For the first May Bank Holiday, I found myself in the North of England at York and the Lake District. For this Bank Holiday, I instead headed South to Poole! In fact, this getaway was a nice surprise planned (and perfectly executed) by my friends for my birthday. I’m not a huge birthday person, I usually wake up grateful to see another year, and just get on with my day (maybe wearing a new outfit).

8am on a Sunday morning, I found myself in a car on the way to Poole – AMAZING! Poole is a large coastal town in Dorset, and boasts an amazing sand beach architecturally extravagant houses like nothing I had seen before in the UK. We spent two days in Poole, staying at the Cottonwood Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth. This was really convenient as Poole is only a 15 min drive from the Poole beach meaning we were close to everything we wanted to do.

We first headed to the Compton Acres which was absolutely breathtaking. It’s a privately owned garden that is open to the public and a popular tourist attraction. Having said that, the gardens are huge and doesn’t feel busy or crowded at all – which is great! There are a number of different gardens within the Acres and it took us a few hours to calmly walk around and experience all aspects of it. We even stopped half way through to grab a bite of lunch at the Cafe within the Acres. There’s both hot food and cold sandwiches available, win-win.

We then headed to Upton Country Park which is a beautiful space home to the Upton House (as you can see below). Luckily, the weather was beautiful, allowing us to sit on the grass for a picnic and a short time of relaxation. I believe that there is also a museum, tea room, cafe, and also segway tours on site – both of which we did not go to but would definitely check out next time I visit Poole.

The last stop of the day was the the Poole Coast that we stumbled past on the drive down the cliff from the hotel. We watched the sunset peacefully beam over Poole with colours more beautiful than I had ever seen. We ate authentic fish & chips soaked in salt and vinegar; it’s fair to say I’m salivating just thinking about it!

The hotel we stayed at was the Cottonwood Boutique Hotel. I absolutely LOVED this hotel, it was very rustic looking and decorated in such a beautiful manner.

On the morning of the second day, we went to the Aquarium which was an absolute delight. Aquariums are the one place that I always tend to visit whenever I go to a new city. I would definitely recommend visiting this Aquarium as part of a visit to Poole. One of the things I really liked was the hourly Penguin feeding shows that we were lucky to witness!

Before heading back home, we had a late lunch at Rick Stein – Sandbanks an absolutely beautiful restaurant specialising in seafood. I had a prawn curry with white rice and a coconut salad. To say it was delicious is an understatement!

Have you been to Poole before? Would you recommend visiting any other places in Poole or the surrounding areas?

– A Y –


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