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“Expensive and basic but Hobson's choice”

Brownsea Island Ferries
Ranked #7 of 65 things to do in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Expensive and basic but Hobson's choice”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

It's hard to write anything really gripping about such a basic utility service that runs between Brownsea Island and the mainland at Sandbanks. The ferry boat was functional and fit for purpose with a seated indoor area and an open deck at the back. The ferry staff smoke on the back deck which is rather unpleasant especially when the wind blows the smoke straight at you. Tickets are purchased from a kiosk on the quay.

At £5.75 each it was a costly journey especially considering the relatively short distance from Sandbanks to Brownsea Island, but there is no other way. More details about times and tariff here

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Simon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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462 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Enjoyable trip”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Recently enjoyed a trip on the ferry service . In fact the trip from Poole Quay was firstly to Brownsea Island to pick up passengers then a journey around the islands in the harbour. The round trip took around an hour.

The skipper was interesting and informative.

Like all these type of trips it's a good idea to have something warm to put on as it can get a bit windy when you are out on the water.

My only issue is the touting for tips at the end of the trip. The tickets are not cheap at around £10 each so I studiously ignored the tip can when getting off.

There are lots of trips from Poole Quay so it's a good idea to shop around as there is competition for passengers.

Visited September 2013
Thank Roger W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Lovely boat trip”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Went on a boat trip to Brownsea Island, the trip only lasted about 15mins going there and a little longer on the return journey as they went around the Island which was very nice and the Captain told us all about the surrounding area as we passed it. Would recommend this in good weather :)

Visited September 2013
Thank Carol R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent trip”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Used them to get to Brownsea Island, had a wonderful trip, would def recommend. The journey back takes you around the islands in which you get to see where over half live (Sandbanks).

Visited September 2013
Thank Eroger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, England
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“A pleasant trip”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We had both wanted to visit Brownsea Island for quite some time and, after walking up and down the quay looking at all the alternative ferry companies we decided to take this one. The ticket office is conveniently located on the quayside. At £9.50 per person return I thought the price was a bit steep but more of that later. We boarded the ferry and sat downstairs as we thought it might be a bit chilly on the upper deck (although that didn't put off some of our fellow travellers.) One small criticism is the cushions on the bench seating downstairs which were quite uncomfortable and moved aroud a bit but, as the journey was short (15 minutes) this wasn't a big issue. We set off through the harbour with the captain explaining the various sights (the tannoy is a bit difficult to hear downstairs so sit upstairs where it is much clearer if you can). On arrival we docked and left the boat. Toilet facilities are on board and you can purchase tea, coffee, beer and chocolate from the kiosk. The boat was clean and efficiently run.

On our return journey I was pleasantly surprised to find that, for our £9.50 fare we were treated to a tour of Poole Harbour which made the cost seem very reasonable. We sat upstairs this time (as the sun had decided to show itself) and the whole experience was very good.

The boats run every half hour to and from the island (ten to, and twenty past, the hour). I can highly recommend the service.

Visited September 2013
Thank johnwiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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