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Day visiting group trips to Brownsea Island

Children on a school trip at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire
Learning in the outdoors at Brownsea Island | © ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Brownsea Island is a great destination to bring your group, with plenty to see and do on your visit. Here's all the information you need to start planning your trip.

Why choose Brownsea?

  • As the birthplace of Scouting and Guiding, Brownsea has a long history of supporting inspirational outdoor adventures.
  • Brownsea is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its various habitats and species, and the island offers lots of opportunities to learn about nature, the environment, sustainability and life on the island.
  • Easily accessible from the mainland with regular ferry services from Poole Quay.
  • Find out what outdoor activities are on offer here.

Request a brochure

To request a brochure or for more information, please email

Planning your group visit

We welcome groups to Brownsea Island throughout the visitor season, from March to October. However, as capacity is limited during the peak summer months of July and August, we encourage you give as much notice as possible and consider visiting in our quieter periods.

Getting to Brownsea by ferry

If you're planning a trip to Brownsea, then you'll need to catch a foot ferry from Poole Quay. The crossing takes approximately 20 minutes from Poole Quay and your allocated ferry is pre-booked and paid in advance through the National Trust.

How much time to spend at Brownsea

We recommend that you allow at least three hours for your visit.

A group of school children enjoying a visit to East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire
School visit | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Free familiarisation visits for group leaders

If you would like to visit the island ahead of your planned visit, we offer a free pre-bookable preliminary visit, including ferry fare, for up to two people. We’ll happily chat through your needs and help tailor your day to your group’s requirements. To request your familiarisation visit please email

Booking your group visit

To book your visit please complete the application form 2024 Group Booking Request form. If we have availability, we will send you a link to make your payment and confirm your booking.

As we have limited capacity, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please note that group bookings are subject to availability and operational requirements. We recommend that you don’t make any travel or other arrangements until we’ve confirmed your tour booking.

Educational group access pass

Schools or education groups can benefit from an Education Group Access Pass, which gives the whole group free admission and parking at most of the places in our care for a year. Please note: everyone must pay the ferry fare.

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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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Wildlife watching on Brownsea Island 

Take a walk on Brownsea Island, Dorset, and encounter a variety of birds and other wildlife that calls this island sanctuary in Poole Harbour, home.

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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.

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Education Group Access Pass 

If you’re planning educational group visits to National Trust places, then you could benefit from an Education Group Access Pass, which gives you free admission for a year.

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Touring Pass 

If you're travelling to the UK from overseas this year, buy a National Trust Touring Pass for entry to more than 300 places in our care. With 7-day and 14-day options available, the pass can be tailored to fit your trip. Discover where you can visit with the Touring Pass and how to buy yours.

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Group visits frequently asked questions 

Visiting us with a group? Then our answers to your frequently asked questions might help with any question you may have.