Stretch your legs

Brownsea Island winter view

There is plenty to discover here on Brownsea Island and at a mile long and just under a mile wide, a walk around the island is easily manageable.

Brownsea is a magical place where people and nature happily coexist, wildlife is conserved, and the landscape is sensitively managed. In spite of its small size, Brownsea has a wealth of different habitats to explore, from a sheltered lagoon to open heath, seashores, grasslands and woodland, each boasting its own fascinating wildlife.

We have plenty of way marked walks for the whole family or more experienced rambler and winter is the perfect time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the island.  You may even spot one of the elusive Sika deer or the rare red squirrel.

Brownsea Island walks

There are three main way marked routes across the island. Which one will you follow?
Brownsea Island Map
There are three main way marked routes across the island. Which one will you follow?


Our view points and woodlands walk offers stunning cliff top views across the Purbecks and can be the perfect spot for a warming spring time picnic. Wander along South Shore beach and you'll be amazed to find old pottery pieces that remain from the days when Brownsea had a pottery factory.  Venture further on the Scouting and Maryland walk to what remains of the old village and imagine the thriving community that once lived there.

Found a piece of pottery along South Shore beach? It's a remnant from the pottery factory that once stood on Brownsea.
Brownsea Island pottery in 1891
Found a piece of pottery along South Shore beach? It's a remnant from the pottery factory that once stood on Brownsea.

Ramble across the heath block on the Heathland walk where you might spot some Japanese Sika deer,  some of whom will be pregnant following the rutting season last year.  If you’re quiet, you will spot them grazing as they take on board as much food as possible during the early part of the year.

Sika deer grazing on Brownsea Island
Deer grazing on Brownsea
Sika deer grazing on Brownsea Island

You can also join one of our daily, free introductory guided walks to introduce the history and wildlife of the island.  Walks start near reception at 11:30 and 2pm and last about 45 minutes.

While there's plenty to keep you energised outdoors, we are also busy working on refreshing our displays inside the Visitor Centre.  Therefore we regret that it will be closed the time being, but will reopen later in the Spring with insightful tales about the island's residents. 

Family trails can still be picked up from reception on your way in or up at the Outdoor Centre and colouring sheets will available in the cafe while you warm up with a cuppa.