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Dorset’s Best Boat Trips

Written by guest author Holly Silsbury

Here in Dorset, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by a beautiful coast which comes with fantastic boat trips and experiences. We’ve found the best trips so that this summer you can experience Dorset from a new angle.

Jurassic Coastal Cruise

Dorset is home to the Jurassic Coast but views of it are limited from land. So, the Jurassic Coastal Cruise is the perfect opportunity to experience the breath-taking heights of Old Harry Rocks as well as Swanage and Studland Bay. You’ll even be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the elaborate houses along Sandbanks – and we appreciate it’s fun to be nosey! Get on board at either Poole or Swanage and travel between two significant places along the Dorset coast – a must for people exploring the area. But the tour doesn’t just benefit visitors, as locals we think it is super important to be reminded of what a beautiful county we live in! Aboard this boat all your senses will be immersed as not only will your eyes be wondering but you’ll be listening to a history of Dorset’s coast thanks to the captain’s commentary. And wouldn’t it be great picking up a cup of Dorset Tea from The Quay Café to please your tastebuds as well.

Mudeford Ferry

The Mudeford ferry departs from Mudeford Quay in Christchurch and will drop you off at the Mudeford sandbank. You’ll enjoy a scenic journey with the chance to admire the views of our beautiful coast and to top it off you’ll arrive at a destination brimming with adventure. Along the way we recommend sipping on a Dorset Tea collected from Mudeford Rocks so you arrive feeling refreshed! You’ll step off the ferry straight onto a strip of beach connected to Hengistbury Head. We love Hengistbury Head’s scope for adventure plus the numerous habitats and abundant wildlife of the area. We believe all ages can get involved in the fun - look out for skylarks, sand lizards and rarest amphibian, the natterjack toad! For those interested in archaeology and geology visiting Hengistbury is a must because of its unique land structure – but even if you don’t have an extended knowledge of natural science, it can be admired by everyone. 

Wareham Quay River Cruises

We had to let you know about the Orca boat that you can catch from The Granary in Wareham. The quaint historic market town is situated on the River Frome which makes for picturesque scenery. This boat trip allows the river to take you on a journey of relaxation – which is perfect for a hot summer’s day.  As you float down the river you will catch sight of the riverbank’s wildlife and maybe you’ll spy a rare kingfisher or seal.  As a bonus you’ll be learning the history of Wareham as you go. The orca will take you right back to the doorstep of The Quay Inn where you’ll be able to finish your Wareham adventures with a fulfilling meal alongside a cup of Dorset Tea. Sounds like the perfect day to us!

Brownsea Island Ferry

Another trip that leaves from Europe’s biggest natural harbour but this one is too exciting not to mention. It’s a short ride, but takes you to Brownsea Island which is an iconic landmark of our coast. The island is full of history: Robert Baden-Powell started the scouting movement here over 100 years ago so release your inner scout for the day! We especially enjoy the company of the red squirrels that have residency on Brownsea. Be prepared to get your steps in as you won’t be able to resist a lap of the island’s circumference – you’ll relish the scenes from the clifftops and woodlands. We love the relaxing trip along the waters back to the mainland as a chance to unwind after a thrilling day exploring Poole harbour’s largest Island. Once your feet are back on the comfort of mainland reward yourself with a snack and a brew from Deli on the quay.

Poole Harbour and Island Cruise

This boat trip always has us in awe. During the hour that you’ll be on the open top boat you will have the chance to experience views of our famous beaches, glimpses of the monumental Corfe Castle as well as the islands that inhabit Poole Harbour including impressive Brownsea. Don’t worry – you won’t be expected to guess what you are looking at – as expected from city cruises you’ll be lucky enough to be given an insight into the history and geology of our natural harbour. We particularly like the fact that the harbour waters are calm which ensures your journey will be peaceful and inspiring. So, get on board and relax as you take in the wonderful views our county has to showcase!


Enjoy the Dorset Journey

Hopefully now you feel spoilt for choice when booking a boat trip this summer in Dorset. We hope you’ll have a chance to experience more than one as we truly believe we live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world (maybe we are just a bit biased) and that it’s important to experience everything it has to offer. Getting on a boat gives you a new perspective of parts of the county that may go unnoticed, but this list of trips ensures you know exactly which boats to hop on in order to discover the secrets of our coast. And Dorset is of course home to Dorset Tea so there will be plenty of opportunities to have a cuppa during your adventures!