is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England.The town is 33 kilometres (21 mi) east of Dorchester, and adjoins Bournemouth to the east.
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Together with Bournemouth and Christchurch, the town forms the South East Dorset conurbation with a total population of over 465,000.
Human settlement in the area dates back to before the Iron Age.
The earliest recorded use of the town's name was in the 12th century when the town began to emerge as an important port, prospering with the introduction of the wool trade.
In later centuries, the town had important trade links with North America and at its peak in the 18th century it was one of the busiest ports in Britain.
Despite their names, Poole is the home of The Arts University Bournemouth, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a significant part of Bournemouth University.
Variants include Pool, Pole, Poles, Poll, Polle, Polman, and Poolman.
The area around modern Poole has been inhabited for the past 2,500 years.
In the Second World War, the town was one of the main departing points for the Normandy landings.
Poole is a tourist resort, attracting visitors with its large natural harbour, history, the Lighthouse arts centre and Blue Flag beaches.