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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
$16.84 per adult
Traveler Favorite
The trip was really good...
The trip was really good and the best part was hearing the guide. There is so much history in this area and the guide was so knowledgeable we learnt so much!
Angela_C, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Poole

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-4
Great stuff
Lee_H, Oct 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great price for what you get. Great running commentary - needs to be a bit louder on the speakers though. But amazing experience.
star-5
A truly enjoyable cruise...
Peter_S, Oct 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
A truly enjoyable cruise and great value for money. The crew were very cheerful and helpful to older people. The commentary by the "Captain" was excellent, full of enthusiasm and sense of humour, even though he must have done it dozens of times before! A great cruise.
star-5
Brilliant
Luisa_B, Sep 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
A super trip that was incredibly informative. We went round 5 of the islands within the harbour and the hour and a half went by too quickly. I’d book this again to enjoy all the sites and their history. Loved every moment and highly recommended this as the crew were brilliant! Thank you
star-4
Poole cruise
Paul_K, Sep 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Friendly staff. Good commentry on the way round. Beautiful scenery. Good facilities on board. The out look was nice and clear. We enjoyed the view of the Island from a different angle.
star-5
Loved it
Emma_P, Sep 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Loved it, informative and really interesting. Sea wasn't to choppy, sun was out, booked later ticket but the crew let us both on early. Would highly recommend.
star-4
Pleasant enjoyable boat ride
Darrell_C, Sep 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Nice relaxing and enjoyable boat ride. Running commentary by the skipper was also funny, entertaining and knowledgeable.
star-5
Crew made the trip enjoyable
James_b, Sep 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Skipper took.us for an extra few miles as we had time Amazing crew really decent very friendly captain really knew his stuff
star-5
A memorable cruise ride
Neha_S, Aug 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
The view was breathtaking and spectacular. The commentary was memorable. We were lucky enough to see dolphins (a very rare sight).
star-5
Great trip
Justin_L, Aug 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great trip and very interesting commentary, we all Really enjoyed it . Not a long trip but good value for money
star-5
Brilliant tour
Steve_C, Aug 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Absolutely fantastic tour of the harbour and the islands. The commentary was very informative on the islands and the harbour. Even managed to see some wild dolphins!!!
star-5
A highly recommended trip.
cheryl_s, Aug 2021
Poole Harbour and Island Cruise from Poole
Great commentary. Both humerous and interesting. A very safe trip with magnificent views. This trip was the icing on the cake of a trip to Sandbanks.

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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