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Poole, Dorset and The Purbecks

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Poole Harbour is one of the world’s largest natural harbours and plays host to recreational, commercial and military interests and a range of environmental designations.

The Island enjoys a tranquil location, and there is an advisory speed limit of 6 knots in effect which goes to maintain the tranquillity of this part of the Harbour, and to protect our surrounding small bays and inlets where many birds feed, roost and breed.


The Harbour has been classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as a Special Protected Area (SPA).  It has also been designated as a RAMSAR Site (Wetlands of International Importance) and a European Marine Site (EMS).  Special Area of Conservation (SAC) status has been granted to the surrounding heathland, and certain areas of the Harbour have been designated as local and national nature reserves.


The Harbour and its Islands are deemed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the Harbour comprises part of the Purbeck Heritage Coast.


The archaeological value of the harbour has also been recognised in its designation as a Wetland of National Importance by English Heritage. Nearby Green Island was the subject of a 2003 Channel 4 ‘Time Team’ episode which revealed the Island to be a major trading post during the Iron Age.

A wide choice of Marinas and Swinging moorings can be found in Poole Harbour, and most recently, boat haven offers 100 visitors berths immediately adjacent to the Town Quay.


Poole is served by a large fishing fleet and is home to several boat builders, including Sunseeker Yachts who have been based in Poole since the 1970s. RNLI College in Poole is the home of RNLI training, where willing lifeboat volunteers from across the UK and Ireland are trained to become able crew members.


Sharing the harbour with recreational craft are sightseeing vessels, cross channel freight and passenger ferries and bulk cargo vessels. The commercial port itself covers an area of 60 acres.

Poole Harbour is easily reached via motorway standard roads from both London (2 hours) and the Midlands (3 hours) and by rail from London (1.5 hours).

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