Dorset; Poole

Almost hidden from view is a small quayside which is home to the RNLI.

I found it by accident when I visited Poole in Dorset in 2019, I wasn’t looking for the lifeboat station, I was just wandering around Poole and suddenly found myself looking at two large buildings, one on either side of the road. On the board outside it said visitors welcome, so I went in.

The large foyer was spacious, a gift shop was in the far corner, obviously, you have to buy something as the proceeds go to the lifeboats. A reception area, meeting rooms, toilets and a door leading to outside where you can look at the lifeboats bobbing up and down in the water. One had the Blue Peter logo on it, bought with money no doubt raised from the show. There was a building for training, Poole is the head office and main training ground to train these selfless men and women who risk their lives to save others.

Up some wooden ship like steps I was surprised to find a café/restaurant, it was in the shape of a semi-circle, you could sit inside or outside, but wherever you sat as you were up high you had a spectacular view of the harbour and the sea. This was also used by the lifeboat staff who were sitting relaxed having their lunches. There is a museum down by the quay, this was once the lifeboat house where the lifeboat was kept. The museum gives you the history of the lifeboat and it has gifts and clothing. There has been a lifeboat station at Poole 1865.

If you are near the Dorset coast and you find yourselves in Poole please find this slightly different tourist attraction, it is well worth looking at the harbour that holds these special boats, have a coffee in the café and take in this different kind of view.

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