A great attraction for families in Dorset. Play trail, walking and cycling route, fantastic cafe with a tiny soft play for babies and toddlers. Lovely ice creams and water fountain in summer. Great for families with dogs.
Admission is free but you’ll need to pay for the car park.
For more details contact 01202 262753.
Avon Tyrrell is a Youth Activity Centre, in the New Forest National Park. It offers something for everyone, from animal orienteering, archery, art outdoors, coding and much more.
For more details contact 01425 672347.
Poole is blessed with some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and stunning scenery you’ll ever see. A great all weather FREE attraction for the entire family but they can get very busy during the summer months. Although most beaches have parking facilities, it can be tricky to find a space during busy times; your best chance is to arrive early, or use public transport.
Most beaches are doggy friendly, but restrictions may apply on main areas during busy times.
Cycling on the promenade is restricted at certain times during busy months.
Beach huts can be hired directly with the Borough of Poole or privately. These can be very useful for families who plan to visit the beach several times in the same week, because you can leave your belongings locked up in the hut. Some huts even have cooking facilities!
Although this Beach is located in Bournemouth this is a ‘Mumbler Must’ for families in Poole. With easy pay and display parking, some free street parking within a short walk, large play area suitable for toddlers and young children, public toilet facilities and restaurants and food kiosks around. Also great public transport facilities.
Address: Alum Chine, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH4 8HS.
Branksome offers a large pay and display car park, including disabled spaces. Also toilet facilities, restaurant and shop.
Address: Pinecliff Road, Poole, BH13 6LP.
Very near to Branksome Chine, this beach is perfect for dog owners as there are no restrictions at any time in the year. There are parking facilities available as well as small shops where you can buy ice creams and snacks.
Address: Pinewood Road, BH13 6JP.
Canford Cliffs Beach
Another fantastic option for families with children, as there’s a large play park only a short walk away. The beach is very close to Canford Cliffs village, where you can find plenty of pay and display, and road parking. Public toilets available and pubs within a short walk. To reach the beach you must walk down a steep heel, so access might be tricky. However, it’s possible to take pushchairs. This is definitely a ‘Mumbler Must’.
Address: Cliff Road, BH13 7HX.
A quieter beach with fewer facilities. Public toilets available but closed during the winter months.
Address: Off Haven Road, BH13 7LP.
Most definitely a ‘Mumbler Must’. Easy pay and display parking on site, as well as road parking nearby. Very large play area and best of all, paddling pool during the hot months. Pushchair access to the beach isn’t possible, so many families take a small UV tent with them, a packed lunch and place themselves at the park. Then beach can be access by foot. Public toilets and shops selling snacks available.
Address: Lulworth Avenue, BH15 4DQ.
Although it has very few facilities, it is a great option for dog owners, as there are no restrictions. Pay and display car park nearby and public toilets. Also a nature reserve and the opportunity for fishing.
Address: Lake Drive, Poole, BH15 4LR.
Another ‘Mumbler Must’. This beach offers beautiful surroundings and great facilities. Pay and display parking, public toilets, children play area, crazy golf, water sports, cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby, excellent public transport links and more.
Address: Banks Road, BH13 7QQ.
A lovely beach for water sports with shops and cafes nearby.
Address: Shore Road, BH13 7PJ.
Studland Beach and Nature Reserve
A beautiful beach with fantastic walks around. A great outdoors experience. Public toilets and parking available.
Address: Swanage, BH19 1LB.
A beautiful beach perfect for water sports. Plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops around.
Address: Shore Road, Swanage, BH19 1LB.
Beaulieu is a family attraction at New Forest. Visitors can visit the National Motor Museum or Beaulieu Abbey, the impressive Palace Home or simply enjoy a walk around the grounds and gardens where little ones may come across some fairy houses!
Other attractions for children include a play area, mini motor cars and the ‘Skytrain’.
A Mumbler Must National Trust property surrounded by a beautiful village with the same name. C0rfe Castle hosts events for children all year round, which often are FREE.
Also visit the Model Village Gardens and Cafe.
For more information contact 01929481294.
A beautiful nature reserve in Bournemouth, which offers may outdoors activities, from nature walks, cycling, kayaking and more. Also regular learning and educational events, toddler activities, and arts and crafts.
For more information contact 01202 451618.
This National Trust property is definitely a must. You’ll be able to visit the stunning Bankes family home, enjoy the tranquility of it’s gardens, or venture into the unspoilt countryside for a truly invigorating outdoors experience.
Family events regularly scheduled throughout the year.
For more information contact 01202883402.
Lulworth estate is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the UK.
Whether you choose to paddle in the beautiful crystalline waters at Lulworth Cove or walk around the magnificent Durdle Door; or perhaps exploring Lulworth Castle, ‘the most beautiful castle in the south’, the options are endless. This is definitely a ‘Mumbler Must’ for families with children of any age.
For more information contact 01929 400352.
An extensive country park and forest in Dorset. A fantastic day out for the entire family. Follow the unique play trail, cycle, walk, go Ape or take part in one of the many special events and activities hosted at Moors Valley throughout the year. There’s also a miniature railway for steam train lovers!
For more information contact 01425 470721.
This blog was originally published in Nov 2018. We’ve re-shared in case you find hidden gems near you that you didn’t know about. Please follow the latest government advice and COVID-19 restrictions.
At Mumbler we know it’s hard to keep the kids busy and entertained without spending a fortune. This is why we’ve put together a list of the best parks and play areas around Poole, so you have plenty of great free options to choose from. These have been selected not only by us but also by our lovely community of parents on Facebook. You can join us here.
Please let us know if you’d like us to add anything to this list. We are always happy to review new exciting places.
Poole Park is an absolute ‘Mumbler Must’ for anyone visiting or living in Poole. Some of the park’s great advantages are:
This park offers stunning views, a great walking path and large play area for all ages. You can walk or cycle safely along the water all the way to Pool Quay. For a full review visit the Poole Mumbler News Page in Facebook.
This is a fantastic attraction or the entire family. The park has a large play area suitable for younger and older children, a paddling pool operating during the summer (make sure your little ones wear some sort of footwear as the floor can get very hot) and direct access to the beach by foot, though not pushchair / wheelchair friendly. Easy parking, public toilets and snacks cafe also available.
Treasure Island Canford Cliffs
This is a great option if you’d like to also take a walk to the beach.
‘The older kids love the roundabout, which can be wound up one way, then let go and stand well back as they show off their strength (or come flying off). It isn’t fenced in, so some people take their dogs to exercise there too. The pirate ship is wooden with some rope fencing to climb on. There are also trees to climb in the surrounding wooded areas which lead to the chine and down to the beach’. RP Poole Mumbler Chat Group
‘A bit further afield is Avon Heath Country Park which has a great play area recently refurbished, and best bit is you can see the play area from the cafe.’ BC Poole Mumbler Chat Group
‘Kings Park is also fab for the fenced in play park, which has TWO zipwires, and a brilliant wooden climbing area specifically for older children, while there is plenty for the younger ones too. There’s a great skate park at Kings Park too and loads of areas for dog walking, ball games etc’. RP Poole Mumbler Chat Group
‘Alexander park is great for scooters and bikes also has football area. The park has great climbing frame for all ages and the other equipment is varied and fun too’. LH Poole Mumbler Chat Group
Sandbanks Play Area
‘The play area at Sandbanks beach pretty good too. Giant nets to climb, tyre swing and more. Need to pay to park’. KE Poole Mumbler Chat Group
Play area at Rockley Beach
‘The little park down at Rockley Beach is fab. Parking is free, cafe right next to park though not open all year and can wander over to the beach for a play and a paddle’. AH Poole Mumbler Chat Group
Outdoors activities in the New Forest, led by experts. Canoeing, Kayaking, Archery, Ropes Course, VR Experiences and much more, suitable for the whole family.
Parties also available.
Unforgettable school holiday for children aged 8 to 14.
For more information contact 01590 612377.
A ‘Mumbler Must’ attraction. The wildlife park offers an unforgettable experience for the entire family. You’ll have the opportunity to see impressive mammals and birds, and to play in one of the large play areas, suited for both younger and older children. Some highlights are the deer freely roaming around you, the wolves and the magnificent bison.
For further details contact 02380 292408.