Prize-winning Poole, the place to be with morebus!
Proud Poole’s prizes aplenty
Hot on the heels of being awarded Premium Customer Service status by Great Scenic Journeys in its national accreditation programme of nearly 200 routes, there’s one more award for morebus, the Manchester City of the UK bus industry, which is located, not in the north, but instead in the heart of Dorset and the brilliant town of Poole.
Last week, morebus, which is part of the Go South Coast business, once again hit centre stage by winning the prize of ‘Britain’s Best Large Bus Operator’ at the prestigious Route One Awards in Birmingham! They’re led by longstanding Managing Director, Andrew Wickham, known as the Pep Guardiola of the bus industry.
More roads lead to Morebus
morebus brought the trophy home to Poole, which is the epicentre for many short-distance bus services which converge on the town centre bus station from across Dorset, including 3 wonderful routes that are part of the Great Scenic Journeys collection. Two of these, the Harbour Breezer 60 (between Rockley Park and Sandbanks Ferry) and Breezer 40 (to/from Swanage), continue to run throughout the winter months, whilst next Spring its open top Beach Breezer 70/80 returns.
The pull of Poole
A trip on morebus to Poole is well worth doing this autumn and winter to blow the cobwebs away! It’s a bit of a hidden gem for those from far afield, straddled just to the west of the eclectic Bournemouth with its coastal capers, seaside frivolity, bustling nightlife and scenic charm, whilst also nestling next to Sandbanks Beach, famous for its golden sands and Blue Flag status. Enjoy water sports or simply bask in the sun with views of million-dollar mansions and the Isle of Purbeck in the distance. Why not pick up the amazing morebus Purbeck Breezer 50 route which runs between Bournemouth and Swanage and fascinatingly mounts a ferry at Sandbanks over towards Studland! Purbeck Breezer 50 – Great Scenic Journeys
Poole offers a blend of beauty, historical charm, and vibrant activities. Begin your exploration by visiting Poole Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Stroll along the quayside, where you can enjoy stunning views of bobbing boats and sample fresh seafood at the numerous waterfront restaurants, with views of the ferries leaving the harbour.
Retail therapy is all the rage in Poole with its impressive designer boutiques and chains. There’s also the lovely warm Dolphin Shopping Centre at the Bus Station, which also hosts community events, workshops and displays. A few yards away, across the quaint railway level crossing and there’s charming independent stores down the High Street, including our favourite, the fascinating model railway shop (Setchfields, 21-25 High Street)! We also love the many Georgian mansions in Poole including the lovely, swanky Hotel du Vin, Poole House and West End House along Thames Street (pictured below).
Pits, Pirates and Play-Offs
There’s more than just Morebus as a winning team in Poole, though. The town is also home to the Poole Pirates, one of the most famous names in Speedway and who ride at their stadium in Wimborne Road, not far from the centre of the town and where on race night you can hear the whirring sound of engines being revved up in the pits and whiff the smell of cinders from the track. The Pirates had another successful season, riding 37 meetings (including one abandoned) and won 28 of them, with three draws (two of which were decided by victorious Superheat race-offs) and just six defeats. The team finished top of the league and into all 3 major finals, even if they lost the Grand Final, which was, well, just the pits really! They hope for more success when the new season starts next March!
Sporting prowess extends to football with Poole F.C playing in the Southern Premier League. Last Saturday, the Dolphins, as they are nicknamed won 7-0 away at Didcot and now sit just outside the Play-Off positions after a successful start to the current season. They’ve two home games coming up at their stadium off School Lane in Oakdale, Poole on Tuesday 14th November, hosting Salisbury and then the following Saturday, the Swans from Walton & Hersham make the journey westwards to Poole. Both teams are vying for promotion, so it should be a cracker! Be sure to check out details of the fixtures at Poole Town FC Official Website
Sadly, greyhound racing stopped in Poole in 2020 – and (pardon the pun) this certainly is a town that hasn’t gone to dogs – in fact it’s nigh on perfect! There’s more to Poole than three points and trophies and a trip to the historic Old Town, characterized by cobbled streets and medieval architecture, is a true delight. The Poole Museum, housed in a Victorian warehouse, uncovers the town’s rich maritime history, from its role in the D-Day landings to the evolution of its pottery industry. It’s currently closed until later in 2024, but for a fantastic, re-development, so keep your eye on Home (poolemuseum.org.uk) for more details.
Meanwhile, hidden within Poole’s maritime history is the curious fact that it was a major centre for the production of the Mulberry Harbours during World War II. These artificial harbours played a crucial role in the D-Day landings of 1944, facilitating the rapid offloading of troops and supplies onto the beaches of Normandy. Poole’s contribution to this top-secret project, known as “Operation Mulberry,” is a testament to the town’s strategic importance and the innovative engineering efforts that unfolded behind the scenes during one of the most pivotal moments in modern history.
Scouting for wildlife
For a breath of fresh air, take a ferry to Brownsea Island, a nature reserve in the heart of the harbour. This haven is home to diverse wildlife, including red squirrels, and offers scenic walking trails through woodlands and along the shoreline. The Island was the location for an experimental camp in 1907 that led to the formation of the Scout movement a year later! Another titbit is that there is one single post box here, which receives a daily collection by the Royal Mail!
Pots, pubs and performances
Art buffs will love the Poole Pottery Studio, where they can devour the creation of iconic ceramic pieces and even try a bit of pottery. Alternatively, there’s The Lighthouse, Poole’s premier arts and entertainment venue, hosting a range of performances from theatre and dance to music and film. Not for the feint hearted but the macabre “The Killers of the Flower Moon” and “A Haunting in Venice” are currently showing at The Lighthouse, if you can muster up the courage! For full listings, go to Home – Lighthouse (lighthousepoole.co.uk)
In the evenings, explore the bustling Quay for a vibrant nightlife scene. From traditional pubs to contemporary bars, there’s something for every taste. Poole’s unique blend of history, nature, and modern amenities ensures a memorable experience for visitors of all interests.
More for your money with morebus
Poole provides priceless experiences, even if it’s only a ridiculous £2 on any bus to get there currently. Bumper value for a bright and breezy winning town where there’s more than enough fun and fascination brought to you by Morebus.
Check out the morebus website or the collection of Great Scenic Journeys across delightful Dorset…
Oh and for a bit more info, on a morebus award, then check this out too…