Poole has a glorious natural harbour and stunning surrounding countryside, a bustling town-centre and a picturesque quayside lined with fine pubs and restaurants. So it isn't difficult to work out why this Dorset town has become one of the best-loved destinations on England's south coast. Beyond these attractions, Poole is home to blue-flag beaches, award-winning museums, a top theatre and arts centre, a Symphony Orchestra and loads of activities for watersports enthusiasts.
Poole's pedestrianised High Street is lined with shops and cafes, and connects the railway station and the Dolphin Shopping Centre with the Quay. Along the Quay, you can sample the wares of a number of historic pubs, excellent seafood restaurants and traditional ice cream parlours.
Cultural attractions of the town include the Lighthouse Arts Centre, with an eclectic programme of theatre, film and other live events. The centre is also home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, which despite its name is based in Poole. The Poole Museum is great for rainy days, with four floors of exhibitions, and the Tower Park entertainment centre is also built for wet-weather amusement, with ten cinemas, bowling and an indoor water park.
Of course, one of the main attractions of Poole is the natural harbour, the second largest in the world and the perfect place for watersports. Poole has a number of blue-flag beaches, including the award-winning Sandbanks, whilst the National Trust-managed Brownsea Island - the birthplace of the Scouting movement - is great for woodland walks and has fantastic views back to town.