From the West you would take the A35 towards Poole and then take the A350. The ferry port is clearly signposted once you are around Poole .
Poole is set within the Purbeck countryside, alongside Poole the town, and is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The commercial port is very busy, serving both cargo vessels and cross channel ferries. Within the terminal there is a Bureau de Change and a summer café. You can also find a left luggage locker facility.
The journey time by conventional ferry is approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes. The Fastcraft crossing time is 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Traffic had declined at Poole due to both the increased size of the ships and silting. However, the ferry terminal was constructed with three berths. These berths were first used by Brittany Ferries' route to Cherbourg, then by the British Channel Island Ferries company for their services to the Channel Islands. The latter service was replaced by Condor's fast craft service to the Channel Islands as well as St Malo, and in the summer Brittany Ferries run a fast craft service to Cherbourg.
The town of Poole is centred around the Poole Quay. Attractions include the Aquarium and the Poole Pottery. However, visitors to Poole say that the general atmosphere in the area is the best thing about the place.
Poole Harbour is a large and natural inlet from the sea. There is a narrow mouth which is crossed by a ferry forming a link from Sandbanks to Swanage and Studland. There are several islands in the harbour. Brownsea Island is the largest, and that is owned by the National Trust, in particular because the very rare red squirrel lives on it. You can go on some lovely walks on the island and Baden-Powell's first Boy Scout Camp is also on that site.
When you take a ferry from Poole you should spend the opening part of it on the open deck in order to savour the lovely scenery, including the Purbeck Hills to the south of the harbour. Furthermore, if you have some time in Poole you should climb to the top of Corfe Castle and look at the view along the road to Studland. Finally, the Arne peninsula, jutting out into the harbour, is a nature reserve that has somehow managed to stay unspoilt whilst containing the UK's largest on shore oilfield.
Poole railway station is situated centrally in the town and served by South West trains from Bournemouth, London and Southampton.