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Beaches

Nestled on a protected stretch of coastline, Knoll House offers easy access to some of the best beaches in Dorset.

From the famous Jurassic Coast to the white sand of Studland Bay, discover the Dorset coast from Knoll House. The South West Coast Path begins its journey at Shell Bay; pick it up from the hotel gardens and strike north or south.

Studland Bay

Stretching from Old Harry Rocks at the tip of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, the Studland Bay beaches sweep north to Shell Bay, providing four miles of sheltered shoreline.

A short stroll through the hotel gardens towards the Dorset coast and you’ll feel the white sand of Middle Beach beneath your feet, which stretches up to Knoll Beach in the north. Part of the National Trust nature reserve, the whole of Studland Bay is serene and unspoilt. From here you can try your hand at water sports, such as kayaking and windsurfing, cast a line and relax, or simply take a dip in the clear sea. Looking out to the south you can see the chalky headlands of Old Harry Rocks, where the Jurassic Coast begins.

At the southern end of bay you’ll find South Beach, a sandy cove with sheltered, shallow waters, great for children and family days out. Backed by steep hills to the south, this beach is best earlier in the day, as it catches the sunlight shining from the east. This is a dog-friendly beach all year round, though please keep your dogs on leads during the summer season.

Shell Bay

Around the northern tip of Studland Bay is Shell Bay. Backed by dunes and heathland, Shell Bay is a peaceful beach where you can watch the boats glide in and out of Poole Harbour. Take a barbecue and make a day of it, or catch the Sandbanks Ferry across the harbour mouth to Poole.

Sandbanks Beach, Poole

Considered one of the best beaches in Dorset, Sandbanks is livelier than those found on Studland Bay. The promenade is dotted with stalls and kiosks, selling drinks, ice creams and other seaside essentials. There are plenty of amusements for children, such as miniature golf and the mini road train that rolls along the seafront. On the water, learn to windsurf or sail. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, hire out a jet ski and speed across the sea. 

Swanage Beach

South of Studland Bay and just down the Dorset coast is Swanage, a Victorian seaside town with a wonderful beach. Stay dry and recline in a deck chair, or hire a pedalo and venture out onto the calm sea. There are plenty of attractions and arcades in the town, as well as the Victorian pier that reaches out into the bay and the restored steam railway. You can walk from Studland to Swanage via the South West Coast Path.

Lulworth Cove

A little further afield is Lulworth Cove, down on the Jurassic Coast. Within easy driving distance, the cove is well worth a day trip. The cove itself is renowned worldwide for its near-perfect horseshoe shape and unique geology. Children love exploring the rockpools, while coasteering offers an exciting way to see the Dorset coast close up. Alternatively, why not wander around Lulworth and marvel at the rock formations, pristine waters and panoramic views?