Prepare to get side-tracked on your way to the stunning beaches of Studland Bay as you drive through the charming Studland village.

Thatched cottage in Studland village Signs for the beach on Rectory Lane in Studland Outside the Pig on the Beach in Studland The Bankes Arms pub in Studland Plants outside Studland Stores

Its back roads meander around thatched cottages and past pretty gardens, and you’ll spot things for your must-do list as you go, whether that’s to spoil yourself with a meal at The Pig on the Beach, to book in a beach ride at Studland Stables, or a table at The Bankes Arms for a restorative drink after a day of walking, swimming or kayaking in the bay.

Studland Stores

Find all your daily household essential 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 freshly-baked bread, local produce and snacks.

The shop also stocks a selection of gifts, children’s toys and souvenirs.

Studland Stores is located on Swanage Road (the main road through Studland). Contact: 01929 450204

Opening hours

Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm

Sunday 8am – 4pm

St Nicholas’ Church

Take a stroll over to the small Norman CofE church with its pretty interior, 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.

Originally built upon the site of a 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

Celtic cross

You may have noticed 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, the cross 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: http://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: https://www.foreadventure.co.uk
  • Studland Watersports – Studland Watersports offers a range of water-based activities at Knoll, which you can check out on their Facebook page: https://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 Second World War Walk), beach huts, Middle Beach café and toilet facilities. You’ll also find outdoor adventure company Fore/Adventure at Middle Beach
  • South Beach – A safe, shallow beach with a café and walking route up to Old Harry Rocks, and historical interest (WWII pill box). South Beach car park is within walking distance of The Bankes Arms and The Pig on the Beach (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 beach, and wide views along the bay. Park here for Sandbanks Ferry and Bramble Bush Bay

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.

Hotels

Knoll House Hotel

Knoll House has been operating as a hotel since 1931 and is situated by Knoll Beach and offers family-friendly accommodation with a restaurant and bistro.

Highlights include:
  • 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

Visit Knoll House Hotel’s website: https://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 lookout at the pig Studland

Highlights include
  • Wellbeing treatments in a unique setting
  • Views across to Old Harry Rocks
  • Kitchen garden and flatbreads from the outdoor wood-fired oven
  • Unusual flavoured gins and vodkas
  • Cosy log fires

📞 01929 450288

Visit The Pig on the Beach’s website: https://www.thepighotel.com/on-the-beach/dorset-hotel/

B&Bs

The Bankes Arms

Nine double rooms and one twin room above the pub.

The Bankes Arms pub in Studland

  • 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

Visit The Bankes Arms website: www.bankesarms.com

Littlecroft B&B

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

https://www.littlecroftbandb.com

Longmead Cottage Bed & Breakfast

Offering two king-sized rooms and locally-sourced breakfasts, included Longmead’s own hens’ eggs and homemade preserves.

📞 01929 450472

https://www.longmeadcottage.co.uk

Rectory Cottage Bed & Breakfast

Two double rooms and a twin room.

📞 01929 450311

http://www.rectorycottage.co.uk

Old Harry Bed & Breakfast

Offering a double room with a balcony and a superking/twin and double/single rooms.

📞 01929 450218

https://oldharrybedandbreakfast.co.uk

The Old School House

A twin or double room and use of the garden and sun loungers. (Closed throughout December)

📞 01929 450 691

http://www.oldschoolhouse-studland.co.uk/?LMCL=jhej6n

How to get to Studland

By car

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.

By bus

You can get to Studland by taking the No. 50 bus from Swanage or from Poole or Bournemouth via the Sandbanks Ferry.

Parking

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

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 Corfe Castle 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 a traditional pub and opposite a children’s playground
  • Tyneham – Despite being abandoned during WWII, the ‘ghost village’ of Tyneham is a unique experience of a village stopped in time
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 prints
  • 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