Top walking routes in Studland, Dorset
Running Fore / Adventure in Studland gives us the perfect access to some amazing places and walks in the area, so we thought it was about time to share some of our favourite spots and walking routes in Studland which we regularly enjoy as a family. If you’re looking for places to explore or things to do in Studland or nearby Swanage then read our guide.
From walks that give you an insight into history taking in world war two bunkers, stunning strolls through sand dunes to wildlife havens, strolls further inland to the majestic agglestone rock, affording far reaching vistas out over Poole harbour, we are spolit for choice and variety of walking routes in Studland. Not to mention of course the most wonderful of all, taking in the iconic formation of stacks called Old Harry Rocks which we are used to seeing from below on our kayaks. Don’t just take our word for it, read on and see what this little patch of wild on the Isle of Purbecks has to offer, then come and visit it for yourself!!
Time to complete: approx 1hour15mins
Length: 5.2km / 3.2 miles
Start/End point: Middle Beach Car Park, Studland. SZ 036 829
About the walk: Legend has it that the devil threw the Agglestone rock from The Needles on the Isle of Wight with the intention of hitting either Corfe Castle, Bindon Abbey or Salisbury Cathedral. The Agglestone is an enormous block of iron-rich sandstone and is a popular destination for Bouldering.
On this walk you’ll have the opportunity to see all sorts of wildlife including Dartford warblers, stonechats, dragonflies and sand lizards. You’ll also be able to enjoy stunning views over Little Sea, Poole Harbour and Studland Bay.
Route: Start at Middle Beach Car park, footpath on right after leaving car park leads to the main road. Follow the road to the right, then take a left approx 50metres down the road. Follow the path through woodland until you cross a stream, then take the left path as it forks. Follow the path up and past the Agglestone. Continue down toward the road, turning left before you reach it. Follow the path back towards Studland village, rejoining the road toward Studland Stores, turn left and you’ll find your way back to Middle Beach Car Park.
Old Harry Rocks to Swanage
Time to complete: approx: 1hour45minutes
Length: 6.3km / 3.9 miles
Start point: South Beach Car Park, Studland SZ 037 825
End point: Banjo Pier, Swanage SZ 030 791
About the walk: Follow part of the 630 mile long South West Coast Path from Studland to the seaside town of Swanage, stopping along the way to see the world famous Old Harry Rocks. Walk from Studland to Swanage or take the alternative circular route back to Studland for incredible views of Swanage to one side and Poole Harbour on the other.
Route: Start at South Beach Car Park (next to the Bankes Arms pub) follow the road down and to the left onto the marked footpath out to Old Harry Rocks. Take in the stunning views at the viewpoint before continuing along the cliff tops toward Swanage. You’ll notice a fork in the path, with one heading to the right up a hill which is the alternative route back to Studland, but if you want to go to Swanage continue along the cliffs to the left. Keep on the Coast Path down the hill and through a housing estate onto the main road into Swanage. The walk ends at Banjo Pier on the beach in Swanage- why not take a bus back to Studland or take the steam train to Corfe Castle from here?
Alternative circular walk: Take the left path as described above, along Ballard down. At the crossroads on top of the hill take the right path downhill through the Glebeland estate back into Studland village.
*Once you have completed this walking route why not join one of our kayaking trips to explore the coastline and Old Harry Rocks from a different perspective.?
Little Sea and the Dunes
Time to complete: approx 40 minutes
Length: 3km / 1.8 miles
Start/End point: Knoll Beach Car Park SZ 033 834
About the walk: Make your way along Knoll Beach, through the dunes and along Little Sea in this short walk. All six native British reptiles live at Studland: sand lizards, common lizards, slow worms, grass snakes, adders and the rare smooth snakes. Little Sea is a freshwater lake which supports a large number of wintering wildfowl, including pochards, teals, goldeneyes, pintails, tufted ducks, shovelers, gadwalls and coots so there is plenty of wildlife spotting opportunity here.
Route: Starting out from the Car Park, head North long the beach for about 800m before exploring the dunes to your left. Follow the path toward Little Sea before heading south back toward the car park through the woodland.
Fort Henry and Redend Point
Time to complete: Approx 25 minutes
Length: 1.5km / 1 mile
Start/End Point: The Bankes Arms pub SZ 037 825
About the walk: Get a unique view of Studland bay from inside Fort Henry, a World War 2 bunker built in 1943 as part of Dorset’s involvement in D-Day preparation. This mini walk also includes Redend point which is only passable at low tide, so be sure to check tide times before visiting. When the tide is low you can investigate sandstone caves, amazing rock pools and a pillbox on the beach- yet more remnants of Fort Henry and it’s defences.
Route: Start at the Bankes Arms pub, next to South Beach Car Park. Take the marked footpath on the other side of the road to the pub and follow it around the outskirts of The Pig on the Beach hotel until you reach Fort Henry. Follow the path along the cliff and through the trees, at the steep road head down toward the beach past the cafe. Follow the beach around under the Fort, investigating Redend Point as you go (be aware of tides here, Redend point is only accessible at low tide). Follow South Beach along until you reach Joe’s Cafe- follow the path back up to the Bankes Arms.
*We regularly run foraging walks in Dorset, so if you want to enjoy a walk on the wide side with us and learn more about the plants you encounter along the way why not join us?
Greenlands Farm into Rempstone Estate
Time to complete: Approx 1hour30minutes
Length: 6.5km / 4 miles
Start point: Greenland Farm SZ 016 844
End point: Purbeck Viewpoint SZ 006 818
About the walk: Follow a portion of the Poole Harbour trail through woodland and heath, heading past scenic Burnbake Campsite and finishing at arguably the best viewpoint in Studland- with views across Poole Harbour and beyond.
Route: Heading away from the heath, follow the Poole Harbour Trail until it forks, take the left path and follow it past Claywell on your left. Cross the stream and continue through the woodland past Burnbake campsite. Head up the hill finishing your route at the epic viewpoint.
Time to complete: 1hour10minutes
Length: 5.7km / 3.5 miles
Start/End point: Sandbanks Chain Ferry SZ 036 866
About the walk: Starting at the Sandbanks Chain Ferry and taking in sights across Poole Harbour, including Brownsea Island, before heading past Little Sea and toward the Dunes and sandy beaches of Shell Bay. Keep your eyes open for plenty of coastal birds and reptiles that call Studland home.
Route: Start at the Sandbanks ferry (Studland side) and head down Ferry Road before taking the footpath on your right toward the harbour, following the coast around past Jerry’s Point and Redhorn Quay along the Poole Harbour Trail. Head back toward the road and take the footpath adjacent to the road until you can cross to pick up the path on the other side. From here you can head past Little Sea toward the beach- you can continue your walk along the sand or through the dunes before taking the beach back to the ferry.
We hope you get to visit Studland and enjoy the beauty of our home. Dont forget to pay us a visit too, if you want to experience Studland from a different perspective we offer kayaking trips out to explore Old Harry Rocks by kayak and paddleboard where you can get up close to the stacks and arches, if you would rather stay on dry land join one of our foraging walks in Studland to learn more about wild plants and how you can use them.