Poole Park is situated on the edge of Poole Harbour, It is a pretty place to spend some time. Its 110 acres consisting of landscaped gardens and a lake all with spectacular views across the harbour. But there are other activities available if that’s not sufficient entertainment.
The park is on the outskirts of Poole (a mile east of the Town Centre), approximately 5 miles west of Bournemouth. Bus M1 stops at the Park Gates. There is free car parking within the park, but this does not open until 10 am. There is additional road side (Pay & Display) parking on the roads adjacent to the park.
Central to the park is the lake, where you can or just take an gentle stroll around the edge. Feeding the ducks/geese/swans and model yacht racing are popular activities.
If you want to get out on the lake, Rockley Watersports offer Kayak, Paddleboard, Pedalo and Windsurf hire, each at a cost of £10 for 30 minutes. Tuition is also available.
The local BCP Council put a lot of effort into landscaping parks, as is evident here. Gardens include the Rose Garden and the Quiet Garden. My favourite are the floral telephone boxes.
The park has a number of ‘Interpretation Features’ to add to your visit experience. These include silhouette figures, Post Card Viewers and Information Panels where you can learn more about the area’s history.
Situated centrally within the park is The Ark, which hosts a Cafe, Pottery Studio and Soft Play Area.
Opening daily at 10 am, the café serves snacks, drinks and has a small meal menu.
At the Pottery Studio you can purchase items to paint and keep. There is a choice of acrylic (can be taken away on the day) and kilned (need to be collected after 7-10 days).
There two outdoor play areas, plus an indoor soft play area to keep kids amused in all weathers.
The park has a 12 hole Crazy Golf Course, which can be booked via the Park Cafes Website. A round costs £4.20 for adults (£3.20 for children and £14 for families).
Fitness Trail Green Gym
To add more activity to your park trip, there’s a Green Gym with a range of stations.
There are 4 full size and 2 mini tennis courts in the park. Bookings can be made via the LTA Website. Courts cost £6.40 an hour. You pay on booking, which provides you with entry code to access the courts. If you want to brush up on your skills, coaching is also available via the LTA Website.
I may be getting on a bit, but there are a list of activities I feel I am still too young to try, bowling is one of them. However if you’re getting on a bit more, or just have a different opinion about bowling, then bowling is available in the park. Poole Park Bowling Club is open to non members and can provide shoes, bowls and tuition. Bring your own Zimmer Frame.
In the corner of the park is a cricket pitch, home to Poole Town Cricket Club. Pre-Covid, the local parkrun finished with a lap of the cricket pitch, so just looking at it makes me feel a little bit tired.
Various events take place in the park throughout the year from festivals to running events.
On Saturday mornings, Poole Park parkrun is very popular, with anything up to a thousand or more people turning up at 9 am for a couple of laps of the lake.