Stand Up Paddleboarding in Dorset: Studland & Poole Harbour

March 30th, 2021

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is fast becoming one of the most popular watersports in in Dorset. This low impact activity is great fun for all ages and abilities and a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the Jurassic Coastline. We’re fortunate to have some of the best places to go stand up paddleboarding in Dorset within easy reach of Ulwell Holiday Park. Here we share some of our favourite SUP locations along with recommendations for board hire and lessons.


Paddleboarding Studland Bay

Studland Bay is fantastic location to try stand up paddleboarding for the first time. The water is shallow and the bay is relatively sheltered, giving complete novices the confidence needed to give this fun-filled sport a go. Beginners may require some assistance to pick up the basics and learn important safety skills. If you’re completely new to the sport we highly recommend booking a couple of lessons to help you on your way.

SUP Lessons & Hire

Fore Adventure at Middle Beach offer a variety of courses for all abilities. The 2-hour taster session is aimed at people with no prior experience. An instructor will help you perfect your paddling technique and master the art of turning and keeping your balance.

Stand up paddleboarding sunset

If you have some experience already, there are intermediate sessions available that include a paddle around Old Harry Rocks. This is a fantastic way to see this iconic natural landmark and the world-renowned Jurassic Coastline from a completely different perspective.

Once you’ve completed a taster session you may choose to hire a board to hone your new found skills. Spend a couple of hours paddling close to the shoreline and playing water games with your friends and family. There are a two stand-up paddleboard hire facilities to choose from at Studland Bay, depending on which of the beaches you visit. Hire a board from Fore Adventure or Studland Watersports at Knoll Beach. 


Poole Harbour

Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world and is one of the most popular places to go stand up paddleboarding in Dorset. Getting out on an SUP is a fantastic way to discover the beautiful scenery and explore remote locations that are inaccessible by foot. On a hot and sunny day, there’s no better way to take in beautiful vistas along the South West coast.

Group SUP Sessions & Guided Tours

There are a wide variety of watersports centres to choose from along the shores of Poole Harbour, each offering expert tuition and board hire. If you’re looking for a fun-filled children’s activity during your stay at our holiday park in Swanage, why not participate in an Easy Riders Sunday SUP event. These group sessions are family friendly and well-suited to complete beginners. Children are allowed to share a board with their parent, which is a fun experience.

lady paddleboarding

Experienced paddlers may opt for a guided tour with The Watersports Academy. The 2-hour tours include a gentle paddle along the Sandbanks Peninsula, where you can admire the multi-million-pound mansions on this famous spit of land. If the conditions are right, you’ll also get the chance to head to Brownsea Island. This National Trust Nature Reserve is often likened to the French Rivera and is home to a wide range of beautiful flora, fauna and wildlife.

If you plan on hiring a board for an hour or two there are plenty of hire facilities to choose from. Always take a moment to read the Harbour Authorities Code of Conduct. There are a couple or rules you must abide by, including avoiding the harbour entrance and shipping channels.

What our guests say

  • A gem of a place

    Sandra, Winchester

    What a find. I almost don’t want to tell you about it.

    It’s a family park with lovely, mostly new, fresh, clean spacious caravans – all set out almost in steps on the side of a small hill. The larger hill rises behind you, the sea spreads out in front and the swimming pool beckons behind the bar.

    The people are friendly, the site is clean and welcoming and the scenery unbeatable. It’s a gem of a place.

  • Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage


    Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage. A truly wonderful location, lying under the stunning Ballard Down and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Being only a 10 min walk from Swanage and the coast means it’s conveniently located for all amenities.

    The staff are always very helpful to sort out any problems and keep the site in fantastic condition. A 5-star park.

  • Friendly, clean & well kept

    Cheshire, UK

    Stayed here as a base to tour Isle of Purbeck and go on to Air show in Bournemouth. Not the cheapest site but definitely the cleanest and well thought out.

    Swimming pool , shop and pub/restaurant all in proximity and well kept/stocked. Bus stop right outside entrance. Grass pitches have plenty of space and well drained with shower blocks water/ drain points really handy.

    Will definitely be using this site again.

  • Lovely weekend

    Tina, London

    We have just returned from a lovely weekend caravanning at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park.
    Lovely clean site with indoor heated pool. We went in the pool around 5pm and were the only ones in there (apart from life guard) it was lovely and warm and clean.

    We walked to old Harry’s rock and then Down into Swanage itself and had fish and chips and an ice cream.
    Staff on the site were helpful and friendly. Lovely stay.

  • Our second, lovely Christmas at Ulwell

    Jane P, Cheltenham

    After the success of Christmas 2016 at Ulwell, we returned again for Christmas 2017 and had another great time. Lovely warm caravan, peaceful and relaxing on site and a fantastic carvery on Boxing Day at The Village Inn.

    Thanks to all staff who were working and made sure we had such a great break away.

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain

Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

Please note: The Sandbanks Ferry will be out of action until at least October.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North

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