Brownsea Island


On this small, wooded island in the middle of Poole Harbour, trails weave through heath and woods, past peacocks, red squirrels, red deer and a wealth of bird life – the water-framed views on to the Isle of Purbeck are stunning. Free guided walks focus on the wartime island, bird life, smugglers and pirates. Boats, run by Brownsea Island Ferries, leave from Poole Quay (adult/child return £11.50/6.75) and Sandbanks (adult/child return £7/5) at least hourly.

Brownsea also played a key role in a global movement famous for three-fingered salutes, shorts and toggles – Lord Baden-Powell staged the first ever scout camp here in 1907.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dorset attractions

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3. King Charles

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4. Poole Museum

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8. Bournemouth Beach

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