When we first moved to the area, we spent an evening visiting local leisure centre choices to get a feel for what’s on offer. Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch have a good range and you are sure to find one to suit your needs.
Here are the local options available to you:
1. Littledown Leisure Centre, Bournemouth
A little out of Bournemouth town centre, but easily accessible by car or bus, this is the biggest centre in the area. With a wide 25m swimming pool – complete with diving pool and even slides, a 200 station gym, over 200 classes, a large sports hall, ATP pitches (with 6-a-side football), studios and softplay, there is truly someone for everyone here.
2. Poole (Dolphin) Leisure Centre, Poole Town Centre
Despite its official name, this is actually a large, traditional swimming pool with gym facilities and studios. Built in the 1960s, the building is reaching the end of it’s natural life, but is still well worth a visit if you are a keen swimmer.
The pool is 25m with an additional smaller pool and diving pit and is home to an award-winning swim school. The large pool is often split into 3 swimming lanes and is reasonably quiet even after work. Being walking distance from Poole Park, the Dolphin Shopping Centre and Poole Quay are big advantages too.
3. Rossmore Leisure Centre, Rossmore, Poole
A medium-sized centre with good swimming pool facilities (25m long), sports halls (with 5-a-side football), studios, grass pitches, netball / tennis courts, softplay and the base of the specialist OLGA Gymnastics & Trampoline Club, olga-poole.co.uk.
It is a good all-round option if you live or work nearby and are looking for standard leisure centre facilities.
4. Two Rivers Meet Leisure Centre, Christchurch
A large centre with a wide variety of activities. Indoors, there are good swimming facilities (a 25m main pool and 12.5m training pool), a resonable sized gym, squash courts, large sports hall, and studios.
Outdoor facilities include 3G Synethetic Turf pitches (with 6-a-side), arena wheel park and BMX track, and even a 9 hole par three golf & footgolf course.
5. Sir David English Sports Centre, Bournemouth
Not far from Littledown, and perhaps targeted more at the sports enthuast, is Sir David English.
It has extensive outdoor facilities, including ATP pitches (with 5 or 6-a-side football) and tennis courts and a reasonable-sized sports hall, gym and studios.
6. Ashdown Leisure Centre, Canford Heath, Poole
A similar size and focus as Sir David English, but based in Poole, this centre has vast team sport facilities.
Outdoors, there is tennis, netball and basketball courts, football (including 6-a-side) and hockey pitches and even a 400m athletics track. Inside, there is a gym, studio and sports hall.
7. The Junction Leisure Centre, Broadstone
Another good wide-ranging medium-sized centre that gets its name from the old railway line which used to stop at Broadstone. It has a 20m swimming pool, claimed to be the warmest in the area, and therefore very suitable for smaller children.
Other facilities include a gym, large sports hall, outdoor tennis courts and even sunbeds. They also offer a provide a selection of children’s parties at within their softplay area and using the centre’s other facilities. Please read our article on great soft plays for more options.
8. Pelhams Park Leisure Centre, Kinson, Bournemouth
Built in 2004, the most recent on the list, and on the outskirts of Bournemouth, Pelhams Park has a more rural and relaxed feel than some other centres.
A small-to-medium size, it has 2 bright and airy swimming pools (a 20m main one and a 10m warm teaching pool), a large gym, studios, ATP pitches (with 5-a-side football) and tennis courts.
9. Ferndown Leisure Centre, Ferndown
A medium-sized centre that, although a little dated, ticks all the boxes facilities-wise. Indoors, there is a main and teaching swimming pool (25m and 15m respectively), studios, gym, main hall, squash courts and 5-a-side football and outdoors, there are grass football pitches.
They cater for children’s parties with a variety of activities available.
10. Stokewood Leisure Centre, Winton/Charminster, Bournemouth
A smaller, niche centre housed in a beautiful 1930s building near central Bournemouth, Stokewood has a 25 yard swimming pool, a new gym and studios.
It has more of a club feel than sports centre, and is home to local triathlon, water polo, lifegaurd training and Dorset Choi Kwang Do groups.
That’s the end of our list, thank you for reading. Do you know of any sports centres we have missed or information we could add? Feel free to get in touch and let us know.