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“Jurassic Island that time forgot.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island
Book In Advance
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US$18.93*
and up
Return Jurassic Coast Cruise to Swanage from Poole
Ranked #1 of 59 things to do in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Former private island complete with castle built by Henry VIII is now a wildlife sanctuary containing one of the last red squirrel colonies in Britain.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Jurassic Island that time forgot.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

If you are ever in Poole, Dorset, and get the chance to go to Brownsea Island it is well worth the effort. Once on the island it is as though you have stepped back in time. There is weird oil oozing from the rocks and trickling into the sea. Peacocks call plaintively and peahens are walking about with their pea chicks. If you are lucky enough, you may get a glimpse of a red squirrel, throwing nuts down from the canopy of the trees. The call of different birds echos above and around and you can imagine that a prehistoric animal may appear at any moment.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank christine e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bath, United Kingdom
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20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A great day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

I loved taking my children to Brownsea. I had been camping with the Brownies and Guides as well as on day trips with my husband, but not for quite a few years now. My daughter loved the boat trip over, we had a good few hours walking around the island, stopping at the café for a cream tea before catching the boat back. A really lovely spot to enjoy some family fun.

Visited September 2013
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Thank viciouslittlething
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EastAnglia
Level Contributor
61 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Soak it up....and be slow”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

At first glance a £10 charge for a short return trip to this quiet island seems on the dear side....the island being National Trust property, there's a bit more to pay on arrival. But don't let that deter you. There are at least 3 good walks through woods and beside a heath, cliff top views and views across to Poole and also other resorts like Bournemoth and Swanage.
It's possible to walk right round the island in a couple of hours...and there are red squirrels and sikha deer.We saw green and also spotted woodpeckers, and freely roaming are peacocks. There's a good cafe and plenty of NT staff around.

For me the icing on the cake was a 30 minute return sailing right round the island with an informative narrative from the skipper. In brief, worth every penny....a cracking afternoon.

Visited July 2014
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1 Thank Fergie123_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

A beautiful island supporting native british wildlife, its great to see such wonderful animals in their natural habitat and the beautiful scenery of this island

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Thank Brett S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great day out, keep quite and you might see some squirrels.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

This was our third visit to Brownsea, as we live in the area. We boarded the boat at Poole quay and it's a short hop over to Brownsea. A lot of warning is given that you also have to pay landing fees to the National Trust, but we are members anyway. You can take your own boat over and land on the south shore, but you still have to pay the landing fees.

We went on the guided tour and it was even different to last time. Most people seemed to disappear half way though, but they where making so much noise we couldn't hear the guide anyway. We at least found it interesting. There was some sort of outdoor Shakespeare company there when we went, seems like a nice evening out.

There is loads to see on the island and beaches for kids to play on. Part of it is given over to the youth groups, Dorset wildlife trust and the castle is in the charge of the John Lewis group. The £2 charged by the wildlife trust doesn't seem excessive although we never feel we have the time. A good view of the castle can be had on the return boat trip.

There is loads for kids to do, and I think more is planned. There is plenty of wildlife to see, the peacocks being my favourites, after the illusive red squirrel. The time to see squirrels would seem to be at closing time.

The cafe sells a snack like range of food and you can eat it overlooking part of the castle with views of Sandbanks and the harbour. It is however the usual National Trust prices.

On the return trip to Poole you get the round the Island tour, not bad value for money really. Our skipper on the way back this time was really really funny, we even went out of the harbour briefly. I won't spoil his jokes for anyone.

Pushchairs are allowed on although you can borrow a really good one from the National Trust (Included in the price) which would certainly make life easier on the ferry over. There are buggy rides for the less able (I am pretty sure these are included in the price too) I am not sure what the deal is with wheelchairs on the ferries. Bicycles however are not allowed on the island. Both Sandbanks and Poole quay have cycle racks close to the ferry.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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