STUDLAND BEACH - DORSET
39. STUDLAND BEACH - DORSET
Yet another place with an eerily appropriate name! Near Poole, it's a nudist beach area, with couples, singles, gays, the usual! Opinions vary: "Studland seems to be mostly gays..." wrote one correspondent, but there's much more there than gays, it seems...
In early September 1999 Beachboy strongly disagreed with the gay label: "Studland all gays? You must be in the wrong place mate - had a greattttttt summer down there. PLENTY of women and couples! Hot hot stuff just play cool and it's there, but DON'T come down dressed, mate, it's a nudist beach - you will stand out like a sore thumb. Seasons nearly over..." He continued with directions: "...well, as u look from the sea at the midway point of the nudist beach is a track that leads back to the ferry road and on the left hand side all the couples are to be found (well most, anyway) in the dunes over the back. DISCRETION here, please - it IS a nudist beach so don't turn up clothed (stands out like a spare prick at a wedding and causes lots of probs)..."
And so the comments continued: "...locally to us here in the south we have several good spots one being Studland Beach in the sand dunes at the back of the naturist beach. My wife and I have gone all the way here before. We were watched by one guy..." "...This has got to be one of the best places we know of. Unfortunately it gets rather over-run with single blokes wandering round staring at couples who are innocently sunbathing. Also, if you show any sign of 'getting down to it' expect to instantly have up to ten blokes surround you..."
"Well, everyone knows about Studland! But if you've never been there before, these notes might be useful: firstly, it's a naturist (nudist) beach. Like many such beaches it's used by two separate groups of people who don't mix very well: genuine naturists who just want to sunbathe in the nude, and swingers hoping to score. People who are just there to sunbathe don't want to be gawked at, and don't want to see other people engaging in sexual activity. As a result, the area is unofficially divided into two zones, with the sunbathers on the actual beach and other activities going on in the sand dunes behind. Please respect this and don't upset people! WHERE: There is a village called Studland, but this isn't where the naturist beach is (the beaches nearest Studland village are clothed-only). To get to the naturist beach, go to Shell Beach and walk south along the beach until you pass the wooden sign warning you that naturists may be visible. It's quite a long walk (maybe a mile). You might be tempted to take a short cut by going along the main road and then walking through the trees onto the beach. Don't try this because the forest between the beach and the road is dense and very marshy - much too difficult to walk through - so the easiest way there is to walk along the beach. If you're arriving by public transport, the bus from Bournemouth to Swanage via Sandbanks is suitable (last time I checked, it was a number 151). As part of its route, this bus goes on a little ferry across the entrance to Poole Harbour. The stop you want is "Shell Beach". If you're coming from Bournemouth, this is the first stop after the bus has crossed the ferry. If you're going in the other direction, it's the last stop before the ferry. There is another bus from Bournemouth that just goes to Sandbanks (ie the other end of ferry). It is possible to get this bus and then take the ferry crossing as a pedestrian. VERDICT: A great place, either for sunbathers or swingers. It has a friendly atmosphere (unlike some other places, which can feel very threatening). Both gay men and straight couples go there (usually more gays than straights). TIP: If you've brought a tent with you, it is possible to camp amongst the sand dunes. Quite a few people put up a tent so they've got somewhere private to go with their new friends."
"It seems that Studland Beach has everything... ...rolling secluded dunes with plenty of nooks and dells to occupy and protect you from the wind, some friendly and intelligent people that are there to meet and chat. However, there is a contingent that seems to be there to 'abuse' the liberal attitude of some visitors. We were there on Friday and Saturday and met some truly nice people, but we did also meet some who are persistent "pests" to say the least. There appears to be a hard core of visitors, mainly single, older men who wander around in search of some 'action'. My advice to anybody that chooses to visit here is... ...take a wind break or small tent. Pitch it close to the top ridge of the dunes so that you are close to the beach, this ensures that the 'pests' will leave you alone. If you intend to include others in your games move to one of the dells and pitch your tent and use this to indulge your whims. If you don't you WILL be pestered and hassled by professionals. Despite the few, this is a nice location."
New directions: "...an easier route is to drive from the ferry for approx three-quarters of a mile. On the left is a style with a sign marked 'FP6' leading to a footpath to the middle of the Nudist Beach. The footpath is half a mile long." And: "...walk three quarters of a mile to the right from the car-park to the nudist section. Here on the beach and especially in the dunes behind, many singles, gays and the odd hetero couple. Plenty of action throughout the day. Be careful as the Police will pick up anyone blatantly at it."