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Accessible Brownsea

The Seahorse landing craft arriving at Brownsea Island.
The Seahorse landing craft arriving at Brownsea Island. | © National Trust/Olivia Gruitt

From our Seahorse landing craft to our all-terrain manual wheelchairs, we're working hard to ensure Brownsea Island is as accessible as possible.

The Seahorse landing craft

Bought by the National Trust in 2016 to support a variety of essential island operations, the Seahorse's main use is to provide wheelchair users who may not be able to use the passenger service to the island, access to Brownsea. In particular the service is used by visitors who use a wheelchair and are unable to navigate the steps on the services to and from Poole Quay or Brownsea. This is a pre-bookable service only.

  • Priority will be given to wheelchair and mobility scooter users and their carers
  • The crossing takes around 10 minutes
  • Please be aware that the vessel is open to the elements
  • There are no seats or facilities on board

Seahorse timetable 2024

Please note that timetables are tide and weather dependent and this is a bookable service.

MonthDateDeparture SYCReturn to SYC from Brownsea Island


2024 return ticket prices for the Seahorse are shown below.

  • Adult: £13.50
  • Child: £6.75
  • Family 2 adults & 3 children: £33.75
  • Family 1 adult & 3 children: £20.25

Book your visit on the Seahorse

The Seahorse is a bookable service and will only run when booked by visitors who wish to come. The booking window will close one day prior to the date of sailing. As with all boat services to the island this service may be cancelled due to bad weather, but prior notice will be provided if this happens. You'll book a combined Seahorse transfer to and from the island and island admission. Island admission is free of charge for National Trust members. Members must produce their membership card on the day of visiting.

Departure point

Please note that the location you catch the Seahorse from is different to where visitors catch the Sandbanks Jetty boat service. The Seahorse operates in and out of the Sandbanks Yacht Company slipway. The postcode is BH13 7RD and the entrance is on the left-hand side next to the Stephen Noble Estate Agent.


Please note that no parking is provided at Sandbanks Yacht Company.

Parking, payable by meter or by phone, is available is in the surrounding road-side bays, residential roads and Sandbanks surface car park. Charges apply year-round on Banks Road and at the Sandbanks surface car park. Charges apply March to November in residential roads. The Sandbanks surface car park has limited disabled bays. Unfortunately, there's no free parking available for disabled visitors nearby. Residential roads for parking nearby include: Panorama Road BH13 7RD; Brownsea Road BH13 7QR; Seacombe Road BH13 7RJ; and Grasmere Road BH13 7RH. You can search the available parking options on the BCP Council website.

Safety information

The Sandbanks Yacht Company is a working boat yard so please be aware of vehicle and boat movements while on site.

Squirrel shuttle bus driving along a gravel  road with trees in the background
Squirrel Shuttle Bus | © National Trust/ Lynne B

Electric Squirrel Shuttle mini bus tours.

Accessible tours are available on our Squirrel Shuttle bus at 11.40am and 1.40pm. This service improves access for all, offering guided tours for those less mobile or with additional needs. There is also a hop on, hop off service at 10.40am and 2.40pm for those that need a little help exploring further afield, including families with smaller children. Booking is advised, please contact reception 01202 492164. Please note that there are 8 spaces for each journey, but this number is reduced if a wheelchair user is on board. This service is subject to volunteer availability on the day.

All-terrain wheelchairs

Visitors to Brownsea can book an all-terrain manual wheelchair by calling reception direct on 01202 492164. The number of wheelchairs is limited so these are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


All-terrain pushchairs are available to hire free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, or you can book ahead by calling reception on 01202 492164.

Carers/companion entry information

The Essential Companion card makes it simple to bring one or two carers or companions with you, free of charge. Show the card when you arrive, and your carer(s) or companion(s) won’t need to pay an entry fee or boat fare.

It’s in your name so you can bring whoever you like, but even if you don’t have an Essential Companion card, you can still bring carers or companions free – the card just makes it quicker and simpler for you. 

To order your pass or card, get in touch with us by phone, email, or post.

Write: National Trust, PO Box 574, Manvers, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 3FH

Access guide and map

Our access guide and map will give you all the information you need to help you explore the wonders of Brownsea. Download a copy here

Assistance dogs

Dogs are not allowed anywhere on Brownsea Island with the exception of assistance dogs, which should be made clearly identifiable.

Red backpack with contents displayed, including binoculars, sunglasses and a cuddly red squirrel. Sea, boats and blue sky and clouds in the background.
Sensory backpacks with contents | © National Trust/ Dania Schmitz-Vaughan

Sensory Backpacks

Sensory Backpacks are available to hire, these packs were developed with the support of a charity called Diverse Abilities and SEND in Museums. The packs have been designed to enhance the experience of our visitors with special educational needs and disabilities, (SEND). The backpacks have sensory activities and fidget elements that can be useful resources for families and schools on a self-led visit. They have two themes, woodland and beach, with activities using senses to explore nature. The backpacks are free to hire, book by phone 01202 707740 or email

Visitors leaving the Seahorse ferry boat on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset

Book your visit to us on the Seahorse

Read all the visiting information and ready to book your tickets on our accessible Seahorse landing craft?

You might also be interested in

Brownsea Island yellow ferry coming into dock on Brownsea Island

Visiting Brownsea Island from Poole Quay 

In this article you'll find all you need to know to plan your visit to Brownsea, including how to get here by ferry.

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Visiting Brownsea Island from Sandbanks 

Find ferry information about the Sandbanks Jetty boat service connecting Sandbanks to Brownsea Island and more details about the Sandbanks Jetty project.

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Eating and shopping on Brownsea Island 

Fuel up for your adventure at the Villano Café, where you'll find a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks and light meals. Elsewhere, shop for a Brownsea Island souvenir at the Trading Post and browse our second-hand bookshop.


Access guide and map 

Brownsea Island Access Guide & Map 2024