The Bankes Arms
Manor Road
BH19 3AU
(01929) 450225.


Mon-Sat 11-11; Sun 12-3, 7-10.30  



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The Bankes Arms  

Situated across the mouth of Poole Harbour and across the bay from Bournemouth, this part of the Dorset coast is dunes and sand leading out to the 'Old Harry Rocks' - which happen to be very close to this pub and the car park doubles up for both attractions.

To get to this pub you have to either drive round the harbour through Poole (a good 45 minutes drive), or you can take the ferry across the harbour mouth (5 minutes). You can also get there from Bournemouth on foot these days across the water at a cost of 2.90 or so. That's the directions, what's the pub like?

Well, it sits in an unrivalled position with good views of the bay and out to sea - its beer garden is on the cliff top set back from Old Harry. On a good day and with binoculars you might just see the Isle of Wight. A stone building it has a single large bar facing out to sea.

The inside is all dark wood that befits a pub with smuggling history and one as old as this. On the walls you will find old pictures and panels. The floor is flagged and has a number of square tables in the bar area - these get nabbed quickly in the day, so get there early. There is also a leaning post where the free newspapers are kept. At this end (right as you look at the bar) there are steps up to another room that looks like a 'barn' extension, where more tables can be found.

You can enter the pub by a number of entrances but all in al we would not recommend it for the disabled as it gets very busy and is difficult to negotiate.

The pub serves up to nine real ales, on at this time were four beers from the Isle of Purbeck Brewery plus other more esoteric guests.

There is a real fire for the winter and for the summer there is a beer garden across the small road and also some picnic benches outside the pub on the stone/concrete.

Food can be had in the bar and in the hotel next door, which is no smoking in the food area. The food has plenty of choices including vegetarians. However, at 6 for a baguette we felt it a little steep and ate elsewhere.

Accommodation here is of a high standard. There are also many B&B's to choose from in the local area. Ask at the pub for details of those close by.

Annual beer festival in August.



This pub does do accommodation, and excellent it is too. When I was last there they has 8 real ales on tap (last Friday 30 Nov). The one I tried (A Jennings strong one) was spot on. Food is great as well. Dogs are most welcome - a big plus point for me. I didn't try the other 7 ales as was driving + it was lunch time too! My favourite pub in the land.

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b&b, beer, food, beer garden, real fire, kids, car park, real cider, camping, pets allowed, vegetarian 


©Beerguide 2023


Up to 9 guest ales. 



8 rooms