101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Canford Heath

Canford Heath, on the outskirts of Poole, is the largest area of heathland in Dorset. The 850 acre site is situated approximately 6 miles north west of Bournemouth. It is home to snakes, lizards, dragonflies and birds and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Criss-crossed with trails and with an elevated view, it make for a pleasant outing.

Canford Heath
Canford Heath

Getting There

Just north of Poole and close to Turbary Retail Park and Tower Park entertainment complex, Canford Heath is easily accessible by car and public transport. There are several entrances to Canford Heath, including at Gravel Hill lay-by, Culliford Crescent and Francis Avenue. There is no actual car park, however there is free parking available on many of the surrounding roads. Buses No 18 from Bournemouth and 5/6 from Poole stop at The Pilot next to the Heath. The bus stop is named after the adjacent pub, so handy if you work up a hunger/thirst during your exertions.

Trails

Canford Heath Trail
Canford Heath Trail

There are trails running through and around the edge of the heath which make for a lovely scenic walk/run with views across the heathland to Poole Harbour and beyond. Trails are also suitable for cycling, although a little bumpy for my liking. Note that I am, in fact, a wuss.

Canford Heath
Autumn Colours

The area was devastated by a large fire in the summer of 2022, but is now starting to regenerate. The greens and yellows of new foliage have started to creep up and over the charred black embers.

Canford Heath
Fire damaged trees

On a good day, you can see right across to Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island with the sea glistening on the horizon.

View from Canford Heath
View to Poole Harbour

In the other direction is Tower Park with its distinctive water tower and the equally distinctive Parkstone water tower further to the left.

View from Canford Heath
View to Tower Park and Parkstone

Opening Times

Canford Heath is open 24/7 and there are no entry fees.

Facilities

There are no facilities on the Heath. There is a row of shops on Adastral Road, including The Pilot pub and a convenience store. And another row of shops on Canford Heath Road, which includes The Haymoor Pub, The Cake Me Crazy Cafe, Kingfishers Fish & Chip shop and a supermarket.

Canford Heath Road
Canford Heath Road

Canford Heath for Children

A wander around the trails Heath is a pleasant activity for all the family. Bear in mind that there can be cattle grazing on the heath, which may bolt if startled.

Canford Heath
Spring Colours

Dogs

Dogs must be kept on a short lead between March and July and under close control at all other times of the year in order to protect the wildlife living on the heath.

Canford Heath
Spring Colours
Advertisement

2 responses to “101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Canford Heath”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.