Who needs beach days? Especially when Poole dishes action, adventure, aquasport, art, artefacts and aesthetic beauty in bucketloads!

When I was first asked to explore Poole beyond the beach, I was worried I’d struggle to beat the glory of its golden sands and sparkling sea but, instead, I found an inland treasure trove of days out…

First, I headed off to Poole Harbour for a stand-up paddleboard lesson with Easy Riders. I spend my time at home in Dorset doing some lovely and enviable stuff but I can honestly say this was up there with a stunning way to see our beautiful county at its best.

Next up – retail therapy with my lovely mum in Kingland Crescent. We strolled in the sunshine along the crescent’s row of pleasingly uniform shop fronts and from the number of business owners we saw criss-crossing the pedestrianised streets to grab coffee or lunch from their neighbours a few shops down, it’s clear this is growing into a strong community.

I hate to pick a favourite but, Compton Acres – you have my heart! I was initially weary heading over to Poole’s swanky Canford Cliffs and it was set to be another scorcher but as I wafted about in my maxi-dress and straw hat, I felt my cares drift away. The trip culminated in a quick sketch back in the Italian Garden before I grudgingly left my slice of heaven.

Suffering post-holiday blues, I dragged myself out of bed on a blustery morning for Park Yoga at Upton Country Park. It felt mischievous to benefit from guided tuition and glorious surrounding for only the price of parking and with a wonderfully long savasana at the end, it was the perfect, recuperative start to a Sunday.

As one of this year’s Sanctuary developing artists, I’m glad of any excuse to head over to my beloved Lighthouse – Poole’s Centre for the Arts. So I hopped happily along to Live & Unheard – a showcase of unsigned talent. A difference from the classical experiences I’ve had in the same venue but the celebration of art in all its forms is what’s so wonderful about this cultural hub.

As I came towards the end of my series of adventures, I opted to run a 5k around Poole Park. This was escapism at its finest and I realised I was running with a big smile on my face (not always a given). A neat, tempo run away from my standard routes and one that I fully intend to revisit when I need a spiritual step-up.

And so to my final stop – Poole Quay and Poole Museum. The latter is undergoing an enormous refurbishment later this year but you still have some time to stop in. Naturally, it’s home to some weird and wonderful relics but it’s always the stories of real people that interest me as a museum lover.

Heading home for the last time, Poole seemed to be giving me a personalised send-off. A boat named Purbeck (that’s where I live btw) Princess sailed past and gave a friendly hoot as I waved goodbye!




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