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Studland Beach Second World War walk


Explore the hidden features of Studland’s Second World War past that remind us of the importance of Studland as a training ground for troops in the months leading up to D-Day.

The view from Fort Henry at Studland Beach, Dorset
Explore Studland's World War Two legacy National Trust/Neil Davidson


A map of the Second World War walk at Studland Beach
Ordnance Survey


Middle Beach car park, Studland, grid ref: SZ036829


From Middle Beach car park, descend the path by the lookout hut and go left to a bridge over a small stream. Here you can view a line of Dragon's Teeth (SZ036830).

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Second World War concrete dragon's teeth defences at Studland Beach, Dorset
Dragon's teeth were designed to stop enemy tanks National Trust/Neil Davidson


Go between the beach huts onto the beach, turn right and head south along the seashore.


Go past the beach café and turn right up the main track before turning left onto the waymarked coast path. Just a few hundred metres along this route is Fort Henry (SZ037828).

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Fort Henry at Studland Beach, Dorset
Winston Churchill watched D-Day rehearsals from Fort Henry National Trust/Neil Davidson


Continue along the coast path then head inland on a signposted route to the Bankes Arms. Please note there is currently no access to South Beach at this point due to a landslip. During the Second World War, the Bankes Arms was the control base for a major experiment to test the effectiveness of burning oil as a defence against a German seaborne invasion. This was known as Project Fougasse and involved piping oil to the sea and firing it by explosive charges.


Pass the Bankes Arms on the right and continue down the hill. Turn left onto a footpath signposted to South Beach. On reaching the beach turn left and look for a pill box at the north end of the beach (SZ038828).

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A Second World War pill box at Studland Beach, Dorset
Pill boxes dotted the coast in the early days of the war National Trust/Will Wilkinson


Retrace your steps to the Bankes Arms. Follow the road to the right, passing the Manor House Hotel, and return to the start point.


Middle Beach car park, Studland, grid ref: SZ036829

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Studland Beach Second World War walk


Gradients are fairly gentle with good walking conditions underfoot, except after heavy rain. 
Dogs welcome all year round, but please keep them on a lead of less than 2m anywhere on the beach between 1 May and 30 September.
From 1 October to 30 April dogs can be walked on the beach off the lead. 
Please respect others all times and pick up after your dog, using the dog bins provided.
Studland Beach Second World War walk

Contact us

tel: 01929 450500
Studland Beach Second World War walk

How to get here

Middle Beach car park, Studland, Dorset BH19 3AX
By road

Follow B3351 from Corfe Castle (5 miles/8km) or from Bournemouth/Poole via chain ferry. Postcode of start point is BH19 3AX

By foot

From the crossroads in Studland village, follow the signs for Middle Beach

By bus

Wilts and Dorset 50, Bournemouth or Swanage to Studland, then follow foot directions

By bicycle

Approach Studland via the Sandbanks chain ferry or National Cycle Network Route 2 and follow foot directions

Studland Beach Second World War walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking at Middle Beach
  • Toilets at Middle Beach
  • Cafe at Middle Beach
  • Food, drink and accommodation at the Bankes Arms (South Beach)
  • Cafe at South Beach