The Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre at Knoll Beach is a real back to nature experience just minutes from the chain ferry to Bournemouth and Poole.

A light and airy 10x5m space seating up to 40, it is set in woodland just 300 yards from the sea at Studland and is designed along modern eco-friendly lines with a timber frame, wood burning stove, natural insulation, wind turbine and solar panel.

There’s a sheltered outdoor area ideal for al-fresco dining, covered decking, a wood fired rustic cob pizza oven, and ample parking - free to National Trust members. There is ramped access and facilities for wheelchair users.

We offer daily rates starting at £110 plus a range of catering options:

  • Breakfast buffet (9.30-11am) – bacon, egg or sausage sandwich, Danish pastry, juice, tea or coffee. £8.95 per person (minimum 15 people)
  • Traditional seaside lunch (noon-3pm) – Lyme Bay cod and chips followed by Purbeck Ice Cream waffle cone - £13.95 per person
  • High tea (2-5pm) – A stand of homemade cakes served with a pot of tea - £9.95 per person (minimum 15 people)


  • Option one: Selection of rustic sandwiches made with thick bloomer bread, Burt’s crisps, homemade tray bake, fruit and fruit juice - £7.95 per person (minimum 20 people)
  • Option two: Selection of salads, chutneys and dips, homemade flan, vegetable tartlets, quail scotch eggs, smoked salmon, meat platter, local cheese platter, homemade tray bake, dessert, fruit basket and fruit juice - £14.95 per person (minimum 20 people)

Canapes and Champagne

A glass of Champagne and selection of canapes which could include spiced prawn skewers with coriander dip, sticky pigs in blankets, goat’s cheese, basil and tomato blinis, spicy crab squares and chili sauce, chocolate cheese cake shots - £21 per person (minimum 20 people)

Wood fired pizza

Traditional pizza cooked for you in our rustic outdoor cob oven. Choose from mozzarella, tomato and garlic oil with fresh basil leaves or goat’s cheese, beetroot chutney, pesto and fresh rocket or chicken and chorizo with mozzarella or smoked mackerel, prawns, anchovies, garlic butter, chilli and red onion with mozzarella - £13.50 per person including mixed salad, oils and relish (minimum 20 people, maximum 50)

Alternatively – create your own pizza from a selection of toppings and our chefs will cook it for you - £15 per person. (maximum 50 people per booking, up to ten people per session)

Barbecue menu

  • Whole Lyme Bay mackerel or Cornish sardines seasoned with sea salt, cumin and garlic
  • Chicken breast marinated in lime and chilli
  • Halloumi and Mediterranean vegetable skewers, marinated in lemon and garlic
  • Rosemary lamb kebabs marinated in paprika, cumin, garlic, olive oil and rosemary, served with courgettes

All served with a mixed salad bowl and basket of fresh bread (Spanish fried potatoes £3 per portion)

Two items - £16.95 per person, one item £11.50, child’s portion (one item) £6.50 (minimum 15 people, maximum 50)

Private hire

  • 1 January to 31 March - £110 (10am-4pm)
  • 1 April to 31 October - £125 (9.30am-4.30pm)
  • 1 November to 31 December £110 (10am-4pm)
  • Evening hire (1 June-31 August only) £110 (5pm-8pm)

All prices include tea and coffee. Car parking is not included but is free to National Trust members. Day rates vary seasonally from £3 to £9. Alcohol is permitted but must be ordered from the National Trust. You must ensure than alcohol is not consumed by anyone under the age of 18.