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“A full day out” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island
Poole Harbour, Poole BH13 7EE, England
01202 707744
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Ranked #1 of 68 things to do in Poole
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Walking, Picnicking, Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: Former private island complete with castle built by Henry VIII is now a wildlife sanctuary containing one of the last red squirrel colonies in Britain.
Poole, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A full day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

Located in the middle of Poole Harbour this secluded island is only reachable by boat. Take a scheduled ferry from Poole Quayside or from Sandbanks (shorter ride). The boat trip across adds that little bit extra to the experience; seeing the valuable prestigeous beach-front properties of the World famous Sandbanks Peninsular; and then watching the various other sea going craft as they negotiate the narrow entrance to Poole Harbour with its chain link ferry taking bathers to Studland beach.

Arriving at the island ferry pier next to the National Trust Office, Tea Room and Shop you are at the gateway to an experience of nature and tranquility that is seldom found so close to such a large populated area.

Take a long leisurely walk around the whole island (it is bigger than you think so don't rush).

Visit the well sign-posted nature reserve and bird sanctaury (but be very quiet or you may miss something). See the native Red-Squirrels scurrying around on every corner of your walk as they hunt for food whilst keeping a watchful eye on you as you pass them by.

Experience the fresh sea air gently blowing through the vast ancient trees.

Take a picnic and make it a full day out or just eat in the NT Tea Rooms.

Play a gentle game of frisbee on the various open grassed areas.

Feel rejuvinated at the end of your day knowing that this peice of England remains unspoilt.

Visited July 2013
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748 reviews from our community

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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

We didn't see any red squirrels, nevertheless we had a lovely time on brownsea island, just walking around, having a picnic and taking in the fresh air. It's really romantic and very peaceful. I will definitely be visiting again soon!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tring, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Scenery very pleasant, over all... slightly dull.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Attended on field trip for my uni course.Scenery and wild life was stunning (however we only caught a glimpse of one red squirrel). Must be said though that the day we went was particularly nice weather and I would imagine that in the rain it would be a completely different story!!

As a group of 18-20 year old's there was little of much interest to most, however travelling as tourism course we were observing other tourist groups in the area, and the family groups we saw seemed to be greatly enjoying themselves.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Definitely worth the whole day.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

... but then we're birdwatchers!!
We were very fortunate in having a clear dry day to visit the island. We caught the first ferry across and headed straight for the Dorset Wildlife Trust's area (the extra £2 per head was definitely worth it). Their hides were quite busy but staffed by volunteers who were extremely helpful and informative.
We enjoyed what we saw of the rest of the island, but could have done with more time. We'll be back!
Don't forget your "sensible" shoes - and wet weather gear (just in case).

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Enjoyable day out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Was staying in the local area so decided to give brownsea a try. Was a bit unsure as had read some of the reviews on here about the prices. We are national trust members so didn't have to pay entrance, and don't know how much that side cost. Ferry from sandbanks cost £6 return per adult - I think the ferry from Poole may cost more, but as we visited for a winter weekend, the only option was to go from sandbanks. Be warned, the main car park for sandbanks is around and 10-15 minute walk to the ferry point.
Driver of the boat was informative and gave us information about return boat times before we arrived on the island.
The island itself was very nice, with lots of interesting things so see. We ventured down to the south side of the island to the beach which was very peaceful and quiet. There is also a visitor centre detailing the history of the island. The old church on the island, which is still used as a parish church, is also worthy of a visit - it has no electricity!
If going in winter then I'd recommend walking boots or wellies as it was a bit muddy in places (though there were more sturdy paths if you wanted to stay clean), and also be aware that when we went there were areas which were cordoned off due to fallen trees.
A cafe serves meals, snacks and drinks at a fairly reasonable price, and there is also the obligatory national trust gift shop!

We spent a couple of hours on the island, and only covered a fraction of it, so you could easily spend almost a whole day there.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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