Studland woodland walk

Walking trail

This is a great wildlife walk as there is so much to look and listen out for along the way, including birds, reptiles, deer, fungi and a variety of insects.

Visitors birdwatching at the Rees Cox Hide in Studland, Dorset


A map of the Woodland Walk at Studland Beach, Dorset


Discovery Centre car park, grid ref: SZ033836


The walk starts from the track at the far end of the Discovery Centre car park. From the gate, follow the broad track into the woods and after 50m take the first left at the orange marker post onto a narrower footpath. Follow the path round as it bends to the right, passing another orange marker post. Here, heather and bracken grow alongside wood sage and bluebells. Listen out for the birds, there are lots here, including willow warblers and woodpeckers.

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Carr woodland at Studland Beach, Dorset


The bank that the path cuts through is an old field boundary, last used in the 1800s. Dead wood is left on the land as it provides food and shelter for insects. You may just see some sika or roe deer or hear the loud whistling call of the sika stags in the autumn breeding season.


At the junction go straight on towards the bird hide. The ditch on the right is a haven for dragonflies and damselflies, and in spring it is a mating ground for frogs and toads.

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Sika deer


The bird hide overlooks Little Sea, a freshwater lake about 1 mile (2km) long. Over 350 years ago it was part of Studland Bay, but was gradually cut off to form a lagoon as the sand dunes built up. In the winter there can be as many as 3,000 birds on the lake.


Retrace your steps back to the junction and turn right. The long glade was once an enclosure for grazing animals, which have since been replaced by a spectacular display of flowers in spring, and later on by bracken which attracts food for bats.


The path takes you through carr woodland, where the trees grow in wet ground with ferns, mosses and liverworts growing around the bases. Keep going on the path and as you walk into an area of aspen trees, look out for white admiral butterflies swooping through the glade on warm summer days. Follow the path to the gate then take the track back to the car park.

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Children in a den at Studland Beach, Dorset


Discovery Centre car park, grid ref: SZ033836

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Studland woodland walk

Contact us

Tel: 01929 450500
Studland woodland walk

How to get here

Discovery Centre car park, Knoll Beach, Studland, grid ref: SZ033836
By road

From Poole take chain ferry from Sandbanks towards Studland. Before reaching village, turn left off ferry road towards Knoll beach. From Corfe Castle take B3351 to Studland, go through Studland village then turn right to Knoll beach. Park in the Discovery Centre car park.

Studland woodland walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking at Knoll Beach
  • Shop at Knoll Beach
  • Cafe at Knoll Beach
  • Toilets at Knoll Beach