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Grandparents to the rescue! – Our summer pick of the best activities to enjoy in Poole this summer

Trying to keep the grandkids entertained? There’s something for all ages in the beautiful seaside town of Poole in Dorset. 

The school holidays might be coming to an end, but the work never stops for the grandparents. According to new research from YouGov, an estimated 5 million grandparents regularly help out with childcare. On top of this, seven in 10 (70%) buy their grandchildren treats and one in four (26%) pay for all activities while the kids are under their watch. 

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of fun activities
to do in Poole. From stunning beaches to secluded islands, there’s so much to keep your little treasures entertained. 

  • Life’s a beach

It’s only right that we start with the sandy beaches. Poole has miles of family friendly award-winning golden beaches that include Sandbanks, winner of more Blue Flags than any other UK resort.

Grandparents can relax knowing that there’s an extra pair of watchful eyes with beach wardens on patrol all year round and RNLI trained lifeguards from 1 May – 30 September. 

  • Go nuts with the squirrels

Any journey that involves a short boat crossing is always going to be exciting. You can catch a ferry from either Sandbanks peninsula or Poole Quay that will take you to Brownsea Island in the centre of Poole Harbour.

This National Trust gem is home to the Scouts movement and the elusive red squirrel. You could spend a full day enjoying the gentle woodland nature trails, before catching the boat home.

  • Take a stroll on Poole Quay

Explore the treasures of Poole’s historic quayside and explore the Old Town, where salty sea dogs and pirates once lurked. Along the quayside look out for visiting tall ships, fishing boats and luxury Sunseeker powerboats, manufactured just across the water, whilst enjoying a drink and bite to eat in one of the many waterfront cafes and restaurants. 

Aside from Brownsea Island, you could also set sail on a harbour cruise or take a boat trip further afield to Swanage or Old Harry. 

  • Get wet and wild

Known as the ‘Coast with the Most’, Poole is a haven for sailors and watersports. Why not try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking for a relaxed way to explore Poole’s stunning natural harbour, the largest in Europe. 

Home to more watersports than any other UK resort, the unique nature of Poole Bay, its beaches and the shallow tidal harbour make it the perfect place for the little ones to try their hand at a new skill. 

  • Be a part of the action

There’s always something going on, so it’s worth checking ahead to see. Your visit could allow you to experience the thrill of Elite League Speedway with Poole Pirates, running festivals and a host of UK beach sport championships including British Championship Polo, volleyball, handball, ultimate frisbee and rowing in the best location in the world. 

  • Shop till you drop

From traditional sweet shops and new retail stores that the grandkids will adore, such as Smiggle and Sprinkles. You can browse in comfort at Dorset’s largest covered shopping outlet the Dolphin Centre. Or you could grab a bargain at the weekly market every Thursday or follow the High Street to Poole’s Old Town and Quay for independent shops and unique gifts.

  • All weather attractions 

Rain is every parent’s worst holiday nightmare. But fear not, as there’s plenty of fun indoors to be had.

The Lighthouse theatre has a busy programme of family shows or you could watch a film at Empire Cinema at the Tower park entertainment complex. While there you could also take a visit to Splashdown water park or go bowling at Hollywood Bowl.


Platinum Skies affordable retirement homes are located in Poole at Vista (overlooking the beauty of Poole Harbour) and Esprit (in the heart of Poole Town). 

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