Plan your visit
- Reserve open: daily from 8.30am - 6pm (October - March), and 8.30am - 10pm (April-September)
- Welcome Area open: daily 9am - 4:30pm.
- Shop open: Wednesday - Sunday, 10:30am - 4:30pm.
Café open: daily 10am-4pm. Due to Covid-19 measures the café is offering a limited takeaway menu.
- Festive opening times:
Christmas Day & Boxing Day reserve open dawn-dusk, visitor centre, shop and café are closed.
- Free entrance to RSPB members
- Car park cost
There are no entrance charges to the reserve, but the following car parking charges apply:
- RSPB members: FREE (please display your membership card face down in your windscreen)
- Non-members: £5 per car
- Coach and minibus: £15 per vehicle
Binocular hire is closed
Educational facilities are closed
How to get here
Wareham is the closest station (4 miles / 6.5 km from reserve). You can catch the bus from the train station (see 'by bus' for more details).
The Purbeck Breezer number 40 stops at Stoborough Green, from the bus stop it is 3 miles to Arne. Head along New Road for 0.4 miles, then turn right onto Arne Road.
The reserve is accessible by bike (please use ‘by road’ directions). We have bike racks in the main car park and by the cafe. The bridleway, which leads to Shipstal beach, is also accessible by bike.
From Wareham town centre, head south over the causeway to Stoborough. Travel through Stoborough, turn left onto New Road, signposted for Arne. Turn right at the cross roads in the village of Ridge, follow the road for approximately 3 miles to Arne, the car park is located on the right at the beginning of Arne village.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.
The Purbeck Cycleway passes within 1.5 miles / 2km of the car park.
Information for dog owners
Dogs on a lead are welcome on the designated dog friendly trails on the reserve.
Please keep your dog on a short lead at all times due to the sensitive wildlife, habitats and livestock here.
If you require an ‘off-lead’ walk please see Dorset Council’s Dog walking areas: https://www.dorsetdogs.org.uk/out-about/ The nearest area to RSPB Arne is Bog Lane, near Stoborough.
The special surroundings at RSPB Arne are wonderful havens for rare wildlife so we’ve created designated dog-friendly routes for you and your pooch to enjoy. Even if dogs are very well behaved, wildlife and livestock can easily become startled by a loose dog they perceive as a predator. Disturbing wildlife does more than simply causing it to move away; it uses up their energy, decreasing their chance of survival regardless of season. Thank you for protecting the special wildlife here by keeping your dog on a lead.
- Sorry, dogs are not permitted on the top Hyde’s Heath Trail, except assistance dogs due to the sensitive wildlife and habitats here.
- Dogs are welcome on the dog-friendly trails on the rest of the reserve on a short lead.
- Dog water bowls and shaded tie-up area are available at the shop and near the welcome area.
- Sorry, dogs aren’t permitted in the visitor centre, shop or café other than assistance dogs.
- Dogs die in hot cars, please do not leave your dog in the car when visiting us.
Group booking information
Small groups can ‘Hire-a-guide’ at RSPB Arne for a wonderful wildlife tour of the reserve! We tailor each walk to you and the wildlife you want to see. Great for small groups, wheelchair users, people with limited mobility, and anyone wanting an insight into the unique wildlife and history of Arne. Hire-a-guides must be booked at least 1 week in advance by emailing email@example.com. (Max. time 3 hours. Costs: £100 for up to 5 people, or £80 for RSPB members, plus usual reserve car park fees).
Please follow government guidelines for social distancing and visiting no more than groups of 6.
If you are thinking of running an activity, tour, or guided walk at RSPB Arne please enquire for our full terms, conditions and charges for commercial groups at RSPB Arne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will the weather be like?
Save nature with a staycation in the UK
Saving the nature that you love for future generations to enjoy. Make the most of your visit by staying in one of thousands of handpicked cottages across the UK. Simply book your stay here to support our partnership. Throughout 2020 holidaycottages.co.uk are supporting our conservation work – saving species and restoring habitats right across the UK at a time when the future of our planet has never been more important and protecting nature for future generations.
Hyde’s Heath open
RSPB Arne is now bigger and better. Thanks to the generous help of supporters who responded to our Arne Appeal, we have acquired Hyde’s Heath, an area of heathland that is vital habitat for some of our rarest wildlife.
Woodlarks, nightjars, sand lizards, Dartford warblers and many other beautiful creatures stand to benefit from this special piece of land. While Hyde’s Heath is now open to visitors, it is closed to dogs because of the risks posed to rare ground-nesting birds and other sensitive wildlife.