I’m going to admit something to you now, because in the past few years, my mindset has changed completely. I used to consider holidays where I lived a complete waste of time.
Fast-forward to 2017, and you know what? I’ve realised that there’s plenty to explore where you live. Whether that’s trekking across New York state when I go back home. Or even… traveling from London down to Poole for the weekend. Within a few hours, you can be anywhere in the UK, and you can leave that Passport at home.
So when I was planning on traveling down to Poole for the weekend, not only was I up for it, I was absolutely 100% buzzing. Considering that Joe is from the south coast of England, you’d think I might have been to Poole before. You, my old pal, would be incorrect. I’ve been to Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth, to the New Forest, Winchester and Basingstoke. But hey, I’ve never been to Poole.
There’s a first time for everything.
I was ready to pack my bags and spend the weekend by the seaside. THE DREAM COME TRUE. That’s how on a sunny Saturday afternoon, we found ourselves on the Southwest train down to the coast, ready for a relaxing weekend and a cheeky overnight stay at Travelodge in Poole.
Honestly, I was blown away by our visit. Travelodge hotels aren’t spa-type luxurious or filled with unnecessary extras. But they’re super clean, the beds are ridiculously comfy with tons of pillows AND there’s a charging point on either side. The bathrooms are small but ideal for you know, showering. They even do a proper fry-up breakfast in the mornings! It’s the perfect spot for travelers who aren’t spending loads of time in the room, much longer than sleeping, showering and getting ready for adventures. Plus the staff were pretty cheery!
First things first, if you’re staying in Poole and you go by train, the Travelodge is literally across the street from the station. It couldn’t have been easier. Even if you have 5 bags. You too, can get there without hopping in a cab. Win!
Post check-in, we went up to our room, where before I could totally relax, I had a good look around… and checked all my emails.
PS. The rooms are super Instagrammable shades of blue and white.
Once I was done taking photos and settling in, we set off from the Travelodge to begin our exploring! The walk into town takes no time at all, and that’s where I quickly discovered the…
7 reasons you need to visit Poole this summer:
1. The seaside ‘high street’
Along the water, there are plenty of shops, restaurants and spots to grab a bite or a cool pint. And each building looks completely unique. I was saying to Joe that I feel like Boston must look something Poole. Full disclosure, I’ve never been to Boston, so don’t judge me if I’m way off base!
But the way of life is so beyond relaxing, that you can’t help but fall in love while you walk around. The locals are super friendly too. Later on in the evening, we made friends with a couple who we shared drinks with and had a fantastic time.
Poole, you’ll come for the views, and you’ll stay because everyone is so ridiculously nice.
2. Ice Cream along the water
If you don’t get a melting ice cream in the boiling sun, where you even there? Pro-tip, when it’s windy, put your hair up before ordering the ice cream.
3. The gorgeous streets are weirdly empty
This is a blogger’s dream. Empty streets. No one in your background shot. And no having to awkwardly pretend you’re looking for something in your bag. I don’t know where everyone was, but I had my own little blogger photoshoot without any interruptions. Except for Joe wanting to make our dinner reservation, but that’s another story.
I think it might have to do with the fact that we had dinner booked for 7pm. Poole is like a Spainish seaside town in the sense that the later it was, the more people seemed to be going out. Later that evening, when it hit near 11pm and I was ready to crash, the town was still buzzing with people.
4. Dinner at the Storm Fish Restaurant
You’ll need to book this one in advance and I’m so glad that we did. The Storm Fish restaurant is situated in the middle in Poole’s ‘new town’. Despite it’s semi non-glamorous location, a visit here is worth it’s weight in oysters.
We ordered a bottle of wine to share and quickly decided that we needed to eat all the oysters in the building. These were delicious, some of the best oysters that I’ve had in a long time. We also ordered mains, laughed until our sides hurt and drank far too much wine. I couldn’t have been happier.
5. Explore the old town
It’s worth a definite stroll. The old town houses incredible buildings that you just don’t want to stop photographing. They also have an excellent pub selection… that I unfortunately didn’t go into because I got moderately tipsy (read: full out drunk off my face) on Friday night and went straight to bed!
6. A boat trip around the harbors in Poole
Absolutely book a boat trip. You won’t regret it. We decided to hop onto the Brownsea Island Ferry. A little yellow boat that takes you to two locations surrounding Poole.
First stop is the Brownsea Island, home to red squirrels (yes, really) and a famous estate owned by John Lewis, yes THE John Lewis. The estate is used as a summer home exclusively for employees. So in case you’ve been working there… now is your chance to book a little vacay there! We spotted it from the boat and it looked stunning (see it in the photos below).
The second stop takes you to the Sandbanks. It’s basically the Malibu of the south coast of England. Homes are super crazy kind of money, and you can see why. The views are absolutely stunning.
With a skyrocketing property value, Sandbanks has, by area, the fourth highest land value in the world. Cue the shocked face emoji all over. We passed by Harry Redknapp’s old haunt and a “little” bungalow that John Lennon bought his aunt on our boat tour.
7. Final reason to visit Poole this summer? To relax
I haven’t felt quite so relaxed in a long time.
Despite having come back from a few week stay in America, going away for the weekend really did the trick. There’s something about the fresh sea smell in the air and sauntering along the water with a cool ice cream in hand or sitting outside in a cute café that makes you feel right at home. With no real plans, responsibilities or checklist to tick off, we actually did relax.
And it felt really good.
A big thank you to the Travelodge crew who made us feel perfectly at home and an even bigger shoutout to that King sized bed that I’m surprised I got up from.
Because I could crawl into that bed again and sleep for days.
Have you ever been to Poole? What’s your favourite place to go or thing to see? I’ll need tips for my next visit!
PS. My stay at the Travelodge was complimentary, but all views, opinions and photography are my own. Honestly, I was so impressed with our stay there that I can’t help but sing their praises.