If you’re looking for a cosy and romantic getaway this winter with your other half, then look no further than Poole. Located on Dorset’s beautiful coastline, just a stone’s throw from Bournemouth and the Jurassic Coast, this large coastal town has plenty on offer to give even its impressive neighbours a run for their money.
From outdoorsy ideas for crisp autumn days to indoor activities for when the winter weather takes a turn, there’s plenty of things to do in Poole to keep you and your significant other entertained whatever the weather. Catch the train to Poole station and embark on a weekend getaway you’ll remember for years to come.
There are loads of outdoor activities for you to enjoy when the weather is on your side.
Wrap up warm and head out for a walk around Poole Harbour. It’s the largest natural harbour in Europe, and it’s dotted with marinas, wetlands, stunning coastal walks and more. Watch yachts and hardy year-round watersports enthusiasts sail past, and if you’re the super outdoorsy type you could even try some watersports for yourself! Or stay on dry land and enjoy the serenity of the harbour and its surrounding nature while strolling hand in hand.
In the middle of Poole Harbour you’ll see Brownsea Island. It’s a wildlife sanctuary owned by the National Trust, and it’s a haven for animals including rare red squirrels, Sika deer and peacocks. Hop on a boat from Poole Harbour and enjoy a 20-minute scenic boat ride to the island. Once there, you can make the most of the walking trails, enjoy some wildlife watching and admire the dramatic views over the Purbeck Hills.
Beach weather may be behind us, but that doesn’t make a stroll along the shore any less romantic. Sandbanks is renowned for being one of the most expensive seaside towns in the UK. To get a feel for that, wander down ‘Millionaire’s Row’ and window shop for your dream home with your partner! Make it the end point of your walk from Poole Harbour (it’ll take about an hour and a half by foot), or jump on the 60 Breezer bus for around 25 minutes to get here.
Guided e-bike tour
If you’re all walked out, or just prefer getting about on two wheels, then why not try a guided e-bike day trip? You’ll be taken to all the best sites in and around Poole at a relaxing pace. Choose from routes that take you to Old Harry’s Rocks, Swanage, Corfe Castle and more. You’ll cover a lot of ground, but thanks to the electric bikes, you’ll barely have to break a sweat!
Things to do in Poole on a rainy day
If the sun doesn’t shine on your trip to Poole, there’s no need to fret – there are plenty of indoor activities for you to enjoy.
Shelter from the rain and spend a few hours exploring the galleries and exhibitions at Poole Museum. You’ll learn all about the rich history of the local area and will be taken through thousands of years, across oceans and into the lives of lots of different people. No museum visit is complete without a stop off at the café, and you’re in for a treat at this café in more ways than one. Sit down and tuck into locally made cakes as you admire superb views of the old town of Poole and across the harbour. The museum is just 10 minutes’ walk away from Poole station.
Scaplen’s Court Museum
Just next to Poole Museum, you’ll find Scaplen’s Court Museum and Garden. It’s a 15th century Grade I listed building that was originally built as a courtyard inn called The George. Today, the building houses a museum showcasing what life in Poole was like between the 15thand 19th centuries. Wander through the historic building and, if the rain holds out, explore the beautiful and peaceful walled garden.
Quirky activities for couples
Fancy something a bit different? Check out these fun and alternative ideas.
Hop aboard a ‘booze cruise’
If you’re a couple that likes a tipple or two, then one of the best things to do in Poole in winter has to be the special ticketed cruises run by Dorset Cruises. They offer a fabulous range of themed cruises in Poole Harbour, including Afternoon High Tea, Reggae & Rum and Champagne & Oysters – how romantic! These special, ticketed events include food and drink, and some even have live music.
While away an afternoon trying out the tap room at this local brewery. Sit indoors or outdoors and work your way through the selection of cask ales on offer. The friendly staff will happily chat to you about their craft beers and their connection to the local area as you put the world to right over a pint or two. To get here, jump on the number 5 or 6 bus to Canford Heath. It takes about 10 minutes on the bus, and then it’s a 10-minute walk from The Pilot bus stop.
Visiting Poole in the lead up to Christmas? Here’s some festive fun to enjoy while you’re there.
Poole market takes place every Thursday and Saturday year-round, but come Christmastime it’s guaranteed to have an extra festive twist! Browse the stalls selling local produce, books and toys and maybe even start your Christmas shopping here.