East of Swanage, you can follow the Southwest Coast path over Ballard Down to descend into the pretty village of STUDLAND at the southern end of Studland Bay. The most northerly stretch of the beach, Shell Bay, is a magnificent strand of icing-sugar sand backed by a remarkable heathland ecosystem that’s home to all six British species of reptile – adders are quite common, so be careful. On Middle Beach, you can hire kayaks from the Studland Sea School or take one of their excellent guided kayak tours round Old Harry Rocks, through cliff arches and sea caves.

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