The Beaches of Studland Bay

June 21st, 2019

Studland peninsula comprises of 4 beautiful beaches, famed for their crystal-clear waters and rolling sand dunes. Each of the beaches are unique in their own way and well worth a visit during your stay at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park. Studland is just a short drive from our Swanage holiday park and accessible via a scenic walk, if you fancy leaving your car back at the park.


Shell Bay

Shell Bay is situated at the top of the Studland peninsula and accessible via the Sandbanks ferry. This beautiful stretch of sand overlooks the entrance to Poole harbour and is popular with families hoping to relax and enjoy unspoilt surrounding’s.


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There is a designated barbeque area ideal for cooking up a storm as the sun goes down after a long day on the beach. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like cooking for yourself you can make a short walk to The Shell Bay, an acclaimed seafood restaurant with stunning views across the harbour to Brownsea Island.


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Behind the sand dunes the heathland stretches into the distance with plenty of paths to explore in search of the abundant wildlife. The heath is one of the only places in the country where you can find all six species of reptiles native to the UK.


Knoll Bay

Knoll Bay is perhaps the most popular beach in Studland thanks to its variety of things to do. Like the rest of the beaches along Studland Bay, it boats a beautiful stretch of golden sand, perfect for building castles or sunbathing on a warm day.


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If you’d rather spend your time doing something a little more adventurous, Studland Watersports is a great place to hire equipment. Why not hire a kayak and paddle over to the mighty Old Harry Rocks to admire Dorset’s famed coastline from the water. In the summer months, you may be lucky enough to spot the ice cream boat, which serves ice creams from the shallows!


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The area is managed by the National Trust, which means parking in free for members. There is an excellent café for midday snacks along with a shop selling gifts, homeware and other souvenirs to take home. Throughout the year there are a number of events held on the beach, including and open air cinema.

At the end of Knoll Bay there is a clearly designated nudist beach, which is considered the best naturist spot in the country!


Middle Beach

Middle Beach is sheltered by the cliff and dog friendly throughout the year. There is no lifeguard at the beach, but it is a great place to swim and is a popular spot for snorkelling. It is a favourite amongst locals and is slightly quieter than the other beaches, ideal for whiling away a sunny afternoon.


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Studland Bay has lots of history and Middle Beach is the starting point for an interesting ‘Second World War Walk’. From the car park follow the path down to the shore and you will soon see the ‘Dragons Teeth’, which were installed to protect Studland from invading enemy tanks. Following the National Trusts trail will also take you past Fort Henry and a Pill box on the shoreline.


South Beach

South beach is the smallest of all the beaches at Studland and great for visitors with young children. The shallow and gently shelving waters making it ideal for little ones to paddle and play on the shoreline. The nearby café, which serves drinks and ice creams even lets you borrow beach toys!


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The beach benefits from wonderful views to Old Harry Rocks in the distance and is sheltered by trees and a row of traditional beach huts.


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.

Latest reviews

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.

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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