great views and a very pleasant way to see the area from the water. Would highly recommend.
star-4
Family memories
Bobbi_M, Jun. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Should of been in Menorca! but instead had a great boat trip around the harbour with the family, the only thing that spoiled it was the weather, it poured down! but that did not stop us from enjoying ourselves!
star-5
Great fun
Lucas_M, Jan. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
We jumped on this cruise bit last minute on a sunny Sunday and I can’t imagine 12.5£ spent the better way! Crew was lovely! Nice round trip around Brownsea Island with all information! Would definitely go again!
star-4
Island and harbour trip
Michael_D, May 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great trip learnt so much about t he e harbour and islands. More for adults than young children but great value for money. I would definitely go again
star-5
Lovely experience
Kerry_D, Apr. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great way to see Poole and the islands. Good value and friendly staff. Spacious boat. Arrive early as there will be a queue.
star-5
I recommended
Oliver_S, Apr. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Very nice boat trip and very reasonably priced. Took my fiancée for her birthday. Made good use of the bar.
star-5
Pleasant Afternoon Boat Trip
Christine_T, Mar. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
We had a lovely time going round Poole harbour the Skipper was very knowledgable. We would thoroughly recommend it.
star-5
Excellent trip seeing the...
Alison_R, Feb. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Excellent trip seeing the other small islands as well as brownsea. Commentary great and fabulous trip
star-4
Great day activity
Jake_F, Feb. 2022
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Cruise was great, very informative and had some great sights to see, staff were very friendly and commentary was really interesting! If not for the weather it would be a 5 star review!
star-5
A trip to remember
Vivien_O, Sep. 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Stunning views and the best, most informative commentary, by Jamie, ever! Every consideration for safety and passenger comfort and I shall definitely return for more.
star-5
What a great harbour and Brownsea Island trip - even the weather was perfect!
Marjorie_H, Sep. 2020
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Only in Poole for a few hours and we were so pleased that we chose to go on a 1.1/2 hour trip around the harbour and Brownsea Island. The weather was perfect and our Captain, Jamie kept us really informed and very entertained with his humorous commentary. The weather was perfect and we were happy with the Covid 19 precautions on board.
star-5
Fantastic trip
David_F, Oct. 2020
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
A really fantastic little trip round the harbour. Interesting information given along with a few jokes and a nice hot chocolate. All safety restrictions adhered too, well done.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The weather on Brownsea Island can be wet and windy even in summer, so wear layers and bring a raincoat.

  • Getting around the island is only possible on foot—vehicles and bikes are not permitted on the ferries.

  • The Brownsea Island Visitor Centre, a short walk from the ferry port, has restrooms, a café, and a shop.

  • Wheelchair-accessible ferries are available, and you can rent all-terrain wheelchairs on the island.

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How to Get to There

Brownsea Island is only reachable by boat. Regular passenger ferries set sail from Poole Quay or the Sandbanks and take around 20 minutes to reach the island. From Poole, buses and taxis run from Poole train station to Poole Harbour.

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When to Get There

Brownsea Island is open to the public from March to October and on selected winter weekends, depending on the weather. In peak summer season (July and August), book your ferry tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

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Exploring Brownsea Island

The Brownsea Island Nature Reserve covers the whole island and offers nature trails and wildlife such rare red squirrels, sika deer, wild peacocks, and birds (avocets, black-tailed godwits, and wildfowl). Additional highlights include the beachfront Brownsea Castle, which dates back to the 16th century; the Brownsea Open-Air Theatre, which hosts performances throughout summer; and electric buggy tours, which traverse all the island’s most scenic viewpoints.

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