Studland - Old Harry Rocks Dorset Coast Guide
Studland is a small village on the Dorset coast which has become the access point for some of the south coasts best beaches. The village itself consists of a small hamlet with a Post Office and a few shops and there are some very nice hotels in the vicinity as well. The main attraction is the 3 miles of golden sand, the sparkling clear water and the unspoilt (and undeveloped) natural environment.
There are actually three beach areas at Studland each with its own character and facilities, all managed by the National Trust; Knoll Beach is the main area and also the largest beach, there is a good sized cafe there and toilets and washing facilities, Middle beach is smaller with a small cafe and South beach is the smallest and tree fringed, which offer some shade, there is a small kiosk serving snacks and drinks. There are water sports available from the main beach with sailboats and kayaks available for hire. This is a very popular area for boat owners and the offshore boat park is almost as full as the car parks! The eastern end of the beach is designated as a naturist beach (nude) and is very well attended.
The whole of the Studland area is a sandy peninsular which juts out into the Poole harbour area, it is mostly protected as a nature reserve. The sand dunes are a great habitat for reptiles and birds and there is an abundance of different varies of both to be spotted by the nature lover. Surprising just inland from the heathland area lies Wytch Farm which is the biggest onshore oil field in Britain, luckily it is well camouflaged and difficult to spot. Studland marks the start (end) of the South West Coast Path which runs around Devon and Cornwall to finish in Minehead.
Old Harry Rocks
The Old Harry Rocks lie around a mile to the east of Studland and can be reached along a coast path. The rocks themselves are chark stacks which have become detached from the mainland by the action of the sea. The views around the rocks are spectacular and attract a great many visitors - a great number of who are photographs (including ourselves!) The rocks are part of the Jurassic Coast which stretches all the way to Exmouth in Devon. The rocks are allegedly named after Harry Paye, the infamous Poole pirate; but some say they refer to the Devil who allegedly took a rest here! A note of caution: the cliffs drop over 100 feet straight into the sea and so animals and small children should be watched carefully and walkers should take care.
Old Harry Rocks Old Harry Rocks
Places to visit nearby
Poole Harbour - large natural harbour and port for cross channel ferries.
Brownsea Island - wooded island in Poole Harbour, home to red squirrels. Visit: Brownsea Island
Wareham - small Dorset country town.
Map of Studland area
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