Around 1km of Studland Bay has been set aside for naturism. It’s one of the UK’s most well-known official naturist spots.
Although part of Knoll Beach, it is quite separate to the family-oriented main stretch of beach and dunes, and a half an hour walk from either Knoll Beach car park or Shell Bay car park. It is also accessible from Ferry Road, where parking may be available.
The naturist beach has its own dedicated and clearly-marked area and is regularly monitored by National Trust rangers.
Users of this long-established naturist beach must adhere to the British Naturism beach code: nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/studland-beach/documents/british-naturism-beach-code.pdf
There are obvious signs on the approach from both Knoll Beach and Shell Bay, as well as from the heather and sand dune approaches.
- A refreshment van operates at the naturist beach during the summer months
- The nearest public toilets are at Knoll Beach or at Shell Bay car park
- Studland village has a pub, restaurant, hotels and a convenience store
Points of interest
As well as a vast area of sandy beach there are various walking trails through the sand dunes, which back the beach. There is plentiful flowering gorse and heather, which when in bloom carpets the area.
If you arrive via Ferry Road, note that the walk can be rather wet in places, but there are generally opportunities to walk around wet areas, or wooden footbridges where necessary. It’s worth noting, though, if you have a dog with you – the woody wetland area might be quite tempting. Note that Studland Bay welcomes dogs all year round, but with seasonal on-lead restrictions from 1 May to 30 September.
Location on Studland Bay
The naturist area is clearly marked by signs at the beach and through the heather and woodland walk approaches.
The below map shows its location along the bay, where you can also see walking trails through Studland Heath from Ferry Road for access.
You can park at Knoll Beach car park (BH19 3AH) or Shell Bay car park (BH19 3BA) and walk along the beach until you see the signs stating that clothing is now optional.
There may also be parking available on Ferry Road – note, however, that in the peak summer months this road can be extremely busy with visitors coming and going via the Sandbanks Ferry – the ferry is a handy way to get from Poole and Bournemouth to Studland and accommodates cars, bikes and foot passengers, as well as the hourly No. 50 Swanage to Bournemouth bus service.
Nearby naturist beaches
Studland Bay’s naturist beach is not only well-established, recognised and monitored, but also it is the only official naturist beach in Dorset.
According to the Walking Club’s website, the nearest naturist beaches in England are as follows:
- Devon – A section of the main beach of Budleigh Salterton in Devon is reserved for naturists
- Cornwall – Perranporth beach in Cornwall. Naturism is permitted on the sandy beach, but not in the sand dunes
- Kent – Leysdown, on the Isle of Sheppey has a stretch of shingle beach with good parking
- East Sussex – A popular, pebble beach at Kemp Town, Brighton
- Norfolk – Holkham Bay allows naturists on part of the beach (not in the dunes)
You can see the full list of current naturist beaches on the Walking Club website: www.walkingclub.org.uk/nudist-beach/list.html