Poole Ferry Port, situated 116 miles from London and 171 miles from Birmingham, has excellent road links to the southeast and Midlands. The passenger terminal at the port offers commission-free bureau de change facilities, a left luggage locker facility and car and caravan parking. During the summer a restaurant and bar are open. Poole is an industrial town and a busy commercial port serving both cross channel ferries and cargo vessels. Since 1997 it has also been the administrative headquarters of Poole Unitary Authority in southern England. Poole Harbour, in the Purbeck countryside, is a centre for yachting and one of the world s largest natural harbours. Furzey Island, within the harbour, is part of Wytch Farm, Britain s largest onshore oil development. In addition to tourism, Poole s industries include engineering, boat building and the manufacture of caravans, sail cloth, packaging materials, tiles and pottery from local clay.
Poole History. The rich history of Poole dates from the Bronze and Iron ages. Iron age man made Poole s first pottery while Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans all passed through the town. Poole s name comes from the Celtic bol and Saxon pool . Originally a fishing hamlet, it developed into a small port and then a town by the late 12th century. In the 15th century it was popular with pilgrims on their way to the shrine at Santiago. The 'Drake of the early 15th century' was a celebrated Poole pirate who enjoyed looting Spanish and French vessels that crossed his path on the high seas. Overseas trade and shipbuilding flourished throughout the 15th and 16th centuries and the Newfoundland trade brought vast wealth to the town in the early 19th century. Among reminders of that age is the huge, web-footed Newfoundland dog, once used to pull carts as far as London. Poole was a Puritan stronghold during the Civil War, while the Napoleonic wars of 1805-15 were a time of great prosperity for its merchants. The first of three bridges to Hamworthy was built in 1834 and a railway came to the town in 1847. Carter's Tiles, which later became the world famous Poole Pottery, started in 1873. During the Second World War the town was the third largest embarkation point for the Normandy landings and served as the US Coastguard s headquarters.
Poole Attractions. Poole's history dates back to the 12th Century, but today the town offers great variety. In Poole you can stroll through spectacular gardens, dine alfresco along the lively quayside, tour the world renowned Poole Pottery or experience the many activities and entertainments at Tower Park leisure complex. Poole has a greyhound and speedway stadium, an aquarium complex, a thriving Arts Centre and water parks. Sun worshippers can choose from three miles of Blue Flag beaches offering clean sands and safe bathing or visit nearby Sandbanks, which has been awarded fourteen European Blue Flags. Meanwhile, a trip to Monkey World at nearby Wareham, a visit to the wildlife sanctuary of Brownsea Island or a day at Britain's National Motor Museum in Beaulieu will keep the family entertained.
Poole Shopping and Dining. Relax in one of Poole s delightful tea and coffee shops or sample superb fresh seafood in a local restaurant. The magnificent Dolphin Shopping Centre has over 100 shops, restaurants and cafés.
Poole Access. From the West follow the A35 to Poole and then take the A350 and follow the signs for the ferries. From the East follow the A348 from Ferndown or the A35 from Bournemouth. Again when you reach Poole follow the signs for the ferries.