Park entrance gates

Park Information

And Things to Do at Upton Country Park

A350 slip road & front lawn closures in June

  • The west bound slip road from the A350 Upton Bypass will be closed at approximately midday on Friday 14 June, reopening early on Monday 17 June, for the Upton House Food and Music Festival. Please use Poole Road or the A35 Upton Road to access the Park.
  • The front lawn will be closed to visitors from Wednesday 12 June to Wednesday 19 June for the Upton House Food and Music Festival set up, event, and breakdown.
  • All other areas of the Park, and all our regular offerings (the Tea Rooms, Splash Fountain, Play Parks etc) are open and accessible as usual.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Gate opening times & Car parking (April – September)

  • Free admission 7 days a week, all year round. The estate grounds can be accessed on foot or bike at any time.
  • The main gates and car park (BH17 7BJ) are open daily from 8am-9pm, parking charges apply – Pay & Display Tariff
  • Annual parking permits are available at £50, details at uptoncountrypark.com/parking-season-tickets
  • Toilet facilities in the Welcome Centre (main car park) are open from 8am-8pm, and in the Tea Rooms Courtyard from 8am-5pm.

For opening times of other park facilities, please see ‘Things To Do’ below.

2 simple rules, and free WiFi

  • Cyclists – please do not exceed 5mph, and dismount in the formal gardens and in the vicinity of the Tea Rooms, Walled Garden and Spurrier’s Play Park
  • No BBQs, Gas Stoves, Gazebos or Camping permitted in the Country Park.
  • Save your mobile data during your visit; connect for free at BCP-Public-WiFi

Don’t drop it, bin it … help keep our Country Park litter & poop free. If dog and rubbish bins are full please take your waste home with you.

Things To Do at Upton Country Park

Visiting with your dog? Information here …

Our Welcome Centre

Our striking new timber & Purbeck stone clad Welcome Centre, located alonside the main car park, is your ‘front door’ to the country park. Open daily, 10am – 4pm.

This iconic building is designed with accessibility & sustainability in mind, and features a bio-diverse living meadow roof, planted up with 34 species of wildflowers. Visitors will find ‘what’s on’ information, a small gift shop and interactive child-friendly displays that bring the park’s history & landscapes to life. Facilities include toilets, accessible WC and baby changing area. 

Accessibility

There is a network of wide, hard-surfaced, wheel-friendly footpaths throughout much of the Country Park (see our Park Map). There are also several kissing gates throughout the estate, each accessible with a Radar key. Accessible toilets are located at the Welcome Centre in the car park, and by the Tea Rooms (Radar key required).

The Welcome Centre is step-free and is entered via automatic doors. The Tea Rooms are also step-free and approached by a gentle ramped surface; a lift from the Tea Rooms gives access to The Gallery Upstairs. The Walled Garden adjoins the Tea Rooms and is laid mainly to lawn, with hard surfaced paths at the perimeter.

  • For further, detailed information please download our Visual Accessibility Guide, which has been designed to help you prepare for your visit to the Country Park.

Book our Tramper Mobility Scooter

New for 2024 – we have partnered with Countryside Mobility to make an electric all-terrain mobility scooter – called a Tramper – available for you to book for a visit to Upton Country Park.

Designed specifically to cover rough ground and grass safely, the Tramper can go up and down slopes, over bumps and tree roots, through shallow puddles and across mud and soft ground. With a top speed of four miles an hour it can keep pace with walking companions.

Cycling and Walking in the Country Park

Upton Country Park is the ideal place to visit for a leisurely stroll or cycle ride, along the shoreline and through the woodland with beautiful views over Poole Harbour an added bonus. Cycleways & footpaths are well marked on our Park Map.

We have cycle storage loops around the estate – at the back of the main Car Park, in the Stable Yard near the Tea Rooms, next to the Kiosk at the south face of Upton House, by Spurriers Play Park and in the Poole Road Car Park. We also have a Beryl bay in the main car park, offering visitors a fun option sustainable transport option to get to/from or to explore the Park by scooter or bike.

Please note – cyclists are requested not to exceed 5mph in the Park, and to dismount in the formal gardens and in the vicinity of the Tea Rooms, Walled Garden and Spurrier’s Play Park

Upton House Open Days

The House is open to the public on selected weekends & Bank Holidays between February to October. Free admission for the sale of books, souvenirs and gifts. For a small charge, guided tours of the ground floor rooms are offered with knowledgeable Volunteers from the Friends of Upton Country Park.

The Georgian splendour of the Grade II* listed House makes for a fabulous venue for any special occasion, from wedding ceremonies and receptions to business meetings and corporate away days [more here].

The Tea Rooms, open daily from 9.30

Whatever the weather, make sure you visit our Tea Rooms (well behaved dogs on leads also welcome); open daily for a refreshing hot or cold drink, handmade sandwiches, snacks and delicious cakes. Take a table inside, or venture out onto the Terrace to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Grade II* listed Walled Garden. 

Visit The Tea Rooms page for news of seasonal opening hours, afternoon teas and more …

Spurrier’s Play Park

Let your little ones explore, leap, climb and slide through the trees in our new adventure play park. Starting outside the Cabin (Education Centre) in the heart of the Country Park the natural timber play features meander down through the grass towards the woodlands bordering the shoreline meadows. A must for any child and all you young-at-heart grown ups!

Spurrier’s Kiosk

Open every day (weather permitting) during school holidays and on weekends, 10.30am – 4.30pm, serving a selection of hot & cold drinks and light refreshments including New Forest ice cream. Located near Spurriers Play Park. Contactless card and cash payment accepted. Please dispose of waste takeaway packaging & beverage cups responsibly!

The Friend’s Refreshment Kiosk

The Refreshment Kiosk can be found at the rear of Upton House and is run by volunteers from the Friends of Upton Country Park. The kiosk opens at weekends and school holidays, subject to volunteer availability and weather conditions, offering a selection of hot and cold drinks, ice creams and confectionery. Cash and contactless card payments accepted.

The Walled Garden

A beautifully landscaped Walled Garden with well managed beds & borders, and plenty of open space to enjoy a family picnic, time with friends, or simply soaking up some sun. The Tea Rooms terrace overlooks the Walled Garden.

The garden is open daily 9am – 6pm, unless booked out for a wedding or other private event (please join us on Facebook for regular updates).

The summer Splash Fountain!

Open from 04 May to end September! The Walled Garden water feature bursts into life twice a day throughout the summer, from 11am-1pm and from 2-4pm.

Join us on Facebook for news of unscheduled last-minute hot-weather or other ‘surprise’ splash-abouts!

Create @ Upton Country Park

Located in the Courtyard Barn opposite the Tea Rooms. Stop by and let your inner artist out – creative self-led activities for children (from 4 yrs) and adults. Painting & Colouring, Craft Kits, Sand Art, Build-Anywhere-Bear-Kits, Decopatch, Paint your own Pottery, Model Making, and more. Gift Vouchers available. Birthday parties & Corporate groups welcome.

Open for pre-bookable 2-hour sessions 10am-5pm on Fri, Sat & Sun during term-time; every day of the week during the holidays. No admission charge. Individually priced activities start at £5.95. Visit www.createatuptoncountrypark.com for details.

Upton Adventure Golf

Located next to the Education Centre, a British wildlife-themed 9 hole course packed with fun features, and suitable for all ages & abilities. Just £3.50 per person for the 1st round, play again for £2. Children aged 3 and under go free.

Open Weekends and School/Bank Holidays, 10am-5pm (last entry 4pm) – subject to weather conditions. No need to book, just swing by & play!

Visit www.uptonadventuregolf.co.uk for information.

Rock & Rose Rituals

Lisa Marie’s Candle, Crystal & Wellbeing Emporium is located near to the Tea Rooms and Education Centre. See wonderfully scented candles being created and hand-poured in store, discover the very best local, natural products from Dorset makers and artists.

  • Winter opening hours: Wed, Thurs & Fri 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun 9am-4pm.

Regular workshops & courses in candle-making, magic, mindfulness & more held throughout the year. There’s something for all age groups! Visit www.rockandrose.one for a full listing or email an enquiry to Lisa Marie directly at rockandroserituals@gmail.com

The Front Lawn

As the only place in the Park designated for ball games, the large front lawn is the ideal spot for family sports and picnics, with children able to run around safely and let off some steam.

This space also plays host to large events, such as fairs, shows and music festivals.

Holes Bay Nature Park

The 286 hectare (707 acre) Holes Bay Nature Park stretches from Asda (opposite Poole Railway Station) to Upton Country Park and Hamworthy. It is one of the best places to enjoy the wildlife of Poole Harbour. The saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats are a haven for wetland birds and other wildlife. The area of Holes Bay north of the train line is part of the Country Park, a designated Nature Reserve and Bird Sensitive Area with no public access. There are excellent views across that area from The Lookout (see below).

A local group of volunteers undertake studies and record their observations within Holes Bay and Upton Country Park; their annual Birds, Wildlife and Ecology reports are available to download at our Holes Bay Nature Park page.

The Lookout

The Lookout is our bird hide overlooking the salt marsh and intertidal mudflats of Holes Bay Nature Park. Used as both a roost and a feeding area our Bird Hide provides the perfect opportunity to spot the numerous species of wetland and other birds that can be found in Holes Bay all year round.

The Lookout is located on the Shoreline Path and is marked on our Park Map.

Giant Picture Frame

We worked with talented students from the Bournemouth and Poole College as part of their apprenticeship at Cobham Ltd, who designed & built a giant picture frame for us to celebrate the opening of the new meadow lands by the beautiful harbour shoreline.

So get creative and capture your perfect family photo. Please send your favourites to us at uptoncountrypark@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or tag us @uptoncountrypark on your Facebook posts. Have fun!

Pétanque

Our pétanque terrain (on the left of the driveway as you enter the Park from Poole Road).

It is open for players to use on a first-come-first-served and bring-your-own basis.

Orienteering

Whether a beginner or not, have fun navigating your way around one of the largest public open spaces in Poole (OS: SY992930) with the Wessex Orienteering Club (WSX). Download the latest WSX course map and explore the short/accessible 2km or long 5km course routes, walking or running, progressing at your own pace.

Virtual Orienteering with MapRun

Visit www.findyourwayvo.org.uk to download the free MapRun app for Android/iOS and to find full information with how-to guides about virtual orienteering; then get out into the Country Park with family & friends for some leisurely or competitive fun.   

Join a Volunteer Group

Join us to learn new skills and meet new friends in a wonderful Country Park environment, whilst helping the Operations Team keep estate looking its best all year round!  

Join our Gardening Group or get involved in practical conservation tasks such as hedge laying, pond management and coppicing. No special skills or knowledge required. Find out more here …

Visiting Upton Country Park with your dog

Dog Walking

For years people have enjoyed exercising their dogs across the many acres of open parkland, woodlands and meadowland at Upton Country Park. We even have a ‘dog walkers’ car park – 24 spaces, 2 hours free parking, off Poole Road (opposite Pony Drive); it gives direct access to the large new off-lead space created by the recent Park expansion.

As the Park grows in popularity and in size we have been working with the Dorset Dogs group to implement the ‘Paw Prints’ code. This system is recognised nationwide as a way of making it clear to dog walkers which areas are on or off lead, and which are dog-free. Look out for the symbols on your next visit!

Dogs welcome off lead Dogs welcome on lead Sorry, no dogs

DIY Dog Wash

Upton Country Park also boasts a self-service Dog Wash area, conveniently located at the new Welcome Centre in the main car park. This easy to use facility is ideal for washing your muddy pooches or simply giving your pampered pet a weekly treat. Warm water, natural products and a two speed dryer … leaving your car and home clean, and you ready to relax after “walkies”!

The dog wash is owned and operated by polygonpets.com

Dog Training Area & Play Pen

We now have two enclosed spaces for dogs; the Dog Training Area in the northern section of parkland, and the Dog Play Pen which can be found in the newest, southern section (see our Park Map).

Train your puppy in a secure fenced space, or just let your dog enjoy some off-lead time, secure in the knowledge it won’t run off. The surrounding areas are also designated as “off-lead” for when you and your dog feel more confident.

The Dog Training Area is also available to book for exclusive use by accredited dog trainers between May – October; from 7-8pm on weekdays and 11-12am on weekends, from £17.50 an hour. Please call 01202 127770 or email uptoncountrypark@bcpcouncil.gov.uk for bookings and further details.