Studland Beaches, Dorset, England

Shell Bay, Studland Beaches, the southwest coast path in Dorset, England

The start of Studland beaches and the 630 mile South West Coast Path, beside the Poole Harbour ferry crossing, Dorset

Studland Beaches

Just over the ferry at Sandbanks is one of the best beaches in the UK, the three mile long, dune-backed Studland beach. Part of a Nature Reserve this huge stretch of sand is wonderfully scenic and natural, with shallow waters that warm up quickly and acres of rolling dunes that make a superb play pen enjoyed by kids, nudists and gays (different zones! ), although some of the latter can be less-than subtle.

Get there by car/bus across the old-fashioned chain ferry at Poole Harbour entrance (car parking is available at both ends of Shell Bay/Studland beach if you’re early enough or out of season) or bus to the ferry and walk across. n. b. Parking on the Sandbanks side is nearly impossible in season.

Studland Ferry

Sandbanks beaches to Studland ferry, Poole Harbour, Dorset, England

The chain ferry across Poole Harbour entrance, running every 20 mins from Sandbanks to Shell Bay/Studland beaches. Shell Bay beach is conveniently near the ferry but attracts more seaweed  than other Studland  beaches and waters may have  strong currents when the tide is going out/into Poole Harbour.

Studland Area Map

Studland beaches map, Dorset beaches, England

Studland beaches map. The ferry crossing from Sandbanks is top centre.

Studland Beach Views

Shell Bay view to Sandbanks, Studland beaches, Poole, Dorset, England

The view from Shell Bay dunes over to Poole Harbour Entrance, the ferry and  Sandbanks.

Facilities are nil in the lengthy middle section but walks are excellent and the Reserve is home to many species of birds. Hikers frequently start/finish the South West Coast Path walk from the Shell Bay point pictured at top. A walk to curious Agglestone Rock – lower left on the map – is scenically very rewarding. Horse riding is also popular in this area.
Families often head for Knoll or Middle beaches where there are plenty of facilities to feed and entertain kids.

Shell Bay sand is soft and light brown. The area is a nature reserve and attracts varies bird life and the people who like to watch them.

Studland, Dorset, best England beaches.

Somewhere between Shell Bay and Studland Middle Beach looking across to Old Harry Rocks and the Purbeck Hills. The Southwest Coast Path follows that route to Swanage just over the hill.

Studland, the pig hotel, Dorset beaches, England

Studland’s most popular dining option, the Pig on the Beach, also a hotel with a long history.