The port of Poole is located in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. With its Blue Flag beaches, natural harbour, and close proximity to the Jurassic Coast, this friendly town is an idyllic base from which to explore the area. A wander from your holiday cottage in Poole to the promenade on the Quay is highly recommended, with spectacular views of cargo ships and ferries making their way across England’s largest natural harbour. Many of the town’s best pubs and restaurants can be found here, as well as several listed buildings including the Customs House and a medieval warehouse called the Town Cellars.

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Boat trips regularly depart from the Quay in the summer months, offering visitors captivating views of the harbour, the Purbeck Hills, and a series of neighbouring islands. There is a ferry to Brownsea Island, one of the only places in the country where the native red squirrel remains.  At the northern mouth of the harbour, there is a unique sandy spit called Sandbanks Beach, where some of the country’s most exclusive homes are located. A day spent sunbathing and swimming on the shore is a must on self-catering holidays in Poole. 

Victorian Poole Park is a lovely place for a wander or a picnic, with a large boating lake where sailing and other water sports are popular. Compton Acres is widely considered to be one of England’s best gardens, with a circular path through a wooded valley, Japanese gardens, Italian gardens, heather gardens and rock and water gardens. 

Another popular attraction near holiday cottages in Poole is Corfe Castle, an impressive motte and bailey stronghold which played an important role in the English Civil War. It features gardens, a model village, and a heritage steam railway which takes an idyllic route through the Purbeck Hills.