The Sandbanks Chain Ferry

sandbanks ferry 4The captain walks to the control tower.

The gates clang shut.

The black ball slowly rises to the top of the forward mast.

The rattle of chains start.

The “Bramble Bush Bay” chain ferry is on its way across the mouth of Poole Harbour.




Where: Sandbanks Peninsular – Banks Road/Ferry Way to Shell Bay – Ferry Road
Fares: Bus – ticket includes fare,  Fare for vehicles or bike. Foot passengers only charged one way
Website: www.sandbanksferry.co.uk              www.facebook.com/SandbanksFerry

sandbanks ferry 5It is a short ride but great fun to do.  As a foot passenger you ride on the top deck and get a great view. Car passengers can get out of their cars during the crossing and also go up to the top deck.

Our favourite way is to ride on the top of The Purbeck Breezer Bus – route 50 – from Bournemouth Station to Swanage Station.

The bus route has some open top buses so you may get windswept on the ride.  The bus has priority so speeds past the cars to the front of the queue and straight onto the ferry


sandbanks ferry 1The Bramble Bush is the 4th  Sandbanks Chain Ferry to act as a  ‘floating bridge’  between Sandbanks and The Isle of Purbeck.  The chain ferry saves about 16 miles on the journey between Sandbanks and Swanage.  The ferry crosses every 20 minutes and extra crossings are added if the queues are long. In summer months.

At weekends and during peak holiday periods, you may have to wait as the ferry can only hold between 48 to 52 cars.

The ferry usually closes for a month in the winter for its annual maintenance.

Their Facebook page is updated if there are any breaks in service or other important information that customers need to know.  www.facebook.com/SandbanksFerry


Getting There The postcodes necessary for Sat Nav users are BH13 7QN for the Poole/Bournemouth side of the ferry, and BH19 3BA for the Studland/Swanage side of the ferry. 
Google see map or get directions

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