Take a harbour boat trip from Poole Quay (£27.50 for a family of five) - boat trip takes approx. one hour in total.
To make a day of it hop off at the wonderful Brownsea Island which has a notably varied history from as far back as 5BC. Pottery production, pillaged by Vikings, a military stronghold and later a pirates retreat, a refuge for wildlife, the toast of Edwardian society and the site of the first Scout camp in 1907 - Lord Baden-Powell's stone commemorates the movement and guides and scouts are allowed to camp here during the summer months. An Island visit is free to NT members, otherwise a family of five ticket (including Gift Aid) costs £17.10. The Island feels very calm and we had a wonderful time ambling around guided by the kids to find their places of interest. The Kids Map, free from reception, makes exploring fun - easy walks (and less easy), beaches to explore, natural play areas, tree climbing, den building, peacock spotting - and red squirrels - Scout Camp history, beautiful old church and lots of activities running through the year, as well as a fab cafe serving excellent coffee and delicious ice-creams - and a little gift shop if any pocket money left over at the end. The trip around the harbour was informative and chatty and we learnt a lot about the cost of an island these days (a lot!). The ride back to Poole Quay was windy - remember your jumper if you want to enjoy the view from the top deck.