Renowned for its smuggling past, the beautiful seaside town of Poole is home to beautiful gardens, quaint public houses and a magnificent harbour. However, the original, unique and kooky are still on offer here – you just need to know where to look! The most unusual experiences in Poole follow…
Bournemouth Brewing Company
Hop on down to enjoy a well-respected, much-enjoyed, local tipple at the Bournemouth Brewing Company! Giving you an opportunity to be ‘brewer for the day’, this local company opened its doors in June 2013. An independent brewery, who offer an engaging and thorough insight into the who, what, when, where, how and whys of the brewing process, this tour includes a few samples of the award winning real ales and lagers too.
Unveiled in 2009 as ‘a beacon of hope’, the RNLI Memorial honours the courage of all those lost at sea whilst saving the lives of others – allowing them to be named and remembered together. The memorial is a constant reminder of the risk, heroism and sacrifice that is offered by lifeboat crew, lifeguards and supporters on a daily basis. To potential new members, it acts as their inspiration.
Outside of London, the Poole Lighthouse is the largest arts centre in the UK. Home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, this enormous centre holds a 1,500-seat concert hall, 669-seat theatre, 150-seat studio, 105-seat cinema, a restaurant and three function rooms! With sell-out shows and performances from the likes of Blondie, The Clash, Kings of Leon, New Order & G4, it is unsurprising that Poole Lighthouse showcases this sort of capacity.
The Poole stadium has been home to speedway team, the Poole Pirates since the club was created in 1948. Over the last 15 years, Poole Pirates have proved themselves to be one of the European Elites, boasting 11 major trophies – including the Elite League Championship. If it’s adrenaline you’re after, you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere more exhilarating. Enjoy the rush and get ready to soak up an atmosphere that has staged the Speedway World Cup Final.
If the urge for the unusual hits you on a Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday evening, why not have a flutter on the local greyhound races. A recently modernized, glass screen grandstand holds the stadiums 312-seat restaurant and two fully licensed bars. The site also offers you full Tote betting and multiple viewing screens, ensuring you never miss a race!
English Oak Vineyard
How many vines does it take to produce ‘Award Winning Sparkling Wine’? If the English Oak Vineyard is anything to go by, I’d suggest 23,000. On Fridays and Saturdays, throughout the summer months, you can enjoy charming tours hosted by the Vineyard Owners. Described as ‘the perfect venue to discover the delights of an English vineyard’, why not arrange your next business meeting or function service right here. They even cater for weddings!
Holes Bay Nature Park
No matter what time of year you choose to visit, Holes Bay will always be one of the top spots to view the Harbour’s wildlife. Head on down in autumn, winter and early spring to find wading birds and wildfowl, or visit in the spring and summer for a horticultural haven. The bay is also a nursery for several fish species and is home to a significant number of feeding and roosting birds! As well as viewing the masses of wildlife, the shoreline walking route is a must, with paths leading through Upton Country Park and linking up with the Castleman Trailways.
Prevail Skate offers lessons for BMX, scooter & skateboarding. Tailored sessions mean that whether you are a complete novice, looking to improve the basics, or the next Tony Hawks, Prevail can help you nail that tre flip you’ve been working on. The skate house offers group bookings for parties – you can own the whole park or individual sections for a set period of the day! The perfect party package for the young ‘dudes’ includes a two hour skate session, meal and a drink. To keep the kids looking extra cool why not browse their selection of skate gear – there’s lots of stylish boards, bearings and hoodies available in store!
Paint and pottery studios
Throughout its years, Poole Pottery has become world-renowned for its innovative and cutting-edge designs and collections. It’s sad to think that after 144 years the original Poole Pottery Studio is closing its doors to the public. Thankfully, pottery classes are still very much at the heart of activities in Poole – studios such as Tradpots and The Courtyard & Craft Centre are keeping this beautiful art form alive.
Open 10am-4pm – 10am-5pm during summer dates (26th March – 28th October) – we wonder if you can fit all the activities into one visit? From pony grooming to bottle feeding, exploring the gift shop to tractor rides, Farmer Palmers is sure to keep the children entertained. Make your way around the farm as you meet and greet the pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and ducks before stopping off for a bite to eat at the Hen House Restaurant – a space offering fresh food for adults and children, and catering for birthday parties, school trips and small groups.
Poole’s only Country Park is the venue for this last unusual experience. Dorset Segways are now running up to 10 tours a day, and what better way to see the glorious house, gardens and woodland of Upton Country park than from a Segway! If you’re planning on holding functions, events (large or small, outdoors or inside), weddings or private parties, Segway tours have you covered. Move effortlessly around the grounds as these Segway Tours ‘combine modern technology with history and nature’!