Famous for its aquatic birds and miniature railway, Poole’s Victorian park is a great venue for relaxing and playing.
Constructed on land donated by Lord Wimborne and opened in 1890 by HRH Edward Prince of Wales, the park enjoys an open aspect to the south with extensive views across Poole Harbour to the Purbeck Hills beyond.
Built on former meadows and marshes, it covers an area of more than 110 acres (45ha), 60 acres (24ha) of which – unusually for an urban space – comprise freshwater and brackish lakes.
In June 1963 Poole Park Zoo was opened! The attraction featured species such as Drill, Chimpanzees, Lions, Pumas, Leopards and Bobcats, Lion tailed macaque(single) Mona Monkey, Bennett’s/Red necked wallabies and black-footed penguins. At one time, the Zoo even boasted a Himalayan Black Bear!
The Zoo operated until February 1994, when the concept of a zoological collection (where a collection of captive and primarily non-domesticated animals, were held captive for viewing by paying visitors) fell out of favour.
Designated a Conservation Area in 1995, much work has been undertaken in the park to improve facilities whilst keeping the original design ideals.
In 2007 a £2million project was undertaken to dredge the lake and create two raised reed beds and five small islands that replicated the islands in Poole Harbour; Brownsea, Round, Long, Green and Furzey islands. The project also included the construction of a new restaurant and an indoor ice rink for children.
Features of the park include a popular cafe and recently built, contemporary waterside restaurant. With a children’s ice rink, two play areas, cricket pitches, watersports, crazy golf course, putting green and tennis courts, and outdoor gym equipment, the park ensures that it remains very much at the heart of the local community.
Parkstone Road, Poole Town, Dorset, BH15 2SE
Facilities at Poole Park Include:
Parking, Disabled Parking, Toilets, Disabled Toilet, Baby Changing, Refreshments, Drinking Water
Access to Poole Park:
There is no vehicular access to Poole Park from 6.00am – 10.00am on Monday – Saturday