Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7EE

01202 707744

Spend a day on Brownsea Island, the largest of eight islands in Poole Harbour. Wildlife haven with a range of habitats to explore.

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43.5 miles from Highlands End
45.6 miles from Golden Cap
41.4 miles from Graston Copse
23.3 miles from Sandyholme

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Brownsea Island is the largest of eight islands in Poole Harbour. It is owned and managed by the National Trust and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. To get to Brownsea Island you must take a scenic ferry ride from Sandbanks Peninsula or Poole Quay. Boats leave on a regular basis and can be booked on the day from one of the Kiosks.

Entry to the island is free to National Trust members, but non members must pay an entrance fee. During a typical year, there is no need to pre-book, however from April – October 2021 slots must be booked in advance due to Covid regulations.

Haven for wildlife

Brownsea Island is home to a vast array of wildlife and many different habitats. As you explore the grounds you’ll walk through woodland and heathland as well as wide open areas of grass. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of an elusive red squirrel, peacocks or maybe even a deer.

Birdwatchers flock to Brownsea to photograph the impressive birdlife. Many species can be spotted throughout the year, including kingfishers, terns and oystercatchers. We think the lagoon is one of the best spots to head with your binoculars, but there are numerous hides dotted across the island.

Family friendly attraction

There is plenty to keep the whole family entertained during a day trip to Brownsea Island. Children will love the natural play area and acres of wide open space to explore. They can build dens in the forest or follow one of the nature trails packed with fun challenges.

Brownsea Island was the birth place of the Scouting and Guiding movement and the Baden Powell Outdoor Centre remains to this day. Here younger members of the family are encourage to try their hand at a variety of adventurous activities, including archery, orienteering, low ropes and mini golf.

Food and drink

There is a National Trust cafe selling a range of snacks to refuel after a fun-filled day. There is also a small gift shop where you can stock up on local produce and trinkets to commemorate your visit. One of our favourite things to do is a pack a picnic and sit on the lawn by the chapel or looking out over Poole Harbour. From here you can take in the far reaching views towards Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Purbeck.

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Holidays in Dorset

At West Dorset Leisure Holidays, we have a great choice of accommodation and facilities across 4 family-run holiday parks on or near the Jurassic Coast - Highlands End, Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, as well as Caravan and Lodge Holiday Homes for sale.

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Our Awards & Accreditations

Our parks have been recognised as some of the best in Dorset. We're extremely proud of the awards and it's easy to see why our guests return year on year. You can be safe in the knowledge that you're staying at one of the best parks in the county! Please note awards vary by Park.

What our guests say

  • Very peaceful Park

    The wildlife is stunning, we were visited by the ducks on a regular basis which was lovely. Our visit was very enjoyable and we will definitely be back in the future!

    Sarah W - Pitch Up

  • 5 out of 5 isn't enough!

    This is simply our favorite touring park along the south coast. The location couldn't be better with views to die for and an abundance of fresh sea air. The park is spic and span and extremely well kept with very friendly staff.

    Big Caravan Adventures - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Best holiday ever!

    This is by far the best Holiday Park I have been to. The views are breath taking with easy access to the beach and nice coastal walks to West Bay. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday in a stunning location, then this is the place to come.

    Alison D - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic holiday once again

    We have been coming here now every year for about 10 years. Its our favourite place and the Park has everything we need.

    Andy M - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • A little bit of heaven!

    Golden Cap is a little bit of heaven. The views are awesome, right next to the sea. It's all relaxed and low key just how we like it.

    Esther Woodhouse - Facebook
    Golden Cap

  • Idyllic setting

    Quiet site in a beautiful setting with exceptionally clean toilets and showers

    Anthony M - Pitch Up
    Graston Copse

  • Would definitely recommend

    Close to beach, a nice local pub, dog friendly and a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Dan M - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • A tour of Dorset!

    An excellent Park as a base to visit the Dorset coast, Jurassic Coast, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, to name a few.

    Arthur D - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Fantastic Park

    10 out of 10 is not enough for this Holiday Park. We have been here 3 times and we love it more and more every time. The park has all you need, with some pitches overlooking the sea and a great restaurant.

    Shirley Thompson - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • A hidden gem

    The location is amazing, right on the beach and all the facilities are good. It's a hidden gem this one, one of the best parks in the country

    Mark Tee - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Lovely tranquil campsite

    The location was great as we could easily walk to the village or local beaches through the beautiful countryside. I would recommend this campsite to families for a peaceful and safe stay.

    Sarah - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse