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Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

star-4.5
224 Reviews
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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Recent reviews from experiences in Poole

star-5
Great historical local info
Sue_G, Jul 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Our captain gave such an interesting commentary whilst we cruised around the bay. It was fascinating to learn so much about the area. The history and who had lived there, Including many famous authors. The good weather helped and the cold drinks from the bar just completed the experience. Really good value for money and just the right length of time. I t was so easy to book online but a nuisance that we still had to wait inline at the quayside for 20 mins. At least it was dry
star-5
Excellent, well worth the money.
Family, Jul 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Lovely crew, great boat and good commentary. All of us really enjoyed it. Great view of sandbanks and good facilities on board.
star-5
Lovely Boat Trip
RS-, Jun 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Very organised and informative. We had a lovely trip out around the harbour and sandbanks and really enjoyed ourselves. Great value for money
star-5
Very enjoyable trip
Erica_L, Jun 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Departed on time. Interesting commentary. Shame sun stopped shining but didnt spoil trip Sat inside and could buy drinks
star-5
🙏❤
Heena_P, May 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Poole Harbour is very close to my heart. Lovely trip every year x Recommend to you all Xtcycuvivibonlnj ubib
star-4
Very good
Tomilayo_O, May 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Enjoyed the cruise. Very informative. The skipper pointed out the islands. The boat was neat and staff were friendly.
star-4
Boat trip
julia_c, May 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great commentary from the skipper very funny. Shame about the weather. Interesting facts about the various islands
star-5
Excellent cruise highly recommended
John_A, May 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great trip,informative commentary, and good banter from crew . Will recomended to others Excellent trip and good value for money..
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.
star-5
Definitely well worth it.
Shane_F, Oct 2020
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
What a fantastic afternoon it was. The guy who did the audio what a scream he was such a great sence of humour. Had my wife and I laughing the whole trip. We definitely recommend. What an awesome day 😎
star-4
Not pram friendly
Sean, Sep 2020
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Not pram friendly, even though arriving 20 mins before departure, they were already letting people on board...and with the boat almost full, our family had to take our pram (after asked to take our sleeping baby out because of regulations) down two set of steps (with no assistance offered from staff) to the saloon. Maybe leave top deck as priority for young families, therefore not 5 stars, otherwise it's a pleasant cruise.

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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