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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 G

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

Catching the boat to Brownsea from Sandbanks. Please note that pre-booking is essential for this service.

We’re pleased to once again be in a position to offer a limited Sandbanks visitor boat service utilising the island’s own smaller passenger vessel, The Enterprise, to bring visitors to the island.

Although this service is a smaller service to what you may be used to if you've visited from Sandbanks previously, we hope it will provide an option for those who might ordinarily use the Sandbanks Chain Ferry to connect to a boat service to the island from Sandbanks — as is the case for many people visiting from and residing in Purbeck. We have introduced this service whilst the Sandbanks Jetty project gets underway. You can read more about the project at the end of this article.

About the Sandbanks Jetty boat service to Brownsea

We'll be providing the Sandbanks Jetty boat service to visitors from 11 March to 29 October 2023. Due to capacity, this will be a pre-bookable service, carrying up to 20 visitors per trip. 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-in ferry service from Poole Quay.

Sandbanks Jetty boat service timetable 2023

Visiting information:

Fixed time visit

  • Visitors arriving on 10:00 service must depart at 13.20
  • Visitors arriving on 10.30 service must depart at 14.20
  • Visitors arriving on 11.00 service must depart at 14.50
  • Visitors arriving on 12.00 service must depart at 15.50


  • 10am service - 20
  • 10.30am service - 20
  • 11am service - 30
  • 12pm service - 30

Depart Sandbanks











Boat fare from Sandbanks to Brownsea

All visitors, including members, are required to pay the boat fare. This is paid for in advance if choosing to travel from Sandbanks as this is a pre-bookable service. Island admission also applies if you're not a member of the National Trust. To book your ticket, please scroll towards the bottom of this page.

  • Adult: £9.00
  • Child (5-17): £4.50
  • 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 2023 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.

We advise the use of all-terrain pushchairs when visiting the island due to the uneven surfaces. These are available to hire, free of charge. Please book ahead on 01202 492164. If you are planning to bring your own pushchair and big picnic baskets, please use the ferry from Poole, as we cannot accept these on the Sandbanks boat, owing to limited space on board.

Although the vessel 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 free of charge and can be reserved by calling ahead on 01202 492164.

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. Please note that there's no dedicated disabled badge holder spaces in close proximity to the ferry that offer enough time for a visit. Please note that the Ferry Way short stay car park next to the Chain Ferry, though offering 3 disabled spaces, only allows visitors to park for 1 hour. Alternatively, the Beryl bike scheme has a parking bay nearby, visit Beryl Bike Scheme for more information.

Search for parking on the Sandbanks peninsula.

If travelling from Purbeck, it's possible to park at Shell Bay (National Trust car park) and come across the Chain Ferry as a foot passenger. This is dependent on whether or not the Chain Ferry is in operation at the time of your visit and it's also worth noting that parking at Shell Bay is not guaranteed, especially in peak times when there may be no spaces available. We recommend you make other parking arrangements at busy 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

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

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