Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset

Take a trip to Brownsea Island when you’re on your large group holiday in the South West and enjoy a fantastic day outdoors. Owned and managed by the National Trust, Brownsea is essentially a huge nature reserve sitting in the middle of Poole Harbour; with a mix of heaths, woodland and a lagoon, the whole island is home to a diversity of wildlife and is one of the few places in the UK where you can see red squirrels in their natural habitat.

It's also the birthplace of scouting; in 1907 Baden-Powell set up the first Boy Scouts camp and scouts and guides from all over the world still come here each year. Follow the family trials, let the young ‘uns loose in the play areas, stop for a leisurely picnic – or if the weather turns, head for the harbourside café.  There’s a very informative Visitor Centre on the island and shuttle bus guided tours are available for the less able bodied or for people who want to explore the further parts of Brownsea.

What makes it even more fun is that the island is only accessible by ferry from the mainland at Poole or Sandbanks, so your day starts with a boat trip. Alternatively, you can get there under your own steam by kayaks or paddleboards, which sounds like fun!

All information correct at the time of writing

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