The beaches

A view of Studland Beach

The aristocratic Bankes family, who once owned Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy near Wimborne, spent summers at their Studland residence, now the Pig on the Beach hotel.

They knew there’s nothing like fresh sea air for invigorating mind and body, and nowhere better than four miles of golden sand for letting your hair down and enjoying the outdoors.

Henrietta Bankes and her son Ralph at Studland about 1905. On his death in 1981 Ralph bequeathed the Bankes estate, including Studland, Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy, to the National Trust.
Henrietta and Ralph Bankes on the beach at Studland about 1905

From bucket and spade fun to watersports, beach games and blow-away-the-cobwebs walks, Studland today is a place for all seasons.

The beaches of the Studland peninsula stretch from the boundary of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site at Old Harry Rocks north to Shell Bay, where a chain ferry provides a link to Poole and Bournemouth.

The beaches at Studland Bay
A map of the beaches at Studland Bay

South Beach is the smallest and popular with locals, Middle Beach is sheltered by low cliffs while Knoll Beach, backed by a wilderness of dunes, has wide open spaces and includes a 1km designated naturist area.

All are ideal for families with gently shelving bathing waters, convenient parking and other facilities.

No matter which you choose, you’ll be met with sea views stretching from Old Harry to the Isle of Wight.

Things to try

  • Slacklining (free) – Knoll Beach and Shell Bay

  • Beach volleyball (free) – Shell Bay

  • Kayaking – Middle Beach or Knoll Beach

  • Snorkelling – Middle Beach

  • Paddleboarding, pedaloes, sailing or power boat trips – Knoll Beach

  • Cycle hire – Knoll Beach

  • Paddling, playing in the waves, building sandcastles and having fun - anywhere

Try your hand at beach volleyball at Shell Bay
A beach volleyball game at Shell Bay, Studland