Dorset FeatureKayaking

Kayaking in Poole – Baiter Park to Brownsea Island

By July 30, 2022 April 7th, 2023 No Comments

This is a perfect easy little paddle if you’re after a quick trip kayaking in Poole. Perfect for an evening, with good accessibility, easy parking and limited raff! It’s a short distance between Baiter Park and Brownsea Island, this trip isn’t about the distance, it’s about bobbing around in the ocean and enjoying a laid back paddle, with plenty of views. Pack a speaker, snacks, drinks and enjoy being out at sea as the sun starts to go down.

Kayaking in Poole


Start & Launch (own equipement) Baiter Harbourside Car Park, Labrador Dr, Poole BH15 1UX (£12-£15 charge)

Start & Launch (hire) Check out some hire options below

Route, Baiter Park to Brownsea Island, via Sandbanks (optional) (roughly 2 miles there and 2 miles back) 

Return, come back the way you came

Safety, check out the weather and tide times (links on this page)

Wear the relevant safety equipment (recommendations on this page) 

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Kayaking in Poole


If you own your own kayak, the start point for this route is Baiter Harbourside Car Park, Labrador Dr, Poole BH15 1UX. To launch here, there is a charge of £15 from 6:00am to midnight, and £12 from 2:30pm to midnight (this includes car parking). You can find more information about this on the Poole Harbour Commissioners website.


Brownsea Island is the largest Island in Poole Harbour, and in Dorset itself. The island is owned by the National Trust, and is open to visitors from March to October, it boasts dramatic views to the Purbeck Hills and is a thriving habitat for plenty of wildlife. Although there isn’t a huge amount to see on do on the island, there’s no denying that it’s an extremely peaceful spot.


While you’re out on the water why not take a short detour and check out Sandbanks, from the water you’ll be able to admire many of the impressive houses in this area. If heading around Sandbanks you’ll need to pay particular attention to the chain ferry which goes from Sandbanks to Studland, ensure you are not crossing at the same time, also the current can be strong here as you exit the bay.


The return for this route is simply heading back the way you came. If you’re doing an evening kayaking trip, the area looks beautiful as the sun starts to set, as well as being perfectly peaceful on the water. You could also explore some of the surrounding neighbourhoods on your return, such as Sandbanks.


If exploring around Sandbanks, be particularly careful of the chain ferry which crosses from Sandbanks to Studland. You do not want to cross when the ferry is active on a journey, as miss calculating the time it takes to cross, and fighting against the tide could leave you in a very dangerous situation. Although this is just a short trip, it’s always worth checking the weather forecast before you head out, you can also check the tides times before heading out too. Always wear a buoyancy aid (you can find a recommendation at the bottom of this page), make sure it’s the correct size for you and fits snuggly. Make sure you take a phone with you, (you can find a recommendation for a waterproof phone case at the bottom of this page). You’ll be thankful for this in the unlikely event of an emergency. Plan accordingly and if for any reason you aren’t sure before heading out, don’t risk it.

Kayaking in Poole


The Watersports Academy offer kayak hire and tours. You can find them at 15 Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7PS. The Watersports Academy offer two different types of tours, the harbour tour and island tour, tours are a great option if it’s your first time kayaking and you want to build up your confidence before heading out alone. Note that if you are hiring your kayak from The Watersports Academy you will need to stay within their safety zone. 

South Coast Adventures offer kayak hire for 1 hour at a time, they are based in Hamworthy Park, Lulworth Ave, Hamworthy, Poole BH15 4DH. This is further along the coastline, from here you can take in the views from Poole Harbour. South Coast Adventures also offer introductory lessons to build your confidence up on the water.

SUP more your thing? Check out SUP Safari, situated at Banks Rd, Poole BH13 7PW.


Check out the below kit to ensure you have everything you need for a safe and exciting adventure kayaking in Poole. Please note that this blog contains affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, Destination Downtime earns a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks in advance for your support. 

Buoyancy Aid

New lifejackets sold in the UK, Ireland and Europe are required to meet the international Standards Organisation standard ISO12402. For kayaking you need a buoyancy aid at level 50. Make sure the lifejacket is a good fit, comfortable and non-restricting.

Helly Hanson Buoyancy Aid

Waterproof Phone Case

A cheap purchase that brings hours of piece of mind! The exact model I use is no longer available however, this is extremely similar. I would recommend testing your case out before you hit the water by popping something inside and submerging it in water.

Waterproof Phone Case

Waterproof Dry Bag

To ensure your personal belongings are kept dry on your kayak consider investing in a good quality waterproof bag. This bag features 2 adjustable shoulder straps and buckles to make it easy to carry. To free your hands you can use it as a large volume backpack, it also comes in plenty of cool colours to choose from.

Dry Bag

Water Shoes

It’s a great idea to purchase a pair of water shoes to ensure you don’t ruin your trainers form submerging them in water. These water shoes are quick drying, lightweight, and fit snuggly on your feet.

Water Shoes


While you are kayaking in Poole, you may also like to explore the below.

Will you be heading out on an adventure kayaking in Poole? Share your adventures below in the comments.