Things to Do at Upton Country Park

  • Plenty to see and do for every member of the family in Poole’s much-loved Country Park.
  • Exciting adventures to be had all year round.
  • Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the woodlands and gardens or the livelier atmosphere of the Walled Garden.

Visiting with your dog? Information here …

Tea Rooms, open daily from 9.30am

Whatever the weather, make sure you visit our Tea Rooms; get yourself a refreshing hot or cold drink, delicious light lunch or treat yourself to one of the tempting cakes on offer. Take a table inside, or venture out onto the Terrace to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Grade II* listed Walled Garden. Click here for news of special offers, seasonal opening hours and more …

Soft Play Corner

You will find a small soft play area in a corner of the Tea Rooms for children under 3 yrs to enjoy whilst parents relax with a coffee. The area is free to use during Tea Rooms opening hours; children must be supervised at all times.  

Pod in the Park

Mobile refreshments! Keep an eye open for our ‘Pod in the Park’ caterpod, serving refreshing seasonal drinks and tasty treats to those ‘on-the-go’ in the Country Park … especially parents with active offspring, and dog walkers who are unable to take their pooches into the Tea Rooms. Please remember to always dispose of waste packaging/beverage cups responsibly!

Woodland Play Trail

A must for any visit with children, the Woodland Play Trail is made up of ten natural timber play structures that really enhance a woodland walk. Structures include a tree swing, log stack and climbing tower.

The trail starts on the lawn close to the The Cabin and continues through Grove Wood.

Upton House

The Georgian splendour of the Grade II* listed Upton 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 House is regularly opened to the public throughout the year, when guided tours of the ground floor rooms are offered with knowledgeable Volunteers from the Friends of Upton Country Park. A full listing of this year’s Open Days can be found here

Refreshment Kiosk

The Kiosk can be found at the rear of Upton House; it is staffed by the Friends of Upton Country Park and is open for hot and cold drinks and snacks, subject to volunteer availability and weather conditions.

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

From 3rd May until September the Walled Garden bursts into life as the summer Splash Fountain entertains the children daily between 11am-1pm and then from 2-5pm.

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

The Plant Centre is closed

The Plant Centre at Upton Country Park closed in January 2019, apologies for any disappointment.

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.

The space is also used for large events, such as the annual Poole Town and Country Show.

Cycling and Walking

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. Cycle paths & footpaths are well marked on our Park Map.

Whether you are cycling part of the Castleman Trailway, exercising the dog or just having fun walking with the kids, there are many ways to make the Country Park your place to keep active.

Segway Tours

Take a Segway tour and enjoy the Country Park in a completely different way! Glide through the beautiful gardens, parkland and woodlands with a Dorset Segways qualified instructor, taking in the abundance of wildlife and plants around you.

For further details see www.dorsetsegways.co.uk or call Dorset Segways on 0118 334 1807

Park Yoga

Back for 2019! Park Yoga proved hugely popular in 2018, and we’re delighted to confirm it is returning this year, weekly from Sunday 5th May – Sunday 1st September. A free outdoor activity, Park Yoga is suitable for all ages & abilities, including children. Just bring along your yoga mat or a towel and some drinking water. This year sessions will be held in the Walled Garden (or on the Back Lawn if the Walled Garden is booked for an event).

You can find updated news or can message any questions to the team at the Park Yoga Poole Facebook page

W.O.W Classes with Elaine Luck

New for summer 2019! A W.O.W (Womens Outside Workout) class offers the opportunity for some informal exercise in relaxed and beautiful surroundings. Walking, talking, using old fallen down trees for step ups and benches for squats – it will seem like you’re not actually working out at all!

One hour women only classes every Wednesday morning for a two-month trial period (12th June to 14th August). Your first class is free, £7 a week thereafter (block booking discounts available). Further information in our Park News article and at www.elaineluck.com/fitness-classes/

Pétanque

Our pétanque terrain opened in 2017, beside the front lawn. This free facility is available to book for club matches or just Have-a-Go sessions. Learn new skills and make new friends with Upton House as a beautiful backdrop.

Pétanque boules are available to hire from Upton House for a £5 deposit. See details of our existing bookings and Have-a-Go session days. Please call 01202 262753 or email uptoncountrypark@bcpcouncil.gov.uk for bookings.

Orienteering

Whether a beginner or not, have fun navigating your way around one of the largest public open spaces in Poole. Follow the numbered posts set up by Wessex Orienteering Club for as long or short a route as you like, progressing at your own pace. 

You can pick up the map (£1) at the Tea Rooms or Kiosk, or find full course details and downloadable map pack at the Wessex Orienteering Club website www.wessex-oc.org/maps/upton-country-park/

Create your perfect picture

During the summer of 2017 we worked with talented students from the Bournemouth and Poole College as part of their apprenticeship at Cobham Ltd. They interpreted our brief wonderfully by creating a giant picture frame celebrating the opening of the new meadows and the beautiful shoreline of Poole Harbour. 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!

See the project video to discover how it was achieved

Upton House parkrun

The national parkrun initiative launched at Upton Country Park in June 2017 and hasn’t looked back; each week an average of 275 runners take part! This free and fun 5k route takes you across the Country Park to enjoy the fabulous countryside and shoreline. A great way of meeting new people and improving your fitness. You will also enjoy a post run refreshment in the Tea Rooms.

The run takes place every Saturday morning at 9am; registration and route details can be found at www.parkrun.org.uk/uptonhouse

Upton House Junior parkrun

Upton Country Park are delighted to have been hosting the Upton House Junior parkrun since December 2018. Junior parkrun is a 2km event designed specifically for children aged between 4-14yrs, and about 100 children take part each week.

The run takes place every Sunday morning at 9am. Registration & route details at www.parkrun.org.uk/uptonhouse-juniors

Join a Volunteer Group

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 140 acres of open parkland and woodlands 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 expansion plans.

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
Off-lead area On-lead area Sorry, no dogs

Dog Wash

Upton Country Park now boasts a self-service Dog Wash area, conveniently located within 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 two speed dryer … leaving your car and home clean and you ready to relax after your “walkies”!

Gift cards coming soon – the perfect gift for a dog owner. Please enquire at info@polygonpets.com

Dog Training Area

Our enclosed Dog Training Area can be found in the newest area of parkland (see our Park Map).

Train your new puppy in a secure space, or just give your dog some off-lead time knowing it won’t run off. The surrounding area is also designated as “off-lead” for when you and your dog feel more confident.

This great facility 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 £15 an hour. Please call 01202 262753 or email uptoncountrypark@bcpcouncil.gov.uk for bookings and further details.