Facilities at Arne

Full facilities information

Our Welcome Hut is in our main car park amongst mature oak trees and berry rich hedgerows – perfect for wildlife! It is open daily, 9.30am-4.30pm.

Please follow all advice and signage in our Welcome Hut. We are asking all visitors who can, unless exempt, to please wear a face covering while inside. Card payments preferred.

Our car park is open daily, 8.30am-dusk.

  • 61 spaces
  • 5 Blue Badge spaces
  • We also have a 4 space car park further into the reserve, reserved for those with access needs; permit available from the Welcome Hut in main car park.
  • No height restriction barrier
  • No overnight parking or camping
  • Bicycle racks available
  • Dogs die in hot cars, please do not leave your dog in the car when visiting us.

Please be respectful of other visitor access, our team and our neighbours by not parking on the road, verges or in gateways, as it causes an obstruction for residents and emergency services.

Our toilets are open daily, 10am-4:30pm. Please wear a face covering while in the toilets, unless you are exempt from doing so.

They are located in a separate block adjacent to the car park, please follow the one-way signs. 

Our accessible toilet is open daily, 10am-4:30pm. It is located in the car park – please ask a member of staff to open it for you.



Our cafe is open daily, 10am-4.30pm - take away only. Card payments preferred.

  • Wherever possible, our food is sustainably packaged, locally sourced, organic, Fairtrade, palm-oil free or sustainable palm oil.
  • We serve our own bird-friendly coffee. Our coffee has been shade-grown which, unlike in traditional coffee plantations, involves our producers leaving the tree canopy above the coffee bush in place, providing vital homes for a rich-variety of wildlife. This also leads to our coffee growing more slowly giving its distinctive, smooth flavour and means it requires less water and has less need to use invasive fertilisers or pesticides. It is organic and Fairtrade as well.
  • Children are very welcome. We don’t have a specific children’s menu, but we are happy to provide smaller/half-sized portions.
  • Our friendly team are able to provide allergen information.

Our shop is open daily, 10am-4.30pm. Card Payments preferred. In line with Government recommendations, we ask that all visitors, unless exempt, please continue to wear a face covering in our indoor spaces including the shop.

Here is just a flavour of our most popular products. Visit our store to discover more.

Bird food and feeders

Attract birds to your garden all year round with the help of our premium bird food - a real hit with our feathered friends! Produced with nature in mind, our seed mixes are Fair to Nature, meaning they meet rigorous conservation standards which help struggling farmland wildlife in the UK and Europe to flourish.

Fill your feeders with our extensive range of wild bird food to suit every type of garden bird and feeder. From seed to suet, peanuts to mealworms, we will help you to attract your favourite species.

Binoculars and Telescopes

Looking for a new pair of binoculars or telescope? We’ve got a fantastic range suitable for all needs and budgets. Whether it’s a pair of binoculars for the family to spot nature in your own garden, a telescope to use out birding, or compacts that make seeing wildlife on your summer hikes that little bit extra special, we’ve got something for everyone. Prices start from just £25 and include premium brands such as our own popular RSPB series, along with Viking, Swarovski, Leica, Nikon, Opticron and Zeiss. To try our extensive range in a Covid-secure way, please speak to our staff.

Wildlife homes

Feel great in your outdoor space by making it a fantastic home for wildlife. Create safe havens, hiding places and sources of water and you'll enjoy welcoming more nature in no time.

Our range of wildflower seed mixes, nestboxes, insect homes, hedgehog hotels, toad abodes, bat boxes and more will help you attract our best-loved garden wildlife.


Wondering what to buy your nature-loving friend or family member, or just wanting to treat yourself? Find plenty of great ideas within our gift range. Whether you’re looking for wildlife-themed books, home and kitchenware, clothing and accessories, or a new addition for the garden, we’ve got something for you. Plus, keep the little ones entertained with our fantastic range of fun and educational nature-inspired toys, games and craft items.

Our baby changing facilities, located in the shop, are open daily.


We don’t have a designated picnic area here, but you are welcome to bring a picnic with you to enjoy on your visit.

Help keep this place safe and special for wildlife and people by taking your litter home with you.

BBQs are a fire risk, endangering other people and the precious wildlife and habitats here. They are not permitted on the reserve at any time.

Pushchair friendly

There are some wide, level pushchair-friendly paths with short routes at RSPB Arne. You and the little ones can build a den, look for minibeasts in the woods, and take in the stunning views of the reserve.

Our popular RSPB binoculars are available to hire on your visit. 

Binocular hire is available daily from 10am, to be returned by closing time at 4.30pm. Last hire is at 2pm.

Please see the 'Activities and Events' section of this website or our Facebook page for our latest events, run in accordance with current Covid-19 guidance.

We also offer bespoke ‘Hire a Guide’ walks for small groups, for up to 3 hours – please see the ‘Group Booking Information’ section of this website.

We are delighted to have opened some of our hides and viewing screens. In line with Government recommendations, we ask that all visitors, unless exempt, please continue to wear a face covering in our indoor spaces including hides.

We have 2 hides and 3 viewing screens in total.

  • The new Middlebere Lookout is open – please follow guidance on the hide signage
  • The Shipstal Hide is open. Please follow the guidance at the hide.
  • The Coombe & Shipstal viewing screens are open.
  • The Raptor viewing screen is temporarily closed, as is the trail, due to potential wildlife disturbance.

Our reserve boasts 7 signposted trails of different lengths and abilities to help you explore this amazing landscape and the wildlife that calls it home. We also have a Tramper off-road mobility scooter available to hire, please email arne@rspb.org.uk to enquire.

  • The red Shipstal Trail is around 2 miles long, allow 1 ¾ hours to complete the trail. The route takes you through a wide variety of habitats on the reserve and includes Shipstal viewing screen overlooking the saltmarsh.
  • The grey Coombe Heath Trail is 1 ½ miles long. Allow around 1 hours to complete this trail. The route takes you through our spectacular heathland and includes Coombe viewpoint overlooking Middlebere Channel, Corfe Castle and Purbeck.
  • The Hydes Heath Trail takes around 2 hours to complete. The route takes you through our newest area of heathland and includes 360° panoramic views.
  • The Raptor trail is temporarily closed due to potential wildlife disturbance.
  • We do not allow bikes on any of our nature trails, but there is a Public Bridleway from the Arne Church where cycling is permitted, with bike racks situated at the end. Please enquire in the Welcome Area for more information.

Due to Covid-19 measures, our educational facilities are temporarily closed until autumn 2021. Unfortunately we are unable to accept school visits (both RSPB led and self-guided trips) at this time.

To help you go wild at school, check out our fantastic range of resources for teachers, or take on the Schools’ Wild Challenge.

Our play area is open and very popular with families.
It is located on the Dumbledore Trail on the nature reserve.
You’ll notice we’ve made some changes to help keep everyone safe – please use hand sanitiser upon entry.