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Outdoor activities at Brownsea Island

The tree tents at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset
The tree tents at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset | © National Trust Images / Robin Kitchin

Brownsea Island in Dorset, is the home of adventure, where the spirit of Scouting and Guiding continues to this day at the island's campsite. Here you can find out about all of the outdoor activities and special events in 2023 and more information on what to do if you're making your own way to the island.

Today, everyone is welcome to come and spend a night under the stars at the island's campsite and experience the magic of Brownsea after hours. As a day visitor or campsite visitor you can come to Brownsea via the island's passenger ferry service or head to the island in your own kayak or boat or by paddleboard. There's also opportunities through various events throughout the year to explore Brownsea out of hours.

Beaches to explore

There are lots of access points onto the beautiful beaches at Brownsea to enjoy, kick your shoes and socks off and paddle in the shallows. Or get your swimming gear on and get splashing around in the shallow waters. There are lots of idyllic spots to have a picnic and enjoy the wonderful views across Poole Harbour and over to the Purbeck hills. Try your hand at beach art or build a sandcastle, or just go beachcombing and see what you can find.

Two adults kayaking at Studland Bay with white cliffs behind them
Experienced paddlers can make their own way across the harbour to the island's South Shore | © National Trust Images/Ben Selway

Coming to Brownsea Island by boat, kayak or paddleboard

We provide a warm welcome to any visitors who come to the island using their own boats, kayaks or paddleboards but there are some things you need to know about landing here. Please read our FAQs below.

A close up of a red squirrel climbing a tree on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset

Discover more at Brownsea Island

Find out when Brownsea Island is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset

Adventure camping 

Experience the magic of Brownsea under the stars. Discover Adventure camping options and book your next adventure.

Visitors kayaking on the sea past the Old Harry Rocks, Purbeck Countryside, Dorset

The Paddlers' Code 

If you're planning to visit us via canoe, kayak or paddleboard, the Paddlers' Code provides water users with a code of conduct and a best practice guide.