With miles of golden sands, gorgeous gardens, a glorious coastline and the largest natural harbour in Europe, groups visiting Poole can be sure of a warm welcome as the town celebrates 2019 with its new ‘Coach Friendly’ status.
Awarded by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) the Coach Friendly accolade recognises the town’s commitment to ensuring visitors have access to great facilities, information and outstanding products.
From fascinating history, top attractions and shopping to the bustling Quay and Britain’s best beaches, the sheer variety of inspiring things to see and do make Poole a great location for group visitors. With centrally located coach drop off points, dedicated coach parking and useful itineraries for short stops or day-long stays, the award highlights all the positive work the town, attractions and the Tourism Office have done to help groups make the most of their visit.
With a bustling quayside and old town, historical walks and harbour cruises there are plenty of options which can be easily tailored. Coach drop off points could not be more convenient, situated in the heart of the action on Poole Quay with views across the harbour. The Quay is home to café’s, independent shops and the dedicated team of staff at Poole Tourist Information Centre, based in Poole Museum who are on hand to help with information on places to go and things to do. A meet and greet service by the TIC team or Town Ambassadors can also be arranged in advance.
Free coach parking is centrally located next to the Dolphin Centre, Poole’s indoor shopping centre with shops ranging from top high street favourites M&S and Primark to bespoke department stores such as Beales. The handy ‘Route One’ Bus Service leaves every 15 minutes with a circular, hop on hop off service, between the Dolphin Shopping Centre and Poole Quay. Alternative free coach parking is also available at Poole Stadium.
And with Poole’s stunning natural harbour complete with eight unique islands and striking peninsula, it is easy to see Poole at its best – from the water. Poole’s traditional working Quay is the gateway to a wide selection of cruises taking visitors to Brownsea Island, Wareham and the iconic Jurassic coast. The harbour also offers great opportunities for sailing, watersports and the chance to see wildlife on regular bird boats with friendly expert guides.
Relaxing on one of the longest coast lines thanks to the 110 miles of inland harbour and fabulous beaches, groups are spoilt for choice with superb al fresco dining options, vibrant bars and restaurants and fabulous fresh seafood overlooking fantastic waterside views.
John Burch, SW Regional Manager for the Confederation of Passenger Transport said, said: “CPT is delighted to add Poole to those locations that have achieved Coach Friendly status. The award is perfectly timed for the onset of the 2019 season. The Coach Friendly scheme looks at signage, parking, set down / pick up locations, customer facilities and customer and operator incentive schemes amongst other things. The Tourism Partnership has used its initiative to overcome several issues and has been judged to have achieved the appropriate standard. The status mark will now allow the town to attract more coaches and their customers to take advantage of the facilities on offer. In turn I hope this will also show increased revenue for the town. I’ll be watching developments with interest as an important aspect of the scheme is monitoring the before and after effect. Well done Poole!”
Adam Keen, General Manager for Morebus, Excelsior, Damory & National Express – and Chairman of Poole BID – said; “Poole BID is working extremely hard to ensure that our town is seen as welcoming for coach operators by developing essential facilities such as free parking and the new toilet drop. By understanding the needs of coach drivers and making visits easy and comfortable, it demonstrates that we take the value of their business seriously and hopefully, this will mean that they will return with more visitors in the future.”
Carol Scott, Chair of Poole Attractions Group on the Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Management Board, said: “This award is just fantastic and shows how important it is for local businesses that the Council and Tourism work together. Poole welcomes thousands of coach visitors each year and each visit is a chance to really show off all the town has to offer especially as many return with families and friends. It’s something to be really proud of and will help to build visitor numbers in the future.”