Poole Quay is little more than a stone’s throw from my home, but for some reason it’s one of those places we only think to visit occasionally. After every visit, we always end up saying, “why don’t we come here more often?” But then I guess it wouldn’t have such novelty value if we did.
When the sun is out in the UK, you need to grab it by the horns and make the most of it. So when we woke up to a sunny Sunday a couple of weekends back, we decided to pay Poole a visit. It can sometimes be a pain driving there so we usually travel by train. Poole station is right in the town centre, and a train ride always makes a day trip twice as exciting for children. This time it happened to be Wolfy’s first ever train ride, and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
Our first stop was the Poole Museum, which is right on the Quay. Little I loves it. It’s the perfect size for primary school aged children, and they can easily cover it in an hour or two. Set in a Victorian warehouse over three floors, the museum’s galleries tell the story of the historic maritime town of Poole. It’s filled with an eclectic range of artefacts, with many interactive pieces for children to explore. Every time we visit we seem to find something we haven’t noticed before. This time Little I was particularly interested in the 1960’s kitchen and dentist chair…eek! Entrance is free, and it never seems to get too busy. There’s also a lovely quiet sofa area which is perfect for breastfeeding.
For lunch, we had been invited to try out The Stable, a cosy restaurant overlooking the water, which specialises in pizza, pies and cider…three of my favourite things! We had a lovely table reserved for us by the window, with dark wood panelling. Wolfy seemed to really enjoy sitting there, taking in the view.
Being a Sunday, I opted for the Lamb Roast pizza, while my husband thought he’d try out one of the pies and went for the ham hock and pea. Little I, who’s a big pizza fan, thought she’d try the Fresh Hawaiian made with locally smoked ham, which she promised to share with her brother! There was an overwhelming selection of ciders to choose from and I was having difficulty choosing, so the Dorset Draught was recommended to me. It turned out to be a lovely sparkling, mellow cider, and all the better for being local.
The food arrived nice and quickly, which was good because we were starving. It was all beautifully presented, and the pie in particular looked very impressive. My pizza was truly delicious with a really thin and crispy base, and the flavour combination on top was just perfect – I loved the hint of mint with the lamb, which I have never had on a pizza before. We all thoroughly enjoyed our mains, and even Wolfy devoured his first ever slice of pizza.
We were suitably stuffed by the end of the meal, but Little I thought she still had space for a pudding and ordered a warm chocolate brownie with clotted cream. Thankfully her eyes were bigger than her tummy, and she needed me to help her with it. It was rich and gooey and extremely chocolatey. I’ll definitely make sure I leave room for it next time!
By this point we were ready for a stretch of our legs and some fresh air, so we wondered along the Quay. Little I was desperate to visit Scaplen’s Court Museum, which is also on the Quay. It is set inside Poole’s most complete medieval building, and Little I loves it for its old fashioned school room. Sadly though, we didn’t realise that it is only open to visitors in August, so we’ll need to make another trip back there in the school holidays. We were however able to get inside its herb and physic garden, which we had to ourselves and is a lovely tranquil spot.
By this point in the day, we were all beginning to flag a little, and so we made our way slowly back to the train station, meandering through the high street and popping in a few shops along the way. Little I had some leftover birthday money to spend, and her eyes lit up when she spotted a shop selling loom bands. Needless to say we are all now thoroughly addicted!
If you’ve visited Poole, or indeed live there, what are your favourite spots for a family day trip?