The Ergohacks Verdict

Brownsea Island has been on my list of places to visit for many years. We finally made it to the island on a beautiful autumn day and it is a magnificent place to visit. We love Ferries and the twenty minute trip to the island certainly added to the excitement and contribute to its sense of remoteness. As always, arriving at a National Trust property is a welcoming experience and after rushing to the shop to pick up some jelly beans for Cass (always have extra sugar if you have Type 1 Diabetes and are about to embark on a long walk), we joined the Red Squirrel guided walk.

Neil was a knowledgeable, approachable tour guide and we learned a lot – not only about red squirrels but also about their natural habitat, other animals that share it and about Brownsea Island in general. We spotted many Red Squirrels, I stopped counting at 13, and they are certainly the main attraction. We watched them gathering nuts, eating nuts, disputing with each other whose nuts they have and defending their finds against some peacocks.

We also found a deer next to the visitor centre enjoying the short grass and it seemed in no hurry to move along. The woodland is gorgeous with beautiful paths, filled with life and it was the perfect place to watch the autumn bloom. Brownsea Island is a place like no other. It feels more remote than it actually is and provide the perfect opportunity to escape into the countryside and feel closer to nature. Highly recommended.


Tickets available on arrival  

Price: £7.70 Adult, £3.85 Child, Family £19.25
Paid extras: Roundtrip ferry to the island. Please note that ferry fare applies to all visitors.
Discounts: Entry to the island free for National Trust Members


Season: Closed during the winter, last open day 29 October 2017.
Location: Poole Harbour, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7EE
Booking: No online booking options.
Opening: 10 am
Closing: 5 pm
Timed restrictions: Ferry leaves Pool Quay every 30 minutes.
Family venue
No dogs allowed.
Drones not allowed.
Parking: Poole quayside car parks or Sandbanks: there is metered road parking available on the peninsula leading up to the ferry and a large car park within a ten-minute walk from the Sandbanks jetty.
Access: Generally good access, see full accesss statement here.
Map: PDF map can be found here.
Nearby: Kingston Lacy

Public transport access to Poole Quay & Sandbanks for Brownsea Ferry
By Bus: For Sandbanks: services from Bournemouth, Swanage and Poole. For Poole Quay: alight Poole Bridge
By Train: Poole station to Poole Quay, 0.5 miles; Branksome or Parkstone stations to Sandbanks Jetty, 3.5 miles.
On Foot: Make your way either to Pool Quay or Sandbanks jetty for ferry access to Brownsea.
Bicycle locks/storage: It’s not possible to bring bikes to the island.

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“We’re a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything we do. We look after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland forever, for everyone.

As a charity, we rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations. We have over 4.5 million members and 62,000 volunteers. More than 20 million people visit our pay for entry properties, while an estimated 100 million visit our open-air properties. We protect and open to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments.

But it doesn’t stop there. We also look after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, villages – forever, for everyone.”*

 We based our Ergohacks Verdict on a full day spent at Brownsea Island in Autumn 2017. This article was first published on 12 October 2017.