Prepare to get side-tracked on your way to the stunning beaches of Studland Bay as you drive through the charming Studland village.
Its back roads meander around pretty cottages and you’ll spot things for your must-do list as you go.
Spoil yourself with a meal at The Pig on the Beach, book in a beach ride at Studland Stables, or grab a restorative drink at The Bankes Arms after a day of walking, swimming or kayaking in the bay.
The village is ideally situated for visiting three of Studland Bay‘s four beaches as well as its expansive heathland and sand dunes. It also has a children’s playground, active village hall and handy shop at its centre for stocking up en route.
Find all your daily household essentials at the village shop and post office – such as pet food, toiletries, freshly-baked bread and fresh fruit & veg.
It’s also a good place to stop on your way to the beach or a heathland walk for picnic essentials, with its wide variety of local produce and snacks.
The shop also stocks a selection of gifts, children’s toys and souvenirs.
Opening hours & information
Studland Stores is located on Swanage Road (the main road through Studland) and is open seven days a week:
- Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm
- Sunday 8am – 4pm
- 📞 01929 450204
You’ll find the village playground down Heath Green Road (BH19 3BX).
It’s a quiet little road by a residential area and with access onto various walking trails, such as Godlingston Heath with the curious Agglestone, which all the family will enjoy discovering.
St Nicholas’ Church
Take a stroll over to the small Norman CofE church with its pretty interior of hand-carved motifs and stained-glass windows.
The church is regarded as one of the oldest and best-surviving examples of a Norman church in the county, and is named after Saint Nicholas – the patron saint of sailors, fishermen and children.
Once a visible landmark from the sea for fishermen to navigate by, the church is now rather more secluded, with trees and vegetation having grown up around it over the centuries.
Built upon the site of an older Saxon church, which was destroyed by Vikings, some parts of the church are extremely old – it is believed there was an even earlier church here prior to the Saxon modernisations.
Despite its small size, St Nicholas’ still has a thriving community, including a choir, regular coffee mornings and flower festivals.
The church and church hall are also popular venues for wedding celebrations throughout the spring and summer months.
St Nicholas’ Church is located on Church Street. For your SatNav: BH19 3AT
You may notice the intricately-carved Celtic cross on your way to look at St Nicholas’ Church.
Just like the church, the new cross stands on the site of an old Saxon predecessor.
Erected in 1976, it was designed by a local stonemason who used locally-quarried stone from nearby St Aldhelm’s Head.
The cross’s carvings centre on the theme of nature and include some Saxon runes as a nod to the original cross. If you look closely, you’ll also see small fossils within the stone.
Studland’s Celtic cross is a pretty spot to sit on a bench and wile away some time between exploring the other aspects of Studland village.
Feeling adventurous? Go for a sea kayak, beach ride, or learn survival skills
Studland is a great base for an adventure, whether that’s on land or sea.
- Studland Trekking Centre – Take a trek across the heathland, through the woods, or along the beach. For more information and booking visit the stables’ website: ℹ️ www.studlandstables.com 📞 01929 450273
- Fore/Adventure – Have a guided kayak tour around the bay or across to Old Harry Rocks. Fore/Adventure also runs bushcraft and survival courses in the forest as well as coastal foraging expeditions. They are based at Middle Beach: ℹ️ www.foreadventure.co.uk 📞 01929 761515
- Studland Watersports – Studland Watersports offers a range of water-based activities at Knoll Beach, which you can check out on their Facebook page: ℹ️ www.facebook.com/Studland-Watersports-391293234302892/ 📞 07980 559143
The beaches of Studland Bay
Studland village is within walking distance of the sea – and its beaches are one of the main highlights of the area.
Each one has a different feel and offers different activities and points of interest.
- Knoll Beach – Knoll Beach is popular with families, watersports enthusiasts and nature lovers. This beach has a huge car park, boat park, National Trust shop, café, discovery centre and toilet facilities, as well as sand dune and woodland walking trails. It’s also home to Studland Bay Watersports and a short walk from Knoll House Hotel
- Middle Beach – A smaller, more rugged beach with points of historical interest (WWII ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ and start-point for the National Trust’s Second World War Walk), beach huts and toilet facilities. You’ll also find outdoor adventure company Fore/Adventure here
- South Beach – A safe, shallow beach with a small café and a walking route up to Old Harry Rocks. There is also historical interest with a WWII pill box. South Beach car park is within walking distance of The Bankes Arms pub and The Pig on the Beach restaurant (The Pig also has its own car park). Note that there are no public toilets, though there are some on the nearby road
- Shell Bay – A vast, sandy stretch near to the Sandbanks Ferry, Shell Bay is further away from Studland village, but offers plenty of opportunities for watersports, walking through heathland and along the wide sandy beach, with stunning views along the bay. Park here for Sandbanks Ferry and Bramble Bush Bay
Walks in and around Studland
As well as Studland’s beautiful beaches, which make for great walks in themselves, there are a number of other walks just a stone’s throw from Studland.
- The village itself – Take a stroll around Studland village and spot signs of the past down the quiet roads
- Knoll Beach woodland trail – The path begins at the car park by the discovery centre (the left-hand car park as you arrive) The habitat here supports a variety of wildlife, including insects, butterflies, wildflowers and bracken. Keep an eye and an ear out for sika deer, frogs, and birds such as the woodpecker
- Old Harry Rocks – One of the jewels in Purbeck’s crown is easily accessed from Studland (follow the signs from South Beach car park)
- Sandbanks beach – Hop on the ferry across Poole Harbour to Sandbanks – Studland’s sister peninsula. It has a sandy beach, children’s play area, crazy golf and cafés close by, and spectacular view across to Studland
- Brownsea Island – A small passenger ferry leaves regularly from Sandbanks to the National Trust-managed Brownsea Island – home to the first Scout camp and a thriving population of red squirrels
- Godlingston Heath – Part of Studland’s National Trust Nature Reserve, the heath is home to the famous Agglestone and acres of heathland paths popular with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders
- Corfe Castle – A short drive from Studland is the village of Corfe Castle and its magnificent castle ruin. Spend the day exploring the castle itself or ambling around the pretty village
Where to stay in Studland
You can also check our Studland Bay page, which will have a more comprehensive list of places to stay.
The two hotels in Studland – The Pig on the Beach & Knoll House Hotel – are both ideally situated for Studland beaches and both have fantastic views across the bay.
Try Knoll House Hotel for a dog-friendly stay with just a minute’s walk to Knoll Beach’s sandy strand, watersports, café and woodland trails, and for facilities such as both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and children’s soft play area and playground. And check The Pig for a quirky, yet sophisticated break, with the option of spa treatments in a shepherd’s hut in The Pig on the Beach’s pretty grounds, with their kitchen garden and gorgeous Jurassic Coast views. South Beach and Middle Beach are the closest to The Pig.
Knoll House Hotel contact details
Check the hotel out on their website and to enquire about booking a room for a fun-filled stay in Studland.
- ℹ️ www.knollhouse.co.uk
- 📞 01929 450450
- 📍 Ferry Road, BH19 3AH
The Pig on the Beach contact details
Visit The Pig’s website for the latest seasonal menus, a look at their unique rooms and to book a stay.
- ℹ️ www.thepighotel.com/on-the-beach/dorset-hotel/
- 📞 01929 450288
- 📍 Manor Road, BH19 3AU
You’ll find a range of Bed & Breakfast options in Studland – from cosy, family-run accommodation to staying in the village pub.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular B&Bs in Studland:
The Bankes Arms – Right by South Beach, with a beer garden overlooking Studland Bay, and great walking routes to the famous Old Harry Rocks. Find The Bankes on Manor Road (postcode: BH19 3AU) or visit them online www.bankesarms.com
Littlecroft Bed & Breakfast – A dog-friendly B&B for older visitors (age 16+) on the Glebe Estate(postcode BH19 3AS). Get in touch to check availability: 📞 01929 450095 ℹ️ www.littlecroftbandb.com
Longmead Cottage Bed & Breakfast – Enjoy homemade preserves and fresh eggs for breakfast from Longmead’s very own hens. Located on Beach Road (postcode: BH19 3AP) Contact Longmead: 📞 01929 450472 ℹ️ www.longmeadcottage.co.uk
Rectory Cottage Bed & Breakfast – Set in two acres of grounds, you’re only a five minute walk from the beach at Rectory Cottage, which is located on Rectory Lane (postcode BH19 3AU) Find out more on the cottage’s website: ℹ️ www.rectorycottage.co.uk
Old Harry Bed & Breakfast – Why not stay in the balcony room of this Studland B&B, named after the nearby Old Harry Rock,to Make the most of the views. Find out more on their website or give the owners a call: 📞 01929 450218 ℹ️ oldharrybedandbreakfast.co.uk
The Old School House – Visitors to the Old School House are welcome to use the secluded garden, and are provided with bath robes for a touch of luxury in a traditional setting. ℹ️ www.oldschoolhouse-studland.co.uk/ 📞 01929 450691
Studland village hall
The village hall in Studland is located just off the main road through the village on Heath Green Road.
For your SatNav: BH19 3BT
As well as being available for hire, the hall runs various events, clubs and activities throughout the year. Currently these include:
- Mondays – Badminton club. The badminton club meets once a week either on a Monday or a Wednesday
- Tuesdays – Yoga evening class
- Wednesdays – Studland WI (second Wednesday of the month)
- Wednesdays – Studland History Group. The group explores the intriguing local history of Studland and its surrounding area (second Wednesday of the month). It also has an active Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/1465296060419874/
- Thursday – Coffee morning
- Thursday – Sequence dance classes
- Friday – Evening carpet bowls
- Sunday – Monthly ballroom dancing class
The hall is also home to the Studland Gardening Association, a thriving group which meets for talks and holds regular plant sales.
For the latest updates on classes and bookings, check Studland village hall’s website: www.studlandvillagehall.co.uk/index.html
Studland village hall can be booked for private functions.
To find out more and book get in touch with the team:
📞 01929 450587
Old Harry Bar at Studland Social Club
The Old Harry Bar, or Studland Social Club, at the village hall is an active community hub, with regular events such as quizzes, meat draws and live bands.
It offers a range of local beers and stone-baked pizzas, which are also available for takeaway.
- Monday 5pm – 11.30pm
- Tuesday Closed
- Wednesday Closed
- Thursday 5pm – 11.30pm
- Friday 5pm – 11.30pm
- Saturday 5pm – 11.30pm
- Sunday Closed
Find out more on their website: www.oldharrybar.co.uk
📞 01929 450561
🐾 Dog friendly
Studland Parish Council holds monthly meetings in the village hall and covers matters relating to the parish, which extends from Ballard Down to part way along the B3351, and includes Brownsea Island.
Meetings are typically held at 7.30pm on the third Monday of the month, with allocated public speaking time.
Studland is a heathland village by the sea. The area covered by the parish is from the ridge of Ballard Down south of Poole Harbour and from the footpath at the Studland to Corfe Castle road, 200 metres south east of the stone circle. Brownsea Island is also in the parish of Studland.
Find out more on the parish council website: www.studlandparishcouncil.org
📞 07824 829491
How to get to Studland
For your SatNav: BH19 3AE
This will take you to the main road through the village (Swanage Road).
- From Swanage – Take the B3351 to the right off Ulwell Road and follow the signs for Studland.
- From Wareham and Corfe Castle – Leave the A351 by turning left at Corfe Castle onto the B3351 and continue until you reach Studland.
- From Poole and Bournemouth – Travel via the A351 (Wareham – Corfe Castle route), or go via the Sandbanks Ferry. Once you disembark, follow Ferry Road until you reach the village.
You can catch the No 50 from Swanage bus station, and during the summer (weather-depending), enjoy an open-top ride through the Purbeck countryside.
All four car parks in Studland are National Trust-managed, and offer free parking for members.
- Knoll Beach car park – Turn right down Hardy’s Road off Ferry Road (BH19 3AH)
- Middle Beach car park – Leave Ferry Road at Beach Road (BH19 3AX)
- South Beach car park – Situated off Manor Road, turn left down Rectory Lane coming from Sandbanks, or right down School Lane toward Watery Lane from Swanage (BH19 3AU)
- Shell Bay car park – Just next to the Sandbanks Ferry on the Studland side (BH19 3BA)
Nearby villages to explore
If Studland has inspired you to take a wander around other hamlets and villages in Purbeck, these are some of the most picturesque and historically interesting:
- Corfe Castle – Visit the iconic castle ruin and explore a range of shops, galleries and eateries in the village
- East Creech – A beautiful hamlet that harks back to the past with its duck pond dominating the main road and friendly donkeys roaming near public walking paths. Stop for a freshly-baked scone in the small farm café The Cake House
- Kimmeridge – A day of exploring awaits with a fossil museum, Wild Seas centre, historic church, and restaurant serving local produce. All this is a short distance from Kimmeridge Bay, one of the highlights of the Jurassic Coast
- Church Knowle – Walk around the pretty village and visit the animal rescue centre, which is next door to traditional pub The New Inn, and opposite a children’s playground
- Tyneham – Abandoned during WWII, the ‘ghost village’ of Tyneham is a unique experience of a village stopped in time
- West Lulworth – The village’s hub centres around the visitor and activity centres, as well as various pubs and cafés. Take time to explore the chocolate box side streets before heading down to the famous Lulworth Cove
- East Lulworth – Smaller than its larger sibling West Lulworth, this village is still worth a stop and wander around for the quaint shop and tea room Past & Presents and its beautiful thatched cottages
- Acton – Tucked away between Worth Matravers and Langton Matravers, Acton is a special and quiet little village with panoramic views across farmland, down to the sea and toward the Isle of Wight. You’ll also find waymarked signs from here to the Spyway dinosaur footprints
- Worth Matravers – With excellent sea views and walking routes, Worth Matravers has become a popular spot for visitors as well as locals, with its hub at The Square and Compass pub, which holds regular live music and open mic nights
- Kingston – Have a restorative pint of local ale or comforting hot drink at The Scott Arms after exploring Kingston village and its woodland trails. You can also easily reach Swyre Head – the highest point in Purbeck – from here