100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 34 – Upton Country Park

Upton Country Park consists of over 160 acres of parkland, including woodland trails, formal gardens and shoreline. In addition, there are tea rooms, an art gallery and a children’s play area.

I Love Upton Country Park
I Love Upton Country Park

The park is located 8 miles west of Bournemouth, 3 miles north of Poole, just off the A350. There is plenty of parking (Pay & Display – £1.50 per hour or £40 for an annual pass). There is no direct bus from Bournemouth; travelling by bus requires a change in Poole (More Bus 8/10 or Breezer 40). On my last visit, I caught the bus to Poole then hired a Beryl Bike to cycle the final three miles, which is a pleasant traffic free route around Holes Bay.

Cycling to Upton Country Park
Cycling to Upton Country Park

The grounds are open daily from 8 am to 9 pm from April to September (until 6 pm from October to March). Admission is free.

Upton House Grounds
Upton House Grounds

Upton House

Within the grounds of the park is Upton House; a grade II listed Georgian mansion, which opens to the public for tours approximately twice per month. The house was built in 1816-18 for Christopher Spurrier. He subsequently had to sell it, together with his possessions, to pay his gambling debts. He allegedly lost his final piece of silver in a maggot race – who knew maggots could race? After changing hands a few times, the house and grounds were gifted to the Town of Poole in 1957.

Upton House
Upton House

The lawns of the house are a popular place for ball games and picnics, or just somewhere to relax on a summer’s day, enjoying the sunshine (or the shade, if that’s your thing).

Upton House Lawns
Upton House Lawns

Walled Garden

The walled garden contains formal beds and borders and is a pleasant place for a stroll or a picnic.

Walled Garden in Upton Country Park
Walled Garden

Shoreline

The shoreline is not only scenic, but provides the opportunity to observes the plentiful wildlife in the bay. There is a recently installed bird hide for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Poole Harbour from Upton Country Park
Upton Country Park Shoreline

Woodland Trails

There are walking/cycling trails throughout the park. (Note, the trails are gravel, so more suitable fore mountain bikes). Or you could run them…

Running the trails in Upton Country Park
Running the trails in Upton Country Park

Events

Events are organised in the park throughout the years, such as the Upton House Food Festival, music festivals, outdoor cinema and plenty of activities for adults and children, such as Create @ Upton Country Park, which offers crafts like bear making and sand art. Free Park Yoga takes place every Sunday Morning during the summer.

Upton House Food Festival
Upton House Food Festival

Running

There are plenty of opportunities to run around the trails of Upton Country Park. Upton House Parkrun takes place here every Saturday at 9 am. In addition, there are other running events, such as the Upton Summer Series and MoRunning.

Upton House Parkrun
Upton House Parkrun

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