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“Appalling service, bland food”
Review of Shell Bay

Shell Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 14 August 2014

We went here one Sunday in July, at about 6pm. First of all there is no free parking. Once we arrived in the near-empty restaurant we were sat in the outside terrace area with great views however the sun was beating down on us. We asked to be moved to another table (in an empty restaurant save for one other table and was refused, the waiter citing that the place was fully booked). So we asked for the roof on the terrace to be lowered which was done with the waiter huffing that we were "taking all the lovely sunshine away".

After that we seemed to have been blacklisted by the staff - we didn't get complimentary bread and olives as the other three tables did (when they eventually arrived), they didn't refill our water jug (as they did to others without prompting), they didn't ask if our meals were ok and when we left they didn't say goodbye to us despite them hovering around the door - they just avoided eye contact with us. Not sure how we upset them!

The food was average - the dish of plaice and new potatoes was bland, the fish and chips came with fries and was good but no better than pub standard but the oysters were very fresh and delicious. I assume the prices are high for the view and that the restaurant has high-end ambitions.

The bad atmosphere and poor treatment by the staff ruined it for us despite the stunning views. We only ate here as we were starving, had already paid for parking and couldn't find any alternatives. I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

2  Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"chain ferry"
in 20 reviews
"sand dunes"
in 13 reviews
"national trust"
in 18 reviews
"car park"
in 19 reviews
"beautiful beach"
in 13 reviews
"plenty of space"
in 7 reviews
"sandbanks ferry"
in 7 reviews
"bbq area"
in 3 reviews
"nice sand"
in 2 reviews
"hottest days"
in 2 reviews
"fish restaurant"
in 2 reviews
"greek islands"
in 2 reviews
"british beach"
in 2 reviews
"clear water"
in 3 reviews
"dogs allowed"
in 2 reviews
"nt shop"
in 3 reviews
"lovely lunch"
in 2 reviews

179 - 183 of 203 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2014

Good position, there is NO parking at the restaurant so on certain days the local car park is full and therefore a long walk to the restaurant

Thank Brian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

a nice quiet beach where you can watch the boats entering the harbour and to have a paddle at the same time

Thank psw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

In almost every possible way, Shell Bay is the nicer of the 2 easily accessible parts of Studland Beach.

It's cleaner, quieter, has nicer sand and has nicer sea. In fact Shell Bay is one of the nicest beaches I've been to. In no particular order...

Accessibility - Pretty close to the National Trust car park - A slow 5 minute amble with kids...

Sand quality - Absolutely perfect golden sand, great for walking on, great for sand castles. Plenty of space and even on the hotest day of the summer so far you didn't feel crowded in

Sea quality - A fairly shallow slope allowing kids to paddle with reasonable safety. Crystal clear while we were there and a nicely sandy bottom. Very few waves, which makes it safe, but a little boring for experienced adult swimmers.

Food / amenities - This is the biggest disadvantage to shell bay. There is no cafe or shop at this end of the beach. There is a toilet block and there is a restaurant nearby, but no dedicated food outlet. The National trust website does indicate there is a snack van which serves this beach, but we didn't see it either day we were there. So DO take a picnic!

All in all a GREAT beach for kids and definitely worth many trips if you are visiting nearby.

One quick note about the nudist beach. It really is quite far from this beach (20 - 30 minute walk along the shoreline) and round a promentary. It's also marked by bright blue signs so it's not something you'd just stumble into...

4  Thank El_Badgerino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 August 2014

One could imagine oneself to be in the South of France here if only for our weather sometimes. However this year has been and remains wonderful in that respect and congratulation to the National Trust for maintaining such a wonderful seaside experience.

1  Thank Jerry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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