Brownsea Island Poole Harbour
Brownsea Island church
Brownsea island heathland

Brownsea Island

Places To Visit

A trip to Brownsea Island is an absolute must during a camping, caravan or glamping holiday at South Lytchett Manor in Dorset. Set in the middle of Poole Harbour, with spectacular scenery and a rich history, it is the largest of 8 islands and is the ideal place for a fun-filled family day out.

Wildlife Haven

Brownsea Island is home to a variety of habitats which enables various species of wildlife to thrive. The wildlife sanctuary boasts a mix of woodland, heathland and lagoons, so you’re likely to spot a vast array of birdlife, including oystercatchers, kingfishers and terns. Its best-known resident is perhaps the red squirrel, which you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of during your visit. For the best chance of seeing one follow the marked trails around the island.

As well as walking trails and hides for avid bird watchers, visitors can enjoy numerous picnic areas and pretty buildings that once played a role in the farming and pottery industries that took place on the island. Brownsea Island is the home of Scout movement and camps continue to take place on the island to this day.

Children’s activities

For younger members of the family there’s a natural play area and ample opportunities to climb trees, build dens and run around to your hearts content. During the school holidays there are often activities on offer including bug hunts, foraging and wildlife tours.

If you’re feeling peckish there’s also a café and gift shop where you can treat yourself to a delicious bite to eat.

Getting to Brownsea Island

One of the best bits about Brownsea Island is getting there and its remote location, in our opinion, only adds to its charm. Catch a boat from Sandbanks or historic Poole Quay and enjoy a scenic ride across the harbour. The Island is owned by the National Trust, so members can enter free of charge – there is a fee for non-members. Please note, the cost of the boat is additional to the entrance fee and must be paid by all, including National Trust members.


Follow signs to Poole and then Poole Quay

Attraction information

phone icon01202707744

distance iconDistance from us:


Opening times vary throughout the year and access via boat is dependent on weather conditions. Please consult the National Trust website prior to your visit.

What our guests think

quote marks You’ve converted me to camping! (Or glamping in my case!). I just wanted to thank you for such a lovely stay.... quote marks Sophie, Apr 2024

quote marks Thank you for making our stay so fantastic. For your complete commitment to us during our stay - thank you.... quote marks Mark and Stella , Mar 2024

quote marks What a fabulous place! Our first outing in our new campervan to try it out, the campsite and facilities are... quote marks thewardrobem, Nov 2023

Read our latest reviews

tripadvisor READ THE REVIEWS >

Award-winners at your service

The latest from Lytchett


Sign up for our newsletter