Poole Tourism Family at Sandbanks 1

10 Free Things To Do In Poole

Posted on: 26th July 2016

Days Out

Many of our visitors make a visit into the pretty coastal town of Poole which is only a short distance from our campsite in Dorset. We understand that most people on holiday cannot afford to be spending lots of money everyday on entertainment and treats so to help with finances we’ve shortlisted the top 10 free things to do in Poole.

1. Go for a bike ride around Poole

If you haven’t hopped on the bike saddle in recent years what better opportunity to relive your childhood cycling memories than to bring your bike on holiday with you and take to 2 wheels off into Poole. It’s a smart way to get around and one of the great free things to do in Poole.

We have a number of cycling route maps that you can use so you can easily navigate around the cycle ways, parks and promenades of the town. For the more adventurous why not cycle the 7 mile stretch of Poole and Bournemouth beaches? Feel the sea breeze as you cruise along the prom around Sandbanks beach.

Don’t have your own bike? We have traditional bikes for hire for a small charge. South Lytchett Manor is the perfect place for a cycling holiday in Dorset.

Cycling is one of the great things to do in Poole.

2. Have a day out on the beach

A day out at one of Poole’s stunning Blue Flag beaches is a must when visiting the area, but your day out doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Hop on one of the buses from outside our park to the beach and before you know it you’ll be building sand castles and relaxing on the golden sands. Just remember to pack your hats, sunscreen and water.

For those who a keen to have a dip in the water then the gently sloping beaches at Sandbanks and Branksome Chine are ideal.

Poole Tourism Family at Sandbanks 1
Poole Tourism Family at Sandbanks 1

3. Lazy day in Poole Park

Pack a picnic and head off to one of the great green open spaces in the town. Opened in 1890, Poole Park is the most popular public open space in Poole. Famous for its aquatic birds and miniature railway, Poole’s Victorian park is a great venue for relaxing and playing.

Poole Park is a great location for a free things to do in Poole.

4. Enjoy free Poole Tourism Events

Throughout the year, Poole Tourism help to stage numerous free events which attract thousands of visitors each year.

  • Summer Breeze on Poole Quay provides live music, street entertainment, family activities and a fireworks finale at 10pm.
  • Dream Machines is the biggest and best weekly Motorcycle event in the UK, with up to 1000 bikes attending. Every Tuesday from April – end of September, Poole Quay from 6pm.
  • Quay for My Car occurs every Friday, in July & August on Poole Quay from 6pm. There is a different make of car on display every week. 

Poole Quay fireworks


5. Take a stroll along Poole Quay

A great free activity to while away the time in Poole is to take a stroll along the quay. For the kids why not have a go at Poole Tourism’s Treasure Hunt while exploring Poole Quay and Old Town. Other activities include crabbing, boat spotting and playing ball games in Harbourside Park. It’s a great place to just hang out and do a bit of people watching.

Poole Tourism. Poole Quay Panoramic
Poole Tourism. Poole Quay Panoramic

6. Window shopping in The Dolphin Centre

Poole town centre is host to the The Dolphin Shopping Centre which has a fantastic variety of big high street names as well as great local independent stores which you browse.


7. Visit Poole Museum

A visit to the local history Poole Museum is a must on any list of things to do in Poole. Located just away from the quayside the museum is packed with things to do and see for the whole family. Set in a Victorian quayside warehouse, the Museum’s galleries tell the story of the historic maritime town of Poole and it’s Harbour from prehistory to the 21st century. And best of all it’s free!

Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm. Sunday: 12noon – 5pm. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Poole Museum has free entry.

8. Enjoy the splendor of Upton Country Park

The beautiful area which is Upton Country Park is a great place to escape to whether you’re interested in having a run around, relaxing on the lawns or spotting some of the natural wildlife. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the woodlands and gardens, or the livelier atmosphere of the Walled Garden. From May to September, the Walled Garden comes alive for four hours a day as the Splash Fountain entertains the children while you watch from a safe distance!

Upton Country Park is one of the great free things to do in Poole.
Poole Tourism. Upton Country Park.

9. Experience The Farmers Market and General Market

The weekly farmers market in Poole is a great place to wander around for an hour or two. Every Thursday and Saturday in Poole High Street a general market – with a farmers section held between 9am and 2pm on Thursdays in Falkland Square outside the Dolphin Centre. Local and free range products are brought to you by the farmers, nurserymen, bakers and pie makers who breed, grow and make their own produce.

Poole's weekly farmers market is great place to browse all the local produce.

10. Wander around Sandbanks

Take a stroll around the Sandbanks peninsula and you’ll soon see why property in this area is amongst the most expensive in the world. The large detached houses have some great views across Poole harbour and over to the Isle of Purbeck. You may even spot a famous face or two in the area as football manager Harry Redknapp has a house here. Just another one of the great things to do in Poole.

Sandbanks Peninsula 2 Image supplied by Poole Tourism. Photographer: Sue Sieger
Sandbanks Peninsula 2 Image supplied by Poole Tourism. Photographer: Sue Sieger

So when you’re looking for campsites in Poole be sure to have South Lytchett Manor at the top of your list as the town has so many hidden secrets just waiting for you to discover.

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