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Old Harry Rocks, Swanage

(460+ reviews on the web)
Landmark
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Wonderful view. We parked in National Trust car park at South Beach and its a fairly easy walk to the rocks. The photos speak for themselves.  more »
  • Not a long or hard walk from the car park, and well worth a visit if you're in Dorset. Have been wanting to go for a while and finally seeing the views was well worth it. A lovely sea breeze and in go...  more »
  • An amazing landform that is well worth the visit although the walk is strenuous from Swanage Bay, including lots of well eroded steps and paths, take your time, it's worth it when you get there, prepa...  more »