Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Isle of Purbeck  /  Swanage  /  Sightseeing  /  Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks, Swanage

Categories: Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 420+ reviews on the web
Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England. They mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.LocationOld Harry Rocks lies directly east of Studland, about 1.5 miles northeast of Swanage, and about 3 miles south of the large towns of Poole and Bournemouth. To the south are the chalk cliffs of Ballard Down, much of which is owned by the National Trust. The rocks can be viewed from the Dorset section of the South West Coast Path.FormationThe chalk of Old Harry Rocks used to be part of a long stretch of chalk between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight, but remained as a headland after large parts of this seam were eroded away. As the headland suffered hydraulic action (a process in which air and water are forced into small cracks by the force of the sea, resulting in enlargening cracks), first caves, then arches, formed. The tops of the arches collapsed after being weakened by rainfall and wind, leaving disconnected stacks. One of these stacks is known as Old Harry. Old Harry's Wife was another stack which was eroded through corrosion and abrasion, until the bottom was so weak the top fell away, leaving a stump. Hydraulic action is the main cause of erosion (sheer force of the wave) that damaged the rock and caused it to fall away.
By using our Swanage holiday planner, you can arrange your visit to Old Harry Rocks and other attractions in Swanage.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • Amazing views at the end of a relatively simple walk. The path is good, not too steep, and well worth the spectacular sight of ocean, land, and beyond. Excellent, clean loos at the beginning of the wa...  read more »
  • Quite easy walk from Studland - even for older man. Amazing views. I don't think many people try to go down the path at the end of the walk - so so narrow and drops on both sides. Have a look on the p...  read more »
  • We started our walk from Ulwell, not as easy as other places a very steep hill climb to the Obelisk glad to have carried water with us. the rolling hills to Old Harry were easier. The views are stunni...  read more »
  • There is nothing better than to put your feet up, feel the fresh air and chill out. And this place is superb for that. I have been there few times with a bike, walking and with my camera also. It is really worth the effort to come over and enjoy the sunset/sunrise and the sea noise. If you like this kind of trips, you will love this place. If you like bit of trekking, walk to Swanage, it is really nice walk and a bit challenging also.
  • Really nice walk, good views, car park fairly nearby so the walk isn't too long. Definitely worthwhile visiting.
  • Although the sheerness of the cliffs do present a strange beauty, one might find that there is so much to do in vicinity for those attracted to nature walks. I spent there one afternoon and I'm sure I'll be seeing Studland peninsula soon.
  • Great place to go when on a coastal walk. I like to go from bournemouth to here and back
  • Great place to visit, lovely view.walked to here along stud land beach then on to Swanage
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 30​m
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 3​h