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Visiting Brownsea Island from Sandbanks

Enterprise boat moored at jetty with people walking down the jetty.
Enterprise boat at Sandbanks Jetty | © Olivia Gruitt

Find out how to book the Sandbanks Jetty boat service to Brownsea Island and learn more about the Sandbanks Jetty refurbishment project.

Sandbanks boat service suspended until Friday 26 April.

The Sandbanks boat service is currently suspended until 26 April, as we are carrying out ground investigation works, which involves drilling 6 boreholes to support our plans for a new jetty. The ferry service from Poole is not affected. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Catching the boat to Brownsea from Sandbanks

The Sandbanks Jetty pre-bookable boat service is available from 16 March to 3 November 2024. When you book, you'll have fixed departure and return times. Please note that due to the fixed boat timings your visit to the island will last between 3 - 4 hours. For an alternative crossing, see the information on the walk-on ferry service from Poole Quay.

Fixed time visit

Depart Sandbanks

Depart Brownsea









Boat fare from Sandbanks to Brownsea

All visitors, including members, are required to pay the boat fare. This is paid for in advance when you book your travel from Sandbanks. Island admission also applies if you're not a member of the National Trust.

  • Adult: £9.50
  • Family (2 adults + 3 children): £23.75
  • Family (1 adult + 3 children): £14.25
  • Child (5-17): £4.75
  • Child (under 5): Free

Island admission price

Island admission is free for members, so please bring your membership card with you.

Non members will need to pay admission as well as the ferry fare, payable on booking. See the homepage for 2024 prices.

Boats for campsite visitors and groups

Large group visits (schools, community groups etc.) must come via Poole Quay and book their visit in advance through the Property Office on 01202 707744. Campers will pay for their ferry as part of the booking process and will need to travel from Poole Quay, please see the camping pages for more details.

Accessing the boat

The landing jetties at Sandbanks and Brownsea Island have steep steps and are subject to varying tidal conditions. We strongly recommend that passengers with restricted mobility use the walk-on service from Poole Quay, and those with wheelchairs or mobility scooters pre-book our accessible vessel, the Brownsea Seahorse.

Although the boat is exposed to the elements, it's only a short ride to the island - approximately 10 minutes.

Dogs and Large Pushchairs

Dogs are not permitted on Brownsea Island as it is a designated nature reserve. Registered assistance dogs are welcomed but should be clearly identifiable. If you are planning to bring your own pushchair or large picnic baskets please use the ferry from Poole Quay, as we cannot accept these on the Sandbanks boat due to limited space on board. All-terrain pushchairs are available to hire on the island free of charge and can be reserved by calling ahead on 01202 492164.

Image shows visitors boarding the Enterprise boat from Sandbanks to Brownsea, Brownsea Island, Dorset
Visitors boarding the Enterprise from Sandbanks to Brownsea, Brownsea Island, Dorset | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

How to find the National Trust Jetty

Visitors wishing to travel to Brownsea from Sandbanks will need to head to the Sandbanks Jetty located on the opposite side of the road to the Haven Hotel. The jetty is to the right of the Chain Ferry if accessing from Sandbanks. Postcode for Sat. Nav. BH13 7QJ.

For visitors travelling across to Sandbanks on the Chain Ferry from Purbeck, when you alight the Chain Ferry the National Trust jetty will be immediately on your left.


There is limited parking nearby, so please allow plenty of time before the ferry departs. The parking on the peninsula is payable at roadside meters or via phone. Charges apply in all residential roads in Sandbanks from March to November. There is no dedicated disabled badge holder spaces in close proximity to the ferry that offer sufficient time for a visit, including the Ferry Way short stay car park next to the Chain Ferry. For more information Search for parking on the Sandbanks peninsula.

The Beryl bike scheme has a parking bay nearby, visit Beryl Bike Scheme

If travelling from Purbeck, there is parking at Shell Bay (National Trust car park) enabling visitors to use the Chain Ferry as a foot passenger. This is dependent on whether the Chain Ferry is in operation at the time of your visit. Parking spaces at Shell Bay are not guaranteed, as it can be very busy during peak times, such as bank holidays, school holidays and weekends. You can view the Chain Ferry timetable here.

Staying safe onboard

To help keep everyone safe, please pay attention to instructions from staff, crew and skippers whilst boarding, on board and alighting the ferry.

Once seated we will ask you to remain there for the duration of the crossing. There is some shelter offered on the Enterprise but not all seating is under cover. The journey from Sandbanks is less than 10 minutes to the island.

The Sandbanks Jetty project

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