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Banner picture includes small images of Holes Bay, 
Evening Hill, Ham Beach, Defence Bank and Wareham


The Harbour from Holton Heath

Poole Harbour is said to be the second largest natural harbour in the world. This national treasure provides wonderful views together with access to some stunning countryside: woodland, heaths, farmland and beaches. It is rich in wildlife and has attractive towns and villages set in some of the best walking areas in South West England.

There are now six linear walks to complete the circuit of Poole Harbour. They are way marked, if possible, at the more important junctions.

Each walk is described by a leaflet that can be downloaded from the walks page of this web site. There are also a number of circular walks highlighting some of the key points of the trail.

Download our publicity leaflet.

See also our videos of the walks!


Background to the formation of the Trail

Our founder members were two Dorset walkers researching new routes for the Ramblers. With the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001, access to the countryside was severely restricted. Looking for something to keep them busy during this time, they had the idea of investigating whether it was possible to walk around Poole Harbour, keeping close to the shoreline.

They explored a possible route and although they could see there were some potential problems, decided to pursue the idea. They consulted local groups and organisations and discovered that there was a lot of interest in such a project.

The Poole Harbour Trails Community Group was set up to look at the possibility of dedicating a trail for walking and cycling round Poole Harbour. It was decided that, in the short term, it would make sense to have the trail following current public rights of way. Five out of six possible were published in March 2009 and a sixth walk was published in 2013.

Page updated 20th September 2023.

Thank you for your visit!