The Park has a network of hard-surfaced wheelchair friendly footpaths. There are several kissing gates throughout the estate; each is accessible with a RADAR key. Accessible toilets are located in the car park and by the Tea Rooms (RADAR key).
The Education Centre is accessed via a wheelchair friendly ramp. Access to Upton House ground floor includes entrance/exit ramps and toilet facilities.
During 2017 we will be improving our car parks to provide more year-round parking spaces. We are also improving our cycle and footpath links.
The Country Park and its facilities will remain open as usual throughout the works.
Why do we need to improve the car parks?
The Country Park is open every day and enjoyed by over 600,000 visitors each year. In 2015, nearly 275,000 cars entered the estate to use the 260 spaces available. On busy days, surrounding overflow areas like the Front Lawn are used, however these areas are only available when ground conditions permit.
Once the improvements are complete, the estate will be able we will be able to accommodate around 400 vehicles throughout the year, across four car parks. Overflow fields will remain available for our popular events and activity days.
What’s happening in the Entrance Car Park?
The current gravel surface will be regraded and pot holes filled. Over the winter our Conservation Volunteers are carrying out coppice works as part of our Woodland Management Programme. These works happen every seven years to help retain important wildlife habitats.
What’s happening in the Front lawn / Pétanque Car Park?
The Pétanque Terrain has been relocated to the adjacent Front Lawn, additional parking bays are being added and a new planting scheme has been designed to enhance the view towards Upton House. Connecting footpaths will also be upgraded to provide improved access.
What’s happening in the main Car Park?
The existing car park is being re-aligned & improved to increase the number of all-weather gravel spaces and surfaced access tracks.
The work includes more disabled parking bays, a designated motorbike area and four spaces for longer vehicles. There will also be improvements to footpaths and cycle facilities. The landscape design is sympathetic to the rural and historic setting and supports the specimen trees that we are fortunate to have within the Country Park.
What’s happening in the Poole Road Car Park?
Six extra car parking spaces have been added and the central drive way has been tarmacked.
How is the project being funded?
The Borough of Poole has agreed an expenditure of up to £500k capital works to implement additional capacity, improve the visitor experience and introduce a system of charging for car parking. This funding has been allocated from the Council’s Capital Reserve.
Will there be an entry fee for the Park?
No. Unlike many other estates and attractions of Upton’s size and grandeur, we don’t charge an entry fee but pride ourselves on maintaining over 140 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands that visitors can freely explore throughout the year. From the shoreline, woodland and meadows to the more formal gardens we have something for everyone to enjoy.
Last updated: 14th March 2017
Country Park improvements & Car Parking charges
3rd April - Car Park charging begins;
New tree trail launches - explore the estate, learn about our wonderful trees and how we care for them;
23rd April - Wild About the Great Heath Fun Day with Dorset Wildlife Trust [full details];
29th April - Plant Centre opens for the summer.
Carry out planting in Main Car park (necessary after the removal of damaged trees during the improvement works);
Main Car Park top section is completed;
The Walled Garden Splash Fountain opens for the summer.
Re-vamped Main Car Park due to fully open with 340 parking spaces - we can now offer nearly 400 year-round usable spaces across the estate;
8th - 10th June, Upton House Music Festival; partial road closure during the event;
Winter & Spring Country Park improvements complete!
Pétanque pitch relocation work begins;
New Front Lawn Car Park created;
Maintenance on Entrance Car Park;
Woodland tree management: front lawn and Lewellins Wood;
Submit Planning Applications for (a) improvements & re-alignment to Main Car Park, and (b) to add 6 extra spaces at Poole Road Car Park
Christmas Tree recycling in Entrance Car Park;
Improvements to pathways leading from front lawn to Upton House;
Re-alignment of perimeters/boundaries of the areas in and around the ‘Heart of Upton’, e.g. Segways;
Creation of new water feature at the stream near the shoreline/Symes Road.
Woodland management at shoreline - end of works
Planning permission granted to add 6 extra spaces to the Poole Road Car Park. Work to start in March.
Decision announced on planning application for improvement and re-alignment to Main Car park; if approved then rolling closures will begin. 14 week project in total to include tree & hedgerow works.
Poole Road car park works to add 6 new spaces;
Phase 2 of the expansion works completed - more than 15 extra acres of Country Park to enjoy!
Create new cycleways connecting Hamworthy and Holes Bay routes by the shoreline;
Tickets go on sale for annual parking permits, £40 per year.
All monies raised through car parking charges will go directly towards supporting the Country Park and enable the Council to continue to protect, maintain and improve the park for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
Why does Upton Country Park need to charge for parking?
The Country Park is increasingly popular with marked increases in visitor numbers and incomes however, the estate still requires a significant subsidy. In the context of its Medium Term Financial Plan, the Council aims to make the park self-sustaining and if this cannot be achieved, the quality and range of facilities or services may be directly impacted.
How do I purchase a Car Park Season Ticket?
For just £40 per year you’ll have the freedom of unlimited access all through the seasons (during normal opening hours). Tickets are available to purchase via our easy online application and you can even add two vehicles per household.