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Dolphin Shopping Centre

Dolphin Shopping Centre exterior view on a bright summer's day


Welcome to the Dolphin Centre, located in the heart of the bustling town of Poole, a stone’s throw away from the main town train and bus stations.

The Dolphin Centre is home to a fantastic selection of leading high street brands, as well as independent and specialist retailers. Shoppers have access to over 140 stores which offer the very best in fashion, lifestyle, gifts and homewares!

In addition to this we have a fabulous range of food and drink options are available. 

Click here to view our store guide with a layout of the Dolpin Shopping Centre.

Little Fins

Little Fin’s is back for 2019 and will take place every third Wednesday of the month from February to October 9.30 – 11.30am.
Each month there will be a different theme and activity for the children to get involved in, alongside the soft play area.
At set times throughout the day, toddlers can join the group activity area where they will join in with songs, dances and games; parachute game, educational toddles games, fun mini ball games. There will also be storytelling during intervals of the session.

Themes and activities are listed below;

17th April - Flower Power:
Activity: Honeycomb flower craft – children can create and decorate their very own groovy honeycomb flowers using pens, stickers etc.
15th May - 2020
Activity: Children can paint and decorate Olympic medals to wear and take home
19th June - The Popping 90s Films (Aladdin, Lion King, Jurassic Park)
Activity: Youngsters can create a selection of fun film themed characters out of plasticine and then add 3D elements such as fabric, wool and googly eyes
17th July - Happy Birthday Dolphin
Activity: Children and their parents will be able to design their very own pretty bunting with fabric pens and 3D elements
21st August - The future of shopping
Activity: Kids can design and personalise mini shopping bags to take home
18th September - The Millennium
Activity: Tots can decorate fun millennial star clappers to take home and play music with
16th October - The fun of today
Activity: Wooden spoon decorating


The Dolphin Centre, originally named the Arndale was opened in 1969 by Mayor of Poole, Alderman Lloyd-Allen as a major redevelopment project for the town costing around £3 million. It attracted up to 200,000 shoppers a week and was the first undercover shopping centre in Poole

In 1980 a second stage of development took place increasing the number of shops from 93 to over a 100, enticing key retailers to join existing household names like Marks and Spencer, Beales Department Store and Boots.

The opening ceremony in 1984 involved the Mayor, Cllr Roger Buss and Mr. Ron Jennings, the deputy chairman of the development company; Town and City Properties (who by this time had absorbed Arndale Property Trust) and saw a time capsule containing coins, documents and a copy of the Daily Telegraph buried under the concrete at the highest point of the development.

An £8 million refurbishment changed the name of the centre to The Dolphin in 1989 and brought it into the 21st Century.

The popularity of the centre kept on growing and in 2004 the Dolphin had a multi-million-pound refurbishment giving it a fresh, bright new look. New entrances and improved disabled access were also updated.

In early 2013 the Dolphin centre was brought by Legal and General from Dutch company, Wereldhave. New strategies are currently underway to rejuvenate and revitalise the centre. Big changes are coming soon!

Compared to 1969 the centre now covers 680,000 sq. ft. and as the only covered shopping centre in Dorset can see 11 million shoppers though its doors a year!

As you may be aware, Dolphin Shopping Centre has a strong commitment to sustainability and have won several awards including the world green apple.

Some stats that our dedicated management team have helped to deliver are;

The Dolphin Shopping Centre only purchases green energy
No waste from the Shopping Centre goes to Landfill
On average, we recycle 75% waste with a goal of increasing that to 80%
As part of our continued work to commit to sustainable best practice, we are looking to collaborate with local stakeholders who share our values and want to support our vision of creating an environment that encourages health and wellbeing with a sustainable approach.

The Eco Hub

The Eco Hub did fantastically well during 2018 and we have had so many stakeholders utilise the space. 
We will be running the Eco Hub again throughout 2019, so please do get in touch if you would like to start making reservations.
 Local stakeholders and the community are welcome to run activities relating to sustainable practice and wellbeing and utilize the space – for free.

Some of our ideas and thoughts for you to use the space are below:

Dedicated workshops
Fitness classes
Sustainability activities/talks
Make and take activities
Blogger Events
Educational talks
Art exhibitions

Remember the space is completely free to use, we can discuss further and work together on some ideas, just send us an email. If you would like to see the space before booking that’s absolutely fine just let us know and we can arrange a site visit with you.

Opening Times

Opening Dates (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Jan 2021)
Monday - Saturday08:30 - 18:00*
Sunday10:30 - 17:00*

Individual store opening hours may vary

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
Dolphin Shopping Centre
110 Dolphin Centre
BH15 1SZ
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Call direct on:

Tel01202 673906

Map & Directions

Public Transport Directions

By Train Poole station is a three minute walk away. Daily services run from there to all major cities, including London Waterloo, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Southampton, as well as numerous local destinations. National Rail Enquiries. Tel: 08457 484 950  

By Bus Poole Bus Station is located adjacent to the centre, with its own entrance giving direct access for shoppers. For information on bus timetables please call 01202 673 555 or visit  

By Taxi There are a range of taxi companies servicing the local area 24/7. Poole Radio Cabs. Tel: 01202 666 333 Dial-A-Cab Poole. Tel: 01202 666 822 Premier. Tel: 01202 669 993 Ariel Taxis. Tel: 01202 747 333

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