Home | News | Things To Do In Poole This Winter

The incredible nature of Poole Harbour and the golden sands of Bournemouth make the East Dorset coast one of the best summer holiday destinations in the UK. But the fun doesn’t need to stop at the turn of the season: even in the depths of a wet, British winter, this area has a plethora of things to do, from harbour cruises, wintry walks and roast dinners to the enchanting Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail. Join us as we unveil some of the best things to do in Poole this winter!

Get festive at the Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail

The Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail is a free Christmas attraction in Poole, taking place from the end of November to the start of January every year. The light trail runs from Falkland Square near the main Dolphin Shopping Centre and down the high street to the beautiful waters of Poole Quay. Glittering Christmas trees are joined by a walk-through lantern and bauble, a sparkling galleon, plus, icicles, garlands and other nautical-themed installations. This is the perfect place to get festive – and is totally unique to Poole’s heritage.

Book a winter holiday on the cusp of all the festive action in Poole’s historic Georgian Old Town with our self-catering accommodation in Poole Old Town.

Combat the cold at The Project Climbing Centre

Perfect for older children, teenagers and adults alike, The Project Climbing Centre offers an escape from the cold (or wet) right in the centre of Poole. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or have never climbed in your life, there’s something for you – the centre provides a range of courses and coaching programmes including ones for beginners. If climbing isn’t your thing, the studio also has a recently refurbished yoga studio and a café for you to pass the time!

Use our handy search tool to find the perfect family-friendly holiday cottage in Poole.

Attend a pantomime at the Lighthouse Theatre

For a dose of laughter and holiday cheer, catch a performance at the Lighthouse theatre. Every December, the theatre runs a pantomime – Aladdin in 2023, Cinderella in 2022, and Beauty & The Beast back in 2021. These annual pantomimes are a beloved tradition, offering a perfect blend of humour, music, and entertainment for the whole family, and have featured familiar faces such as Cbeebies’ Chris Jarvis, actor Tyger Drew-Honey, and actress Michelle Collins.

Our new holiday property, Swan Lake, is just a five minute walk from the theatre and the rest of Poole Town centre – and it has incredible views across Poole Park Lake!

Book this self-catering family holiday cottage in Poole.

Shop ‘til you drop at the Dolphin Shopping Centre and Kingland

Indulge in some retail therapy at the Dolphin Shopping Centre and the adjacent Kingland Crescent, Poole’s fantastic boutique shopping destination. This shopping haven is perfect for finding unique gifts and experiencing the joy of holiday shopping, with a range of independent shops and stalls. Inside the Dolphin Shopping Centre, you’ll find familiar favourites like New Look, Primark, and River Island, as well as a street market operating Thursday to Saturday.

Book your next winter holiday in Poole!

Keep the kids entertained at Tower Park

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Poole’s Tower Park entertainment complex is a few minutes’ drive from the centre of the town and is a great place for family fun. A Cineworld cinema, Lemur Landings soft play, Splashdown waterpark, Hollywood Bowl bowling alley plus a variety of restaurants come together to provide hours of entertainment for all ages. For more ideas, check out our other blog on family-friendly things to do in Poole!

Our family-friendly self-catering property in Canford Heath is a few minutes’ drive away from Tower Park.

Wrap up warm for a Poole City Cruise

Despite what we say, we do get some non-rainy days in the winter months down here on the Jurassic coast. One of these lovely dry days will provide you with the perfect opportunity to embark on a serene winter cruise through Poole’s waters. There’s a range of city cruise routes to choose from, whether you fancy a river cruise up the River Frome to Wareham, a boat tour around Poole Harbour and its islands, or a round-trip up to the iconic Old Harry Rocks. There are also many trips for different occasions, including festive light tours, birdwatching cruises, and even a Valentine’s Day special towards the end of winter.

Most of these cruises leave from Poole Quay, which means our cosy holiday accommodation in Poole Quay is just a minutes’ walk from the action.

Venture over to Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland

Take a short trip to neighbouring Bournemouth to experience the Christmas Tree Wonderland! This massive display takes place every December and draws crowds from far and wide. The trail runs through Bournemouth Gardens, from the pier and Big Wheel to the Alpine Market in Bournemouth Square. After you’ve taken in the sights, grab some food from one of the market stalls and get some of your Christmas shopping done. You can even stop for a festive drink at the pop-up Alpine Lodge Bar. This enchanting event is sure to add an extra layer of magic to your winter getaway.

Book your next winter holiday in Bournemouth in one of our stylish self-catering properties.

Work up an appetite on a wintry walk

Don your hat, scarf and gloves and brave the cold for a few hours on a gorgeous winter’s walk around Poole and its surrounding areas. East of Poole is the famous expanse of golden sand which runs from Sandbanks to Hengistbury Head and provides the perfect backdrop for a walk on a cold day.

West of Poole, you’ll find the charming town of Wareham, where you can enjoy a riverside walk full of rich wildlife seen at their best in the winter months. Keep an eye out for water voles, otters, salmon, and up to 20,000 different species of birds. Closer to Poole itself, enjoy a stroll around the grounds of Upton Country Park with its spectacular Georgian Grade II listed house and walled garden.

Our winter holiday cottages in Hamworthy are perfectly situated for you to explore the greater Dorset area including the Purbeck peninsula.

Refuel with a Sunday roast in Poole

You won’t have to look far for the perfect cosy pub in Poole where you can enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch. Hall & Woodhouse pub The Portsmouth Hoy is located on Poole Quay, with decor reminiscent of a historic galleon, apt for its location. The Grasshopper in Parkstone also offers a fantastic Sunday roast menu, as well as a special Christmas menu throughout December. In Canford Cliffs, you’ll find the stylish country pub The Cliff just a stone’s throw from the beaches of Sandbanks.

Enjoy a winter break in Sandbanks with one of our self-catering holiday properties!

Family Holidays in Poole with Quay Holidays

Interested in visiting Poole on your next winter holiday? We know you’ll love it just as much as we do, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Our range of self-catering holiday properties in Poole are each beautifully unique – whatever you’re looking for, we’re passionate about finding the perfect holiday property for you. From quaint cottages for small families to spacious, modern five-bedroom houses, we’re proud to offer a true home-from-home experience on Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast.

Based in Poole’s historic Old Town, we provide a comprehensive full-management service to ensure your holiday is as perfect as can be.

Browse our range of self-catering properties or get in touch with us to get started.

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