We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Brownsea Island

Features Animals
Closed Now: 10:00 - 17:00
Open today: 10:00 - 17:00
Book In Advance
All photos (939)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent73%
  • Very good21%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“red squirrels”(803 reviews)
“national trust”(398 reviews)
Owned by the National Trust, Brownsea Island is dramatically located in Poole Harbour, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. Thriving natural habitats - including woodland, heathland and a lagoon - create a unique haven for wildlife...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
See all hours
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
As featured in 3 Days in Bournemouth
Poole BH13 7EE, England
+44 1202 707744
Ways to Experience Brownsea Island
from US$13.40
More Info
from US$30.10
More Info
from US$16.70
More Info
Reviews (2,090)
Filter reviews
2,071 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews red squirrels national trust dorset wildlife trust scout camp boat trip nature reserve trading post poole harbour nt members john lewis baden powell landing fee scout movement nature lovers sika deer nt cafe cream tea
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 2,071 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

I had hoped to see some red squirrels close up for the first time in years but, sadly, we only saw 3 from a distance.

Thank Ruth H
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

On a bright sunny day we took the ferry to Brownsea Island! A National Trust treasure. Beautiful walks and a bird watcher’s paradise with Hides for watching over the water fens. Also one of the last bastions of the British Red Squirrel, of which we...More

Thank Driver39
Reviewed 3 days ago

We had a most enjoyable afternoon on Brownsea Island. We included a Squirrel Walk and spotted a few of these lovely, shy creatures. The guide as also very informative about the island. We were then able to have a wander down to the west end...More

Thank Phil C
Reviewed 5 days ago

Our son's family visited us from Australia and we took them to Brownsea for a day out. There was lots to do, we saw red squirrels, peacocks and the farm chickens. Just a walk around will take over an hour along with the museum and...More

Thank BernC8
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Choosing good weather is essential to make to best experience of the whole trip. We had clear blue skies and flat water for the crossing. Booking the ferry from Poole to the island was simple. You can just turn up and book tickets. Access for...More

Thank Matthew B
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Truly beautiful and magical place ... shady glades, sea glimpses through the trees, panoramic harbour views, social history and of course red squirrels.

Thank LizRPoole
Reviewed 1 week ago

Spent a wonderful day at this nature reserve, which is owned and run by the national trust. Spotted a host of wild water fowl and my grandson particularly liked the chickens and peacocks that roam freely. Transport available for those who find walking any distance...More

Thank Diane S
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My 1st visit. You need to allow a whole day for this one. It is not just an afternoon visit. Get up early, catch an early ferry. This is a wonderful place. History, wildlife peace. Do it, you won't be disappointed...

Thank Disgusted17
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Easy boat trip to the island and a great welcome from NT staff at the quayside. Saw so many red squirrels, but they were too fast to photograph. Was lovely to sit quietly watching them play around you. Lots of visitors but actually rarely saw...More

Thank Hoon101
Reviewed 1 week ago

A desperation to see red squirrels led us here . We were visiting Swanage so took the opportunity to take in the island . We had a great time and did see the red squirrels as well as deer and birds a plenty . The...More

Thank Janice B
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 13 nearby hotels
Haven Hotel
1,763 reviews
.15 miles away
Sandbanks Hotel
2,005 reviews
.98 miles away
Harbour Heights Hotel
1,081 reviews
1.22 miles away
Salterns Harbourside Hotel
352 reviews
1.49 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 389 nearby restaurants
Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant
946 reviews
.50 miles away
Rick Stein
2,147 reviews
.37 miles away
Le Cafe
76 reviews
.37 miles away
Haven Ferry Cafe and Takeaway
183 reviews
.11 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 130 nearby attractions
Shell Bay
233 reviews
.46 miles away
Sandbanks Beach
1,513 reviews
.47 miles away
Sandbanks Ferry
1,240 reviews
.19 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Geoff H
13 August 2018|
Response from Brownsea_Island_NT | Property representative |
Hi there. There is a National Trust car park at Shell Bay on Studland if you are an NT Member, it is free to park there. Alternatively, there are pay and display car parks at Sandbanks and at Poole which are a 5 or 10... More
13 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from David K | Reviewed this property |
Yes , I`m sure.. Benches all over the island ..
Kelly B
26 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Brownsea_Island_NT | Property representative |
Hi there. Unfortunately there are no public cars allowed on the island and no facility to get them over here. The public car ferry operates between Shell bay on Studland and Sandbanks.
8 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Brownsea_Island_NT | Property representative |
We have plenty of Peaocks on the island and the best place to see them is usually in the Café garden or on Church Field.
21 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Brownsea_Island_NT | Property representative |
Hi there, The best time to see red squirrels is in the Autumn, when they are on the ground foraging for food for their winter stores. If you're coming in the summer and staying over night, the best chance of seeing one is... More