Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island, Poole: Hours, Address, Brownsea Island Reviews: 4.5/5

Brownsea Island
4.5
Islands • Nature & Wildlife Areas
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9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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, such as the rare red squirrel and a wide variety of birds, including dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns and oystercatchers. The Outdoor Centre invites you to come and follow in the footsteps of Lord Baden-Powell and the very first Scouts who camped here in 1907. Spend a night under the stars at the historic campsite and live life like a true Scout whilst you take advantage of the peace and tranquillity of the island when all other visitors have gone home. The perfect day's adventure - this island wildlife sanctuary is easy to get to but feels like another world from the moment you step ashore.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
2,468 reviews
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Jaycee Sarah Koh
London, UK5,201 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Such a quaint and lovely little island with its time stopping buildings.

Easily getable via Poole quay and recommend to go during late spring or summer. Fantastic for wild life watch and just do something different for a day. Plus it’s the where the history of scouts began with Sir Baden Powell
Written 17 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lena J
6 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
We had a great day out. Took the first ferry before it got too busy. By accident came across a group of volunteers counting moths and stayed for quite a while - never thought how fascinating moths could be. Lovely place to spend the day, see some nature, go for a swim and just get away for the day.
Only negatives I have to say are that price is quite steep (even if National Trust member) and that ferry’s only went from Poole. Sandbanks would have been way better and also allowed National Trust members to use the car park and not having to pay for that too.
Written 13 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

booandkitty
Bridgend, UK52 contributions
Apr 2022
Great family day out, we only spent a few hours here, but you could spend all day.
You need to pre-book the ferry to avoid disappointment, ideally going before 12 noon to the island as it does get busy. The ferry has a bar on board for refreshments and snacks.
The island itself is being 'repaired' after being left to go over wild leading to some areas looking like a large dinosaur has gone crashing through the trees, uprooting them, stripping them bare and snapping some in half ( my little boy thought it was a Gruffalo, but I'm sticking with a dinosaur)
We didn't get to see all the Island, nor any red squirrels, but it is very peaceful and quiet with lots to explore.
The church is really interesting as is the pump room with a second hand book section, and a history of the Island.
The cafe is good with a selection of hot/cold food, cakes, snacks and drinks
Written 6 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

WillandBud
Herts.192 contributions
Apr 2022
The Island is National Trust, With Dorset Wildlife and the Scouts running various bits . There are clear paths across the island and a great deal of work is being done to improve the place after the last owner left it to overwild.
there are 3 hides around the lake and lagoon and birds aplenty - we were lucky to see a white tailed eagle.
The scouts have a camp area and a National Trust van parks there for tea, coffee, water, ice cream and snacks.
There is also a lovely Church on the island.
The history of use of the island is fascinating
Written 28 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KevinP1314
Monifieth, UK1,904 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Forming part of the islands chain located within Poole Harbour and being the largest. The Island has an historical castle and hosts to a variety of wildlife.
Written 21 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AngJam
Bath, UK98 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Brownsea island is lovely, you must prebook the ferry over as it does get busy and ideally plan to get on the island before noon.

Wear walking boots/comfortable footwear, for lots of walking and the odd muddy track.

There is a cafe and gift shop on the island, toilets and lots to see.

Did you know that its the birth place for the Boy Scout movement by a Robert Baden-Powell. They sell a very affordable book called Scouting for Boys £8.99 and lots of other goodies to find…

We were very lucky and spotted some red squirrels when we walked off path, there are approx 250 on the island.

The ferry over takes around 20mins and is fun, we sat open air on the top deck.
Written 16 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tilly871
51 contributions
Apr 2022
Make sure to book in advance during busy times. We almost made the mistake to go on a day trip to Poole without booking. Luckily we checked the website just before leaving home and it was fully booked so we went a day later and booked online. 20 min boat ride. We spent 4 hours exploring the island. Nice walks around the island. Lovely cafe with cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls etc Saw one red squirrel and loved the peacocks. Took one star off as Dorset Wildlife rents a section of the island from the National Trust. The Dorset Wildlife lady was very bushy and basically unless you make a £2 donation you cant explore that section. She jumps right out in front of you and asks for £2. The tickets are very expensive already and that really put me off. I cant stand the tactics these charities use.
Written 11 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TeamNangela
Devon, UK54 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
Lovely day out, we only spent a couple of hours but you could spend a whole day there. There was a lot of work going on so couldn’t see everything. Bumped into some very friendly & helpful volunteers. Managed to spot one lovely red squirrel, the island itself was full of nature & had a very interesting past.

Ferry ride was enjoyable but there was no gift shop which was extremely disappointing. Was hoping for some squirrel goodies.

Would recommend & would possibly visit again although admission was quite high if not a NT member. Considering you couldn’t go in the castle & not much going on in the villa
Written 10 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jambos44
Mersham, kent147 contributions
Mar 2022
If you are visiting the Poole area then Brownsea Island is well worth a visit. Such a diverse environment including the wild life area with bird hides. Still a lot of work going on particularly to root out the non native rhododendron which if left unchecked can quickly kill of a whole range of animal and ground vegetation. NT seem to have got this one right.
Written 31 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katie D
Brighton and Hove, UK375 contributions
Feb 2021
Beautiful! Fantastic outing if you are a National Trust member or not, very peaceful when you are there.
Written 17 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Brownsea Island is open:
  • Sun - Sat 09:30 - 17:00
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