Poole Quay

Poole Quay (Google map) is situated on the south coast approximately 6 miles west of Bournemouth and is Dorset’s second largest settlement after Bournemouth.

Panoramic view of the Quayside. The Old Harbour Office on the left, The Old Custom House – now a cafe – in the middle and a yellow Brownsea Island Ferries moored up on the right

Poole is a popular tourist resort offering visitors many excellent attractions including the lively Poole Quay, historic town, Poole Harbour (the largest natural harbour in Europe) and miles of first class golden beaches such as Sandbanks Beach.

Poole is also home to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) headquarters and the impressive Sunseeker boatyard opposite the Quay (it is the largest UK-based luxury yacht maker).

For parking recommendations and parking charges see our page Poole Quay Parking Charges

Poole’s official tourism website can be found at www.pooletourism.com Here you’ll find a list of upcoming events as well as information about visitor attractions, places to stay and places to eat out. Their website also has an excellent pdf map of Poole Town Centre Poole_Town_Map.pdf (external link). The Poole Visitor Centre can be found just inside the Poole Museum on the Quay and has plenty of leaflets, maps and helpful staff.

Below you can find a selection of photos of Poole Quay starting from the east end of the Quay (fishing boat moorings and the old RNLI station) and walking along the Quay until you reach the Hamworthy lifting bridge at the west end.

Poole Old Lifeboat Station is now a museum and shop. It stands at the western end of Poole Quay. Entrance is FREE. The The highlight of the museum is the Thomas Kirk Wright, one of the first lifeboats to reach Dunkirk on 30 May 1940
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Shop. stands at the eastern end of Poole Quay.

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

Website: https://rnli.org/

The lifeboat station was established in 1882. The highlight of the museum is the Thomas Kirk Wright, one of the first lifeboats to reach Dunkirk on 30 May 1940 sent to rescue members of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches. Entry to the museum and shop is FREE although a small donation or purchase is welcomed. The museum shop is open daily between Mid-March and early December, Mondays to Saturdays 10.30am – 4pm and 1pm – 4pm Sundays. Check website for up-to-date info. Opening hours are subject to the availability of volunteer staff. Proceeds from the gift shop go directly to the RNLI in order to save lives at sea.

The Old Lifeboat Station. The quay outside is quiet and free of boats so one of the best places to go crabbing.
A better view of the Old Lifeboat Station. The quayside around this area is usually free from boats so its an ideal spot to go crabbing with the kids. There is a small fishing kiosk nearby that sells all the equipment needed including bait. This makes for a fun few hours that will keep the kids amused and won’t cost much. Obviously the water is very deep so keep an eye on your kids at all times.
Crabbing on Poole Quay is fun for all the family and doesn't harm the crabs as long as you don't use hooks and put them back afterwards.
Poole Quay crabbing is great fun. Pieces of bacon work really well. The crabs aren’t harmed as long as you are sensible and follow the Good Crabbing Code of Practice – see our Crabbing page for more info
Yacht marina
View west along Poole Quay. There are several kiosks selling tickets for boat trips to Brownsea Island and around Poole Harbour as well as plenty of quayside pubs and restaurants.
A view looking west along the Quay. You can see the kiosks where you can get information about boat trips and buy tickets. In front of the yellow kiosk you can just see the statue of Lord Baden Powell sitting down (see photo below).
There is a statue dedicated to Lord Baden Powell who was the founder of the Scout movement and held his first camp on Brownsea Island in 1907
Located on the quayside in front of The Lord Nelson pub is a statue of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the scouting movement which had its first ever camp on Brownsea Island in 1907. On busy summer evenings you can see passersby bump into the statue and then apologise to him.
A view of some of the pubs along the quay. The Portsmouth Hoy is the blue building. The Poole Arms is the green tiled building.
Portsmouth Hoy pub. FYI a hoy was a small sloop-rigged coasting ship or a heavy barge used for freight.
This is a better photo of the Poole Arms pub. It is a well respected seafood restaurant. Next door is a gift shop and ice cream kiosk.
Poole Arms Pub – Probably the oldest pub situated directly on Poole Quay is the Poole Arms, parts of which date back to the early 17th century. The front wall is covered with tiles made by Carter’s of Poole, the forerunners of Poole Pottery. Run by friendly landlord Bob Kerr and his wife Maureen this historic pub specializes in seafood.
Passengers boarding the Brownsea Island Ferry. This particular boat is run by Greenslade Pleasure Boats.
Greenslade Pleasure Boats
Brownsea Island Ferries
Brownsea Island Ferries
Poole Quay
City Sightseeing Bournemouth Bus is a hop-on hop-off tourist bus running between Bournemouth and Poole
View along Poole Quay. Purbeck Pottery no longer exists and is now the Rockfish Seafood Restaurant https://www.therockfish.co.uk/
Panoramic view. The red building is Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria https://da-vincis.co.uk – this building was once Newfoundland House and dates to the 18th century when Poole traded with Newfoundland.
Kings Head Pub located in the High Street just off the Quay and opposite Poole Museum and next to Scaplen’s Court. This pub has a nice beer garden at the back.
Poole Museum – FREE ENTRY – for more info see our webpage Poole Museum or visit their website http://www.poolemuseum.org.uk
The Custom House Bistro & Bar https://www.customhousepoole.co.uk
The Poole History Centre was once the Town Cellars. It is now part of the Poole Museum
The Old Harbour Office was originally built in 1727 as a reading room for the merchants. It was rebuilt in 1822. The King Charles pub is just to the right.
Sunseeker International is a British luxury performance motor yacht brand. Their headquarters and shipyard are just opposite the quay. They are one of the biggest employers in Poole. The company was bought in 2013 by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda 🙁
Poole is headquarters to the RNLI https://rnli.org – the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea.
At the far end of quay (west) you will find the Poole Lifting Bridge (also known as Poole Bridge or Hamworthy Bridge) constructed in 1927. The bridge opens regularly throughout the day to allow sailing boats to pass into the marina. Bridge lifting times can be found on the Poole.gov.uk website but generally 6am, 7am, 9.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm, 8.30pm, 10.30pm and 11.30pm

The map above shows Poole Quay in relation to the surrounding area. Poole Quay lies at the northern edge of Poole Harbour. In the middle of Poole Harbour you can find Brownsea Island, to the east is the Sandbanks Peninsula. The Sandbanks Ferry takes you across the entrance to the harbour to the Studland Peninsula. The Purbeck Hills are a ridge of chalk that extend from Old Harry Rocks in the east to Lulworth Cove in the West. There is a gap in the ridge at Corfe Castle. The whole region from Studland, Swanage and Corfe Castle across to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door is known as the Isle of Purbeck or the Purbeck Peninsula. Wareham, a historic market town to the west of Poole Harbour, is frequently referred to at the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck. You’ll also hear about the Jurassic Coast. This is a World Heritage Site that stretches from Studland Bay to Exmouth in East Devon, a distance of about 96 miles. This coastline is of outstanding value for its rocks, fossils and landforms – a geography teachers paradise.

Related Pages: Poole Old Town / Poole Museum / Poole Harbour / City Sightseeing Bus / Brownsea Island / Swanage / Wareham / Sandbanks / Boat Trips from Poole Quay