Studland lies across from Sandbank. A long sandy beach and sand dunes line the bay that runs southwards from the ferry across the entrance to Poole harbour. The beach and the dunes are owned and managed by the National Trust. A short stretch of beach, just down from the chain link ferry, is reserved as a naturist beach. Behind the dunes is Studland Heath National Nature Reserve, an area of heath, woods, mudflats and open water with two waymarked trails.
The village of Studland is further south, set back a few hundred metres from the coast. Many of the houses are holiday homes, second homes, guest houses or hotels and the village’s population varies depending upon the season.
Up to the early 19th Century, Swanage was a small fishing port. It developed as a seaside resort with the arrival of the railway. Sheltered within its wide bay, with a sandy beach and colourful public gardens, it is a popular holiday destination. Behind the Town Hall is a tiny lock-up, built in 1802, inscribed ‘For the Prevention of Vice and Immorality by the Friends of Religion and Good Order’.
The first pier was built in 1859/60, primarily for use by the local stone quarrying industry. It included a tramway which ran the length of the pier. A second pier was built in 1895/6 for use by passenger steamers. Today all that remains of the old pier are a line of timber piles.
This picturesque village is situated on the cliffs to the west of Swanage. It comprises limestone cottages and farm houses and is built around a pond.
Kimmeridge is a picture-perfect village as is its beach, with a natural waterfall and amazing views. However, the bay is only accessible via a £5 toll road, which includes parking.
The small settlement at Lulworth Cove consists of a few buildings geared up for catering for the tens of thousands of visitors it receives each year. As well as visit this attractive cove they also use it as a starting point for the cliff walk, especially westwards to the famous rock formation known as Durdle Door.
The hamlet of Osmington Mills sits on the cliff top. A rough path leads down to a wild, rocky beach. The Smugglers Inn services visitors and the camp sites & caravan park.