The Foreland and Old Harry.

Start. Studland (Manor Road)

Route. Studland - The Warren Wood - Studland Wood - Old Harry - Studland Wood - The Warren Wood - Studland.

Notes. This was a short walk at the end of the day, an introduction to Old Harry, a chalk sea stack rising from the dark waters of Poole Bay, we would have liked a wander over Ballard Down but by the time we set out the shadows were long, night was creeping over our shoulders.

The reason the rock was christened Old Harry seems to have vanished into the sea with much of the chalk cliffs on the Dorset coast. Legend tells us the devil (traditionally known as Old Harry) slept on the rock one night, or another local legend claims the rocks are named after Harry Paye an infamous Poole pirate who stored his ill-gotten gains in the vicinity, believe what you will I prefer the tale of the devil, he seems to pop up in all the best legends. What is true, geologists believe the see stacks once formed a ridge stretching to The Needles on the Isle of White, swiftly eroded by melt water at the end of the last ice age. Back in the 1770s it was still possible to wander from the headland above a massive arch to access Old Harry and his wife, divorced in 1896 when she collapsed into the sea.

We parked on the National Trust car park on Manor Road, next to the Bankes Arms, a short walk down the hill took us to a way-marked footpath next to the public toilets. On a good path we wandered east, warning signs reminded us of the dangers on the cliff edge. After passing through a delightful meadow we reached the chalk cliffs marking the edge of Studland Bay, The Forland or Handfast Point, across what is known locally as St Luca's Leap rose Old Harry. After the obligatory photo shoot we re-traced our steps back to the car.

view route map.


En route to Old Harry with the sea to our left and The Warren Wood our right.

Poole Bay with Bournemouth across the skyline.

Poole Bay.

Old Harry, not just a chalk sea stack this is where the Jurassic Coast starts in the east.

On The Foreland with stunning views to Bournemouth.

Another view to Old Harry with Sue giving the scene a little perspective.

Old Harry and St Luca's Leap seen from Old Nick's Ground.

Viewing one of The Pinnacles below Old Nick's Ground.

Striding back, the sun is just starting to set.

The Bankes Arms, no sign of food being served so on to Swanage for fish and chips.

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