Free or cheap things to do in Poole, Dorset

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Summer saw us spend a week in Dorset. We stayed at the Premier Inn at Holes Bay in the beautiful town of Poole and made the most of an impromptu visit that in fact ended up being one of the best British summer holidays we have had.

Things to do with kids in Poole

Of course, being The Money Saving Mum and the fact it wasn’t a planned trip; I was on the hunt for cheap and affordable things to do whilst we were there. Here are a few things we got up to:

Poole Bike Night

From 6pm every Tuesday evening between April and September, Poole Quay attracts over 2,000 bikers from all different categories for Poole Bike night 

Free or cheap activities in Poole Dorset | bike night

It had been recommended to us to check it out and we were very pleased we did… the kids absolutely loved it & is a very popular event.

Free or cheap activities in Poole | sunseeker yacht

It runs alongside Poole Quay that is home to the world-famous (& super expensive!) SunSeeker yachts and is the perfect location to spend a warm summer evening.

Shopping in Poole

The Dolphin Shopping Center is located in the centre of Poole town and is home to the likes of Boots, H&M, JD Sports, M&S, Next, Pandora & Primark!

It’s a nice little shopping centre with a lot more stores than you might think from looking from the the outside in. It is accessible from the town center AND the bus station at the rear.

Poole high street has many stores too and although its a small town they really do have quite a variety of stores.

RNLI College

The RNLI College is based in Poole and although you can’t go in without booking (they offer tours around the facilities) you can walk around the site and see some of the various boats they have on the water at the very back of the site.


Poole residents are all about being out on the fresh open water! It’s warm, clear (clearer than the North Sea anyway!) and even the local Asda sell waterproofs and jet ski clothing!

Free or cheap activities in Poole | watersports

You have beaches, lakes, swimming & paddling pools; even a water park all close by.. there is sure to be something for everyone!

Free or cheap activities in Poole | paddling pool in hamworthy park

Luxury Sandbanks of Poole

We headed to three different beaches during our trip; one being the beautiful Sandbanks which are a must-visit for anyone wanting to see how the other half live in some of the most amazing houses you will ever see!

Free or cheap activities in Poole | Sandbanks | Banks Road
Free or cheap activities in Poole | Sandbanks

You can even hire rental chalets for the day too which looked pretty awesome!

Free or cheap activities in Poole | sandbanks chalets

It was a beautiful beach. We walked right around to the Ferry boat.

Sandbanks Ferry

The Sandbanks ferry is a vehicular chain ferry that takes you across the entrance of the Poole Harbour. If you were to drive around it would take you 25 miles!

Free or cheap activities in Poole | chain ferry

Hamworthy Park

The second beach we visited we mistimed and the tide was in for most of our time there! Luckily there was a paddling pool as well as a pretty cool playground so we actually ended up spending quite a bit of time there considering when we arrived we thought we would be turning back around pretty sharpish!

The third beach of which we visited was Bournemouth beach. Although not technically in Poole it is very closeby and somewhere for sure worth a visit if you are in the area.

Free or cheap activities in Poole | Bournemouth beach activities


Poole has so many playgrounds… we went to three in just one day!

The one at Hamworthy Park as I’ve already mentioned had probably our favorite but the one below was not far from the Swimming pool.

Free or cheap activities in Poole | playgrounds

I hope that helps give you some cheap and cheerful ideas on activities in and around the Poole area.

If you got value from this post let me know and feel free to share with your friends or Pin to read again later!

If you are looking for more ideas of things to do in the UK then check out some of my previous posts below:

London in a day – free and affordable things to do!

Doubletree Manchester Piccadilly Review

A-Z of cheap or free things to do in Yorkshire

Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

Premier Inn Runger Lane Manchester

Free or cheap things to do in Poole, Dorset

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About The Money Saving Mum

About The Money Saving Mum

I've always been financially savvy but when the kids came along I needed to up my game! Our finances and priorities changed overnight and it felt like I was spending money as if it was going out of fashion! I needed to start earning extra money just to make ends meet and continuously make sure we got the most out of every single penny we had! Sound familiar? Keep reading... I'm sharing my story to help people like you!




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