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 thatched cottages and past pretty gardens, 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 a 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 the expansive heathland and sand dunes, and has a handy shop at its centre for stocking up en route.
Find all your daily household essentials at the village shop and post office – from pet food to toiletries, and freshly-baked bread to 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
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 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: www.studlandstables.com
- Fore/Adventure – Have a guided kayak tour around the bay or across to Old Harry Rocks. Fore/Adventure also run bushcraft and survival courses in the forest as well as coastal foraging expeditions. They are based at Middle Beach: www.foreadventure.co.uk
- Studland Watersports – Studland Watersports offers a range of water-based activities at Knoll Beach, which you can check out on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Studland-Watersports-391293234302892/
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 – 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, café 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 bumbling around the pretty village
Where to stay in Studland
There is a range of options for accommodation in Studland, including hotels, B&Bs, self-catering cottages and nearby campsites.
Knoll House Hotel
Knoll House has been operating as a hotel since 1931 and is situated a short walk from Knoll Beach. It offers family-friendly accommodation, with a restaurant and bistro.
- Indoor & outdoor swimming pools
- Tennis courts
- Golf course
- Children’s playground and soft play area
- Proximity to Knoll Beach
🐾 Dog-friendly (£15 surcharge per dog). Up to two dogs per room
📞 01929 450450
📍 Ferry Road, BH19 3AH
Visit Knoll House Hotel’s website: www.knollhouse.co.uk
The Pig on the Beach
With traditional rooms as well as more private accommodation, such as secluded shepherd’s huts and ‘dovecoats’, The Pig offers a special stay in Studland.
- Wellbeing treatments in a unique setting
- Views across to Old Harry Rocks
- Ingredients sourced from its own kitchen garden
- Flatbreads from the outdoor wood-fired oven in summer
- Unusually-flavoured gins and vodkas
- Cosy log fires
📞 01929 450288
📍 Manor Road, BH19 3AU
Visit The Pig on the Beach’s website: www.thepighotel.com/on-the-beach/dorset-hotel/
The Bankes Arms
The Bankes Arms offers guests a choice of nine double rooms and one twin room above the pub. Its garden overlooks the sea and it’s a short stroll to South Beach from here.
- Cosy log fires
- Micro-brewery – (The Isle of Purbeck Brewery)
- Summer beer festival
- Proximity to Old Harry Rocks walk
🐾 Dog-friendly (£10 surcharge)
📞 01929 450225
📍Manor Road, BH19 3AU
Visit The Bankes Arms’ website: www.bankesarms.com
Littlecroft Bed & Breakfast
One king-sized room and a king-sized private suite with its own access.
Accommodation is typically for guests over the age of 16.
🐾 Dog friendly
📞 01929 450095
📍 Glebe Estate, BH19 3AS
Longmead Cottage Bed & Breakfast
Offering two king-sized rooms and locally-sourced breakfasts, including Longmead’s own hens’ eggs and homemade preserves.
📞 01929 450472
📍Beach Road, BH19 3AP
Rectory Cottage Bed & Breakfast
With two double rooms and a twin room.
📞 01929 450311
📍Rectory Lane, BH19 3AU
Old Harry Bed & Breakfast
Offering a double room with a balcony and a superking/twin and double/single rooms.
📞 01929 450218
📍Glebe Estate, BH19 3AS
The Old School House
A twin or double room and use of the garden and sun loungers. (Closed throughout December)
📞 01929 450 691
📍School Lane, BH19 3AJ
How to get to Studland
For your SatNav: BH19 3AE
This will take you to the main road through the village (Swanage Road).
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
The No 50 Purbeck Breezer bus stops in Studland village and connects Swanage to Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry.
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, which offers 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
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. It also has an active Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/1465296060419874/ (second Wednesday of the month)
- Thursday – Coffee morning
- Thursday – Sequence dance classes
- Friday – Carpet bowls (evening)
- 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 by calling 01929 450587 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Old Harry Bar is currently operating alternative opening hours due to following Covid-19 Government guidelines:
- Monday 6pm – 10pm
- Friday 5pm – 10pm
- Saturday 5pm – 10pm
- Sunday 3pm – 8pm
The Old Harry Bar is currently closed between Tuesday and Thursday.
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
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