a station-by-station guide for UK tourist attractions


National Rail | station code POO

Dorset Offers & Links

Poole is a busy maritime town with a large natural harbour. There are many modern buildings but Georgian buildings can be found in the historic area around the Museum, Church Street and Quay. The Sea Music sculpture by Anthony Caro has elevated viewing platforms overlooking Poole Harbour. A statue of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of scouting, stands on the Quay looking to Brownsea Island where he held the first camp. For a multimedia guide to Poole and Poole Museum see

Bournemouth & Poole PlusBus tickets allow unlimited bus travel over the whole urban area including Wimborne Minster (see below). The Bus Station is ¼ mile from the Rail Station by walking through the Shopping Centre.

TI at Museum, tel. 01202 262600. | |

Dorset Dorset Hideaways National Trust Holidays

Poole map

Poole Museum ¾ mile

Poole Museum is housed in a Victorian quayside warehouse with a modern extension. Galleries tell the story of Poole and its Harbour from early times to the present day. Café. Admission free.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. Nov-Mar, M-S 1000-1600, Sun 1200-1600. |

Scaplen's Court ¾ mile

Scaplen's Court is a courtyard inn mostly built in the 16th and 17th centuries but parts date back to medieval times. Period rooms and walled garden. It is used as a schools learning centre but is also open to the public in August.
Open limited opening, please see website.

Lifeboat Station ¾ mile

The Lifeboat Station is operational but can be visited by appointment for a tour of the station and a short presentation about the work of the RNLI whose charity headquarters and training college are in Poole.
Open by appointment, see website.

Compton Acres Gardens by bus

Compton Acres design is series of separate gardens, each with its own style. These include Italianate, Japanese, sculpture, wooded valley, heather, bog, rock and water gardens. Café.
Open Daily 1000-1700 (1600 Nov-Mar).
Bus Breezer 60 or 70 (check seasonal timetables) from Bus Station (¼ mile from Rail Station, through Shopping Centre) to opposite the entrance, 15 minutes journey. Daily, hourly. Open top buses are used on this route in summer. Bournemouth & Poole PlusBus tickets are valid for this journey. Operated by More.

Brownsea Island NT by Ferry

Brownsea Island is a wildlife sanctuary with a population of rare red squirrels. It is the birthplace of the Scouting movement and site of the first camp. There's plenty to explore with woodland walks, clifftop viewpoints, a Church and Visitor Centre. Café and picnic areas. Part of the Island is managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust with a Wildlife Centre and bird watching hides overlooking a lagoon (there's a voluntary donation to access this area). Download a map of Brownsea Island from the National Trust website.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. |
Ferry from Quay (¾ mile from Rail Station) to Brownsea Island, about 20 minutes journey. For Ferry times see

Stay on Brownsea Island in the campsite or a holiday cottage: National Trust Holidays

National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays

Wimborne Minster by bus

Wimborne Minster (known locally as Wimborne) is a historic market town on the River Allen with a Minster Church. The town centre still has almost all its original 15th, 16th and 17th century buildings making it particularly picturesque. A Folk Festival is held in June.

TI at Museum, tel. 01202 886116.

Bus 3/4 from Bus Station (¼ mile from Rail Station, through Shopping Centre) to Wimborne Square, about 40 minutes journey. M-S every 15 minutes, Sun & BH every 30 minutes. Bournemouth & Poole PlusBus tickets are valid for this journey to Wimborne Minster. Operated by More.

Wimborne Minster map

Museum of East Dorset by bus

The Museum is in a 16th century house with period features including timber-framed walls and a stone courtyard. It showcases objects relating to local domestic life, childhood, trades and agriculture over the past 300 years. Walled garden and Tearoom.
Open M-S 1000-1630 (1600 Nov-Mar).
Bus to Wimborne Minster, see above.

Wimborne Minster by bus

The twin towered Minster dates from the 12th century and was extensively restored in Victorian times. Highlights include the Chained Library founded in 1686 and a 14th century astronomical clock showing the Sun and Moon circling the Earth.
Open M-S 0930-1730, Sun 1430-1730 (mornings for Services only). Chained Library Apr-Oct 1030-1230 & 1400-1600. Check website for alterations due to services and events.
Bus to Wimborne Minster, see above.

Wimborne Model Town & Gardens by bus

A 1/10th scale model of Wimborne in the 1950s. Gardens, 1950s school and shop areas. Dolls house collection. Model railway layout. Tearoom.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700.
Bus to Wimborne Minster, see above.

Kingston Lacy NT by bus

An opulent family home in the style of a Venetian Palace with lavish rooms holding an important art collection including paintings by Rubens and Titian. The grounds include a Japanese Garden, kitchen garden, woodland and parkland walks. Café.
Open Daily 0930-1700 (1600 Nov-Feb), House from 1030.
Bus to Wimborne Minster (see above) then bus 88 from Wimborne Minster, West Borough to Kingston Lacy car park, 10 minutes journey, TThF only, a few journeys suitable for a morning visit. PlusBus tickets are valid to Wimborne Minster but NOT on bus 88 to Kingston Lacy. Bus 88 operated by ECT Charity.

Explorer Map OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset (covers Poole & Brownsea Island)

Explorer Map 118 Shaftesbury & Cranborne Chase (covers Poole & Wimborne Minster)

South West Coast Path Guide, Exmouth to Poole

Pathfinder Walks Guide Dorset