Shell Bay Cafe – perfect spot for tea and sea

Skirted by soft sandy beaches and marram grass-topped dunes, not even the intrusion of the road to Studland and the queue of traffic waiting for the Sandbanks chain ferry can spoil the serenity of South Haven Point. Seen through modern eyes it is an obvious spot for a place of refreshment – a function fulfilled Read More…

Dorset in the right light

There’s something in the light, in the way it reflects on the water and casts shadows in the sand, but Middle Beach at Studland holds the same fascination for artist Ian Hargreaves as Monet’s garden at Giverny, or the Grand Canal in Venice, or twilight on the Bosphorus at Istanbul. ‘It doesn’t matter how many Read More…

Studland: art of the village

He was an Old Etonian, cultured, patrician and well-travelled. She was a clay-cutter’s daughter from Goathorn who rarely, if ever, left Purbeck. In the first half of the 20th century they made a treasure trove of artisan crafts that a century later is largely forgotten, but for two examples held by the Victoria and Albert Read More…

Dunshay: a private view

  Far enough off the beaten track to be considered one of Purbeck’s relatively few truly private places, not many people stumble on Dunshay Manor – you need a reason to be there. And there’s no better reason than being able to call it home, as writer, traveller and art historian Ilay Cooper has done Read More…

When Dorset went to Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo, the bicentenary of which is on 18 June, remains a defining moment in European history. It brought to an end 23 years of global conflict against the expansionist French, secured Britain’s empire and ushered in almost 50 years of peace in Europe. It was at no small cost, though, as nearly Read More…

Studland’s Battle of Britain secret

Taken by Aircraftsman Tom Williams, who was stationed at the RAF radio station on Studland Hill, shortly after midday on 25 September 1940, this picture is one of a sequence that chronicles a Heinkel He111 bomber crash-landing at Westland Farm on Ballard Down, near Studland. The photos – on one-inch by two-inch enprints – had Read More…

Joanne Moore: sing forever

Now retired from the stage Joanne Moore was still singing professionally when she came to Studland after her husband John was recruited by the Atomic Energy Establishment at Winfrith, but she took it all in her stride. ‘We were living in Lancashire and John came home one day and said we were moving to Dorset. Read More…