Learn more about the Isle of Purbeck

Old Harry Rocks
in Local Attractions

Old Harry Rocks is a series of chalk stacks located on the coast of Dorset, England, about 2 miles northeast of Swanage and 1 mile east of Studland. The stacks, composed of pure white chalk, have been formed over millions of years through the erosion of the cliffs. The name "Old Harry" is thought to have originated from a local pirate who used the stacks as a lookout point.

The stacks are at the end of the Studland Peninsula, part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The area is popular with tourists and is a protected nature reserve, with various wildlife and plants living on and around the stacks. Visitors can walk along the coastal bridleway to get a close-up view of the stacks and the surrounding area. Boat tours also take visitors out to sea for a different perspective. On a clear day, you can see east towards Dorchester and west to the Isle of Wight and Christchurch. A National Trust car park next to the Bankes Arms Country Inn in Studland makes a good starting point for walkers and cyclists wanting to visit Old Harry Rocks.

Old Harry Rocks is also popular with photographers and artists due to its unique and picturesque appearance. The stacks are best viewed during sunset or sunrise when the sun's rays illuminate the white chalk and create a stunning contrast with the blue sea and sky.

Besides its natural beauty, Old Harry Rocks has historical significance. Old Harry Rocks were created through thousands of years of erosion by the sea. They were initially a part of the chalk ridge line that runs across the south coast, joining up with the Needles on the Isle of Wight. The chalk ridge formed approximately 65 million years ago when the area was under a shallow sea. Calcium deposits from sea creatures dying and falling to the sea bed slowly built up over millions of years to create the chalk. Plate tectonics brought the chalk above sea level before the last ice age. Rising sea levels at the end of the last ice age and erosion channelled out the chalk ridge creating the Solent and Old Harry. The area is also rich in fossils, providing a glimpse into the past and the creatures that once lived here.

Overall, Old Harry Rocks is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Dorset. Its natural beauty, historical significance, and abundance of wildlife make it a unique and special place to visit. Whether you're a nature lover, photographer, or simply looking for a peaceful spot to unwind, Old Harry Rocks will surely impress.

Old Harry Rocks
Click to view Pinnacle Dawn - Ref: 1384
Click to view Flowers at Old Harry - Ref: 1385
Click to view Across to Old Harry - Ref: 1543
Click to view Old Harry Rocks - Ref: 1589
Click to view The Foreland and Studland Bay - Ref: 1790
Click to view The Pinnacles near Old Harry Rocks - Ref: 1950
Click to view Old Harry Rocks and the Foreland 1930s - Ref: 2009
Click to view Old Harry and Old Harrys Wife Rocks - Ref: 2173



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