Poole Museum is most popular free attraction in Dorset

Over 185,000 visitors flocked to Poole Museum in 2016, making it the most popular free attraction in Dorset.

Visit England, the national tourism agency for England, has announced the top free attractions in 2016: Poole Museum is Number 1 in Dorset, and fifth in the South West. Scaplen’s Court made the top 20 for most popular free attractions in Dorset.

The new Poole Museum was opened in 1989 by the Borough of Poole, and has seen an increase of 32% in visitor numbers since 2015. Next door to it is Scaplen’s Court, a 15th century, grade I listed property, which has seen an increase of 5.3% throughout the year.

Poole Museum has been home to an array of wonderful exhibitions, including the Swash Channel Wreck, Sea Music, and Lines of Thought.

‘Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now’ attracted thousands of visitors from across the UK. The exhibition showcased studies and graphic works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso. The 70 studies were loaned to Borough of Poole Museum Service by the British Museum. Students and visitors alike used the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the show and try their hand at sketching, embracing the influence of the works that lined the gallery walls.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Culture, says:

“I hope people will agree that we’ve had some terrific exhibits in the museum – especially over the past couple of years. The number of visitors bears that out and my thanks go to our schools and associations and the residents of Poole for engaging with us so well. And not least to our Culture Volunteers Poole who make it all happen. This result encourages us to develop the offering and we’ll be glad to say more about this in the near future.”

Poole Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm, and is free to visit.