Things to do in Dorset | Visiting Brownsea Island

Dorset is surrounded by the stunning spots, and its location on the English Channel makes the area a perfect option to spend summer holidays by the sea.

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Its variety of landscapes brings us to sanctuaries such as the Brownsea Island – a must do location when you are visiting the area.

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Brownsea Island is one mile longer, but this fine piece of land has must history that you can imagine. Its history is connected with the history of military defence that used the place for guarding and defending the south coast of England from attempting invasions from Europe.

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The island is also related to the beginning of the scout movement for being known as the location to an experimental camp, back in 1907, led by the British Army office Robert Baden-Powell.

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The island receives scouters from all over the world annually to celebrate their scouting heritage.

Brownsea is not only rich in history, but its natural beauty and vast wildlife and fauna is enough reason to make you pay a visit to the place itself.

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How can we get there?

We took a ferry to the island from the Poole harbour. You don’t need to book your trip in advance, but remember this is a very popular attraction in the summer. So, expect some queues to start with.

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Get there early to make the most of it. It takes around 10 minutes to reach the location and the boat trip costs £11 to adults and £6.75 for child. You can also take the same trip from Sandbanks.

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The boat trip is quite pleasant and if you seat in the open deck upstairs, it’s possible to get a great view from Poole harbour and Sandbank posh residences themselves.

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For those not familiar to this area, Sandbanks is well known for the highly regarded Sandbanks Beach and property value; Sandbanks has, by area, the fourth highest land value in the world.

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As soon as you step in land, we can understand why this is the largest island in the county and it looks stunning. The place is huge. Nearly 2.5 kilometres of fauna, flora and natural life.

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Brownsea Island is owned by the National Trust and most of the land is open to public. You need to pay £7.20 to have access to it.

There are lots to be done there. From join long walk trails to swimming. It’s a great place to learn about nature and enjoy a day out with family.

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There are cafes, toilets and other facilities that can sell food and drinks in the place. You can also take your own food and have a picnic in the areas as long as you don`t leave your trash behind.

Remember it is a highly preserved area and I am sure you want to keep the place intact to the future generations enjoy it too. Don’t light fires, stoves or barbecues.

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The best way to explore the island is going on a looping walk around it. Right in the entrance of the reserve, you will see the St. Mary church; a construction is dated back to 1854. It’s still has services and the place itself also has a great connection with the scout movement.

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The nature reserves are right in that direction as well that is managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.  Before reaching it, you may check the remains of a old winery, a lily pond and a lot of footpath to be explored.

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When you reach the south part of the island, it’s possible to have stunning views from harbours around and even from the Old Harry Point rocks.

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The walking along the shore is a must. And if the weather is helps, you can also check marine life and beautiful views from the walk side. It’s the most beautiful part of the island, in my opinion. Be aware of the high tide, though.

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The Pottery Pier is the quietest part of this area. A perfect spot to chill out and enjoy this nature sanctuary.

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Wildlife spotting is another featuring in the island. The most famous to be spotted are the red squirrels. They are extremely rare, and it will be your lucky day if you can spot one at Brownsea.

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There were several other species such as peacocks and other birds hanging around with no fear at all of us. They like our company but please, don’t feed them. It’s not allowed to give any kind of food to the animals there.

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There are a hundred of tree species in the island, and it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Visiting Brownsea Island is one interesting things to do in Dorset. It’s educational and invigorating. It’s a place to be this summer if you are around Dorset, by chance.

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I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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