Walking in Poole

Poole has a lot to offer for residents or visitors wishing to walk in the area. The diverse landscape offers beautiful beaches, open countryside, heathland, nature reserves, formal parks and gardens and a vibrant and historic town centre.

Below are a selection of walks for all, whether you are looking for a short family stroll around the town centre; or the ultimate challenge: the 630 mile South West Coast Path.

We offer a number of free, led walks, which take place around Poole every week. For more information, you can view the health walks page.

You can also check out the Walks 4 Softies website which has some good walking routes in Poole.

Rotary 5 Quays Walk

Rotary Club of Poole Bay has worked with us to survey and map the rights of way across the town centre and Old Town areas. The Rotary 5 Quays Walk of Poole is a suggested route featuring Poole's attractions, many along the waterside. Try it out, it will take you around an hour and a half.

The route can be found on the Town Centre walking map.

The Bourne Valley Greenway

This is a shared use route which is mainly off-road and links Canford Heath to the seafront in Bournemouth. It passes through a green corridor which includes heathland, nature reserve and gardens.

The route can be found on the Bourne Valley Greenway map.

The Stour Valley Way

This is a 64-mile long-distance walk which passes through Poole and follows the River Stour from the sea at Christchurch to its source at Stourhead.

The route can be found on the Long Distance Walkers Association website.

The E9

This long-distance walk between Dover and Plymouth is routed along the beach in Poole and links both to the continent via Poole Ferry Port and the South West Coast Path via the chain ferry between the Sandbanks Peninsular and Studland.

The route can be found on the Long Distance Walkers Association website.

The Castlemen Trailway

This route follows much of the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line. It provides a pleasant off-road link between Upton Country Park in Poole and Wimborne and passes through the centre of Broadstone and at one point runs alongside Delph Woods. For those wishing to go further the route continues on to Ringwood and beyond.

The route can be found on the Long Distance Walkers Association website.

The Cockle Trail

This walk around the Old Town part of Poole and takes approximately 1 1/2 hours. The trail was opened in 1998 to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Poole's first charter. Walkers can follow the numbered brass plates set into the ground. The start of the walk (no. 1) is at the Fish Shambles on Poole Quay.

Poole Faith Trail

Following work by a number of local people there is now another opportunity to explore the sights and history around Poole Old Town, and this time it features the people and buildings of faith in the area. 

Starting on the Quay at the Welcome Centre (Tourist Information), we visit a restaurant to see where a Seamen's Mission was in days of old, a pub with a ceramic wall picture of the High Street and a church which is no longer there, a community garden, a community coffee shop, a church which is in the throes of being entirely refurbished, and so on. 

The "Poole Faith Trail" leaflet is now available at the Welcome Centre, Poole Museum, and at many of the local churches both in the Old Town and beyond. The walk won't take too long, unless visitors take advantage of the many shops, restaurants and other historic buildings in the area.

The route can be found on the Poole Faith Trail map.

South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path National Trail begins at South Haven Point in Studland and follows the coastline for 630 miles until it reaches Minehead. The pathway passes through Dorset, Devon and Cornwall taking in the stunning scenery and historical features of the South Coast. For further details visit The South West Coast Path website or call them on 01752 896 237.

Wessex Orienteering Club

Orienteering is a fun and challenging outdoor adventure sport for all ages and abilities. The aim of orienteering is to use a map to navigate as quickly as possible between a number of controls (checkpoints).

If you just cannot wait to get started, or if you'd rather just have a go by yourself in your own time, then trying a Permanent Orienteering course might be the answer for you. Wessex Orienteering club has developed two permanent orienteering courses at Upton Country Park and Poole Park. You can find more information on the Wessex Orienteering website, where you can also download a free map, or you can buy a map at the venues.

Page last updated: 17 September 2019
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