We’ve been busy putting together a list of memory-making activities for your enjoyment. Whether you’re after an adrenaline rush or fancy a more relaxing stay, there’s something for everyone.
Discover Studland with our famous nine-walk map:
We have some truly stunning walks starting from Knoll House. With maps available at reception, you’ll set off directly from the hotel and will get to experience some spectacular scenery within the local area. If you’d prefer a guided walk, we can provide contact details for local experts. Booking in advance is recommended.
Life’s a beach:
We are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful beaches within walking distance of the hotel, with Studland beach being the nearest and only a five-minute walk from our front door. Venture a little further afield to Swanage or hop across the ferry to explore the iconic blue flag beaches at Sandbanks. Our reception team can provide you with a list of local beaches to explore but do remember to stay safe whilst out and about and perhaps read the National Trust's guide before you set off.
Find the fossils:
Something Dorset is famous for is the iconic fossil beaches scattered along the coastal landscape, with a couple only being a short drive from the hotel. Take the children along for a true adventure of discovery. Make sure to visit the infamous fossil museum at Kimmeridge Bay to see what creatures roamed the earth millions of years ago.
On the water
Run by Jade and Dan, and their helpful team of outdoor adventurers, Fore/Adventure (previously known as Studland Sea School), hosts everything from two-hour taster sessions to three-day outdoor expeditions for all ages and abilities. Getting closer to nature by sea kayak, or enjoying the fruits of nature’s larder through foraging, it will give you a sense of freedom and escapism for those precious hours or days you find yourselves here in Studland. The team are committed to using locally sourced ingredients on their Fore/Kitchen wild food events, offering a real taste of Dorset.
Take a trip on the ferry to Brownsea Island. This is an internationally acclaimed nature reserve featuring rare wildlife, including the endangered red squirrel and wading birds. Located at the heart of Poole Harbour, it is managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the National Trust and part of the Purbeck National Nature Reserve. It is also the birthplace of the Scouting movement.
Jetski Safaris offers a range of activities including jet skis, powerboat trips, RYA jetski and powerboat training and aquatic Jetpack experiences. All activities are available for individuals or as a group. Spaces need to be pre-booked.
South Coast Karting:
This purpose-built 500-metre outdoor karting venue is ideal for seasoned and novice drivers alike. It is ideally located adjacent to Bournemouth International Airport, which is just a 40-minute drive from Knoll House, and well worth the journey. The floodlit circuit is available for exclusive group hire all year round and in all weathers from 10am-10pm daily. 'Arrive and drive' sessions are also available for you to fill your day with some excitement and adrenaline.
Corfe Castle is an iconic landmark on the Isle of Purbeck and a fortification standing above the village of the same name nestled in beautiful Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates back to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The first phase was one of the earliest castles in England to be built at least partly using stone, when the majority were built with earth and timber. Corfe Castle underwent major structural changes in the 12th and 13th centuries. Currently access is by pre-booking only which you can do through the National Trust website.
Gardens and nature
Sculpture by the Lakes:
Described as one of the most beautiful and unique sculpture parks in the UK, Sculpture by the Lakes marries the soft beauty of nature's wild river landscape with the more formal presentation of monumental outdoor sculpture. Based in Dorchester, it’s an easy distance from Knoll House but due to deep water no children under 14 years of age (including babies) and no dogs are allowed. The Sculpture Cafe is open for takeaway service, where hot drinks and pastries can be enjoyed in the beautiful grounds.
Greenhill Gardens, situated right on Weymouth’s seafront, is one of the gems of the area. The award-winning gardens have brightly coloured borders, winding paths, recreational areas and one of the best views of Weymouth Bay and the Dorset coastline. The putting green and tennis courts are perfect for keeping the children entertained whilst parents can take a minute to relax and soak up the view!
Athelhampton House and Gardens:
Athelhampton House and Gardens dates back to the 15th century. The house, built in 1485, is a great example of Tudor architecture and showcases a fascinating collection of English furniture, including a huge shiny copper bath. The gardens include the Great Court, with its nine-metre-tall pyramid yew trees, the Private Garden and Octagonal pond, leading to the River Piddle. You can follow the river toward the ancient dovecote, where there are lots of hidden corners for the kids to explore.
Food and drink
Conker Gin distillery tour:
For the first time ever, Conker Gin are opening their doors to their Conker-swilling devotees. Their founder and former chartered surveyor-cum-entrepreneur, Rupert Holloway, will take you on an exclusive two-hour tour of Conker HQ, where you’ll experience a rare insight into the gin making process. Based in Southbourne, just outside of Bournemouth – it’s a must-do experience whilst in the area.
Afternoon tea at Knoll House
An English classic and a much-loved Dorset tradition, our afternoon teas epitomise informal indulgence. Enjoy homemade sandwiches followed by scones and sweet treats, while looking out across the manicured gardens to soak up the stunning sea views of Studland Bay. Contact reception to book.
Throughout July & August we have our legendary BBQ Saturdays offering a wide range of things from our chargrill menu, as well as sounds from the Mambossa Band who play feel good music until the sun goes down. No booking necessary.
Crabbing and rock-pooling fun:
A must while on holiday in Swanage! Grab crab lines, nets, buckets, bait, and see how many you can catch on the harbour wall – a wonderful day out for all of the family!
Speak to our reception team for the best spots.
Pick up a picnic:
We can pack you off on your adventures with a delicious homemade picnic hamper, filled with savoury and sweet snacks; saving you a trip to the supermarket. Find the perfect hideaway and make memories as a whole family or enjoy a romantic date. This can be pre-booked with our reception team.
Tennis and golf:
Wandering around the hotel grounds, you’ll find two tennis courts to use at your leisure, with rackets and balls available to borrow. Or why not play a round on our nine-acre, par-three, pitch-and-putt golf course, with wonderful views over Old Harry Rocks? Speak to reception for equipment hire.
Whatever you get up to on your family adventure, you will be sure to leave Knoll House feeling relaxed, recharged and having made memories to last a lifetime.