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Picture of Bankes Arms
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Submitted on Friday, 28th December 2007
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Bankes Arms, Swanage

Manor Road
Postal town: Swanage
BH19 3AU
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of Bankes Arms (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Bankes Arms

Situated high up in the hills near Studland's beaches and close to Corfe Castle and Swanage, we come across The Bankes Arms, an attractive looking country inn made of local Purbeck stone.

The split level interior features much exposed stonework, dark beams and has a rather upmarket feel to it. It's quite food orientated, although dogs are positively welcomed, and there's no TV or anything. There's a number of horse racing pictures on the walls reflecting the interests of the landlord. The pub sign reflects the arms of the Bankes family and, in the largish car park just up the road, we learn that the family owned the estate, which included Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy, from 1635 until 1982, when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.

Food is pricey and an extensive all day menu is offered on one of the largest blackboards I can recollect seeing in a pub. Reflecting the food emphasis, the bar is candlelit in the evening. Accommodation is available, but it's not at the cheaper end of the price range.

There's a large field like cliff top garden across the road which gives good views across to the Isle of Wight.

A number of CAMRA certificates are on display. The pub is the home of The Isle of Purbeck Brewery, but, unfortunately, on my recent early evening visit, none of their ales were available. A rather unsympathetic barman told me that they had just had a rather large beer festival and, as a result, all home brewed beers had run out. Furthermore, he went on to explain that much of the beer is delivered to other local outlets anyway.

Of the bank of 9 handpumps, only 3 beers were on when I called in. A good pint of Titanic Black Ice ( 4%) - at a rather pricey £ 3.30p - was enjoyed. Other beers on were Castle Rock's Elsie Mo's plus another Titanic beer. The pub is listed in CAMRA's 2010 Good Beer Guide.

This is the second pub that I have been to in recent months that ( allegedly ) brews its own beer on site, but has had none on offer for the passing anorak such as me. I do hope you are more fortunate if you decide to drop in.

On 5th October 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Bankes Arms

This is a nice country pub, hidden away down some narrow lanes in the village of Studland. The Purbeck stone building is fairly picturesque and has a simple, single room interior with ample seating and a nice stone floor. A visit is perhaps best combined with a walk down to old Harry Rocks or along the beach, safe in the knowledge that there will be a good pint waiting you at the end.
The pub is well known for having its own brewery (Isle of Purbeck) and a selection of their beers can normally be found at the bar, although we arrived a few days after they had a beer festival during which they ran out of most of their own ales. Thankfully they had a couple of guests on, including Titanic Captain Smith and Oakham White Dwarf, the latter being very well kept.
Large blackboards at the rear of the room listed a comprehensive menu, which despite being quite expensive, was too tempting to ignore. I had a tuna baguette which was very nice, but came with a full plate of side salad, which seemed a bit excessive. The staff managed the large summer crowd well and it was straight-forward to get a drink or order food.
We sat out in the large beer garden which has lovely views along Studland Beach and towards Poole. The garden was full of kids running riot and the task of clearing up the tables seemed to have been delegated to the seagulls that were gratefully finishing off endless plates of leftovers.
A bit of a tourist trap in a way, but I would say it's well worth a visit during the off-peak season.

On 12th September 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2805 recommendations about 2805 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Bankes Arms

A pub of contrasts. The most obvious is location; it's certainly an idyllic setting with some some quality views from the beer garden over Poole Bay. However the place doesn't look overly inviting from the outside and parts of the interior looked a bit worn and tired - some simple touches could improve this. The pub is spacious inside, with at least one real fire on the go during winter.

On my visit there were five ales on, most (if not all) from the pub's own brewery (Isle of Purbeck) - they were served well but were fairly uninspiring taste-wise. They also do a home-brewed lager which I actually found to be their best offering - go for that first. However, given that they brew on the premises, the prices they charged are pretty extortionate - over £3 for their lager. I got a tour round the brewery from the brewmaster who was a nice chap.

Personally, I think it's worth a stop for the tick if nearby but I wouldn't necessarily call it an 'essential' pub.

On 6th July 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Old Blue
Parkstone (Dorset), 6.91 miles, 2 hr 13 min walk (show)
Branksome, 7.22 miles, 2 hr 19 min walk (show)
Poole, 8 miles, 2 hr 34 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Bankes Arms, Studland
2nd Jun 2016, 15:58
Pub map correction submitted by Old Blue approved
2nd Jun 2016, 15:58
Pub map correction submitted by Old Blue

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Pinball : No last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
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