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Old Harry Rocks, Swanage
(4.8/5 based on 440+ 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Take a two hour circular walk from Studland, taking in Old Harry. There is a great coastal section with fantastic views. There was a warning to keep dogs on a lead - the coastal views are great but yo...  more »
  • A stunning geological spectacle! I find it hard to imagine many people wouldn't be impressed by them. We parked in the National Trust car park near The Bankes Arms. There's a fairly short walk from th...  more »
  • Old Harry Rocks are an important feature of the geology of that Coast. The walk to Old Harry from Swanage is particularly good with many superb viewing opportunities. You also have a clear view across...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • Classic coastal geography here, with examples of stacks, stumps and arches in the chalk cliffs. Nice views across Poole Harbour, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight. To get there you'll need to walk of around a mile to get to Old Harry Rocks along a rough track and them open grassland.
  • Very enjoyable walk with friends took us to Old Harry a magnificent rock formation if you're visiting Studland Old Harry is a must.
  • Really nice walk, good views, car park fairly nearby so the walk isn't too long. Definitely worthwhile visiting.
  • You have to see Old Harry Rocks from the sea. It's an amazing sight.