Sandbanks Ferry

Sandbanks Ferry

Sandbanks Ferry is a car ferry service that operates across the entrance to Poole Harbour between Haven Point (Sandbanks) and Shell Bay (Studland). When travelling between Swanage and Bournemouth it shaves about thirteen miles off the journey effectively cutting it in half. Between Swanage and Poole it’s about an eight mile saving. Apart from reducing the journey time it’s also a fun experience. Every time I take the ferry from Sandbanks across to Studland I feel that I’m going on holiday. When visiting Dorset it’s an experience not to be missed.

Sandbanks Ferry does not operate a pre-booking system, just pay at the toll booth. Cash and card are accepted. See toll prices below.

Vehicles getting off the ferry at Shell Bay. Note the large chains that are used to guide the ferry across the very strong tidal currents at the mouth of Poole Harbour.

Sandbanks Ferry Timetable

Leaves Sandbanks (on the Poole – Bournemouth side) at 07:00 then 20 minutes past the hour, 40 minutes past the hour and on the hour until 23:00 (i.e departures every 20 minutes)

Leaves Shell Bay (on the Studland – Swanage side) at 07:10 then 30, 50 and 10 minutes past each hour until 23:10 (every 20 minutes)

The times above are daily throughout the year except for Christmas day but they are subject to shipping movements, essential maintenance and other operational factors and should be taken as a guide only.

Vehicles waiting for the ferry on the Shell Bay side.

Sandbanks Ferry Prices 2023

Pedestrians (From Sandbanks to Studland)£1
Pedal or Motor Cycles£1
Light van, most camper vans, mini buses up to 17 seats£5
Goods vehicles max 3500kg£10
Bus or coach (18 or more seats)£10
There is no charge for pedestrians travelling from Studland to Sandbanks. Information last checked/updated on 06 March 2023. Prices subject to change. Check website for up-to-date details

All prices are one-way and include all passengers in the vehicle. The toll booth is on the Shell Bay side of the crossing so when travelling in a car from Sandbanks to Shell Bay you pay when you get off the ferry, and when travelling from Shell Bay to Sandbanks you pay before you get on the ferry. The toll booth now accepts payment by card.

Foot passengers, cyclists and motorbikes travelling from Sandbanks to Studland need to buy a ticket BEFORE getting on the ferry – there’s a ticket machine by the car park.

There is no charge for foot passengers travelling from Studland to Sandbanks.

Information may change without notification so please check the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company website for up-to-date details, prices and payment methods.

Sandbanks Ferry departing from Sandbanks (Haven Point). You can see a little yellow kiosk on the left hand side. This is the Brownsea Island Ferry kiosk where you can buy tickets for boat rides to Brownsea Island and Poole Harbour. The departure jetty is a bit further to the left. For more info see Boat Trips From Sandbanks

Ferry Way Car Park Sandbanks

Sat Nav postcode is BH13 7RB (just to the left of the ferry overlooking the entrance to Poole Harbour). Capacity 29 spaces (3 disabled). Car park charges are given below. Payment can be made using cash, online or using the parking app.

More information about this car park can be found on the website

Mon-Sun, anytimeMar-OctNov-Feb
1 hour (max stay)£1.40£1.40
Maximum stay is 1 hour.
Buses also get on the ferry. The bus shown is the Breeze 50 service from Bournemouth to Swanage.
Vehicles getting on the ferry.
The name of the ferry is the Bramble Bush Bay. It’s 74m long and has a capacity of 48 cars.
Sandbanks Ferry
Shell Bay Beach on the Studland side.
Looking back at Sandbanks from the ferry. There is a small car park to the right of the photo where you can park for a maximum of 1 hour. The car park is called Ferry Way car park Sat Nav BH13 7RB – details and charges are given above. This car park spaces offer the best sea views in Dorset as you watch boats sail in and out of the harbour. Pack a flask of tea/coffee and some sandwiches and you’ve got a restaurant with the best table in town. My parents used to take us here as a kid 🙂 There is a parade of shops here and a small cafe and beach shop that do take away coffees and sandwiches just in case you forget to bring your own.

Related Pages: Sandbanks / Sandbanks Beach / Sandbanks Shore Road Beach / Shell Bay Beach / Boat Trips from Sandbanks / Studland Beaches / Studland Village / Poole Harbour / Swanage