Poole Life and Travel Tips
(Poole, Dorset, England, UK)
Poole is a wonderful coastal resort to visit at any time of the year, although the summer months are particularly busy. Even in the coldest winter, the Harbour and Quayside remains popular and people come to Poole to enjoy the Christmas festivities, decorations and to do their Christmas shopping. The quietest time is from January to mid-March and this is probably the only time when local guest houses reduce their prices to attract more tourists.
Tourism and Tourist Information Offices
There are a number of tourist offices throughout Poole and these provide useful information, such as brochures, maps, opening hours, directions and details about local cruises to Brownsea Island.
The main tourist information office is situated in the Waterfront Museum, next to Poole Quay.
Tourist Information Centre
Address: 4 High Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1BW, England
Tel: +44 (0)1202 253253
Open hours: April, May and October, Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
June, July and September, Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:30, Saturday and Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
August, daily - 10:00 to 18:00
November to March, Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 15:00
As in any large town or city, always maintain an awareness of your surroundings and try to blend in and not look like a tourist. Although crime levels in Poole are low, look like you know where you are going and be particularly careful with hand baggage. Wear a bag or camera across your body, or even consider using a concealed money belt.
Places of Worship
The diverse seaside resort of Poole is home to a large number of different cultures and most religions have a presence. Many of the churches here belong to the Church of England as places of worship for the Anglican faith, although all faiths are always welcome. Newspapers generally list times of services for the main denominations. Poole contains numerous cathedrals, chapels, mosques, temples and synagogues.
Pharmacies and Chemists
Most pharmacies in Poole are open from at least 09:00 until around 18:00 and supermarkets often have in-store chemists. Local drugstores will usually open until 18:00, although some may stay open until later, and these usually have a pharmacy counter for dispensing prescriptions.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the Poole and the United Kingdom, although regional dialects can vary greatly. There are many ways to say the same thing in the English language, so, in most cases, don't worry about trying to think of an alternative.
Tipping in Poole is quite discretionary, with taxi drivers usually being given a 10% gratuity or thereabouts - although this is not essential. Restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, otherwise a gratuity of around 10% is usually expected in recognition of prompt and courteous service. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accept a tip of one or two pounds. Generally, no other public service workers will expect tips.
In many buildings and on public transport in Poole, rules restrict smoking and this is usually indicated by no-smoking symbols in prominent places. From July 2007, you are no longer able to smoke inside any of the cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs, although outdoor tables are often provided for those with the need to light up.
Smoking in Poole, and England as a whole, is not as fashionable as it once was, so it is always worth exercising discretion and sensitivity when selecting a place in which to smoke. The best advice would be not to smoke unless others around you do so.
Invitations to Eat
Much business is done over the dinner table in Poole and business lunches frequently take place at centrally located restaurants recommended by your host. In most good restaurants there will be a comprehensive wine and beer list and tables usually need to be booked in advance. Business dinners in Poole are also often conducted at home and these tend to be less formal affairs, with a pre-arranged time for arrival about half an hour before dinner is served. Although guests are not expected to arrive bearing gifts, a bottle of wine or flowers are very much appreciated and should be presented upon arrival. Social dinners are rarely formal affairs and guests will be encouraged to relax.
The British love pubs for their informality and social atmosphere. Pubs and wine bars in Poole are most often places to meet and be seen, though each has its own standing in the local community, with some being frequented by business people, locals, celebrities and others by visitors and tourists. Most pubs and wine bars in Poole are friendly places - if there is a good mix of people you can be sure that it is a good pub, otherwise, just close the door and find another nearby.
One of the most common social customs associated with drinking in pubs is that of buying a 'round' of drinks when drinking socially with a group. Members of the group take their turn, in no particular order, and as people's glasses empty it is a good idea to reciprocate and offer to buy the next round.
The belief that the British drink nothing but tea is today very much a myth. Many love drinking coffee, especially from the countless popular coffee shops in Poole that have opened in recent years.