Poole is famous first and foremost for its harbour. The picturesque harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world, with only the world famous Sydney harbour being bigger, not bad for a small town on Britains south coast.
The 60 mile coastline around the harbour has been attracting tourists and businesses alike to the area for hundreds of years. For visitors, the harbour area in particular, is the appeal of Poole. It has plenty of exotic wildlife, good beaches, sand dunes and numerous watersports, including rowing and water-skiing and a long yachting history. The waters also provide plenty of work for local fishermen and ensure that the quayside restaurants are never in short supply of fresh produce.
Back as far as 876, Alfred the Great put Poole on the map, by battling against a Danish fleet and driving them out of the area. The battled ended in the spectacular Studland shipwreck, where around 120 ships were destroyed by a fierce storm.
The position of Poole has always made it a popular stop off point for foreign visitors, historically of an unfriendly variety. Attacks and raids were commonplace in the 15th century courtesy of the French and Spanish and meant that local people always had to be on their guard.