Old Harry Rocks, Swanage

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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 PathFormationThe 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.
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545 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 20, 2017
    Really wanted to visit here. My dad's name is Harry and I wanted a photo to show him! A slow and steady uphill walk with fabulous views. A little longer than the mile though, we felt!  more »
  • August 17, 2017
    Take the boat trip and amaze youself with the views of the Jurassic cliffs. Not sure who Harry is but he has kept good company with his mates and is still standing tall !  more »
  • August 16, 2017
    On a photography course and taken to this location to photograph the rocks. Lovely walk approximately one mile from car park, mainly level, to the stunning view. Hopefully got some great shots! Defini...  more »

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