Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Old Harry Rocks and Ballard Down


                                                                        Old Harry Rocks

We've done several versions of this walk in the past, but not a complete clockwise one, so we thought we would do that as a way of re-connecting with this wonderful area. We parked at the National Trust car park in Studland and walked past the Banks' Alms towards Old Harry Rocks. The views remain dramatic.

First something new: the cruise liners currently parked off the coast of Bournemouth.

Then a view looking along the rocks and highlighting how one section has become isolated from the mainland. (A third cruise liner can be spotted on the horizon towards the right.)

This is clearer from a side-on view (see picture at the head of this post). A close look reveals some people with helmets at the base of the rocks. We wondered what they were up to - surely they weren't going to climb the chalk stacks?

We headed west passing another isolated chalk rock ...



... and climbed to reach and then walk along Ballard Down. It is a steady climb for a mile or so. On the right there was a great view of Studland Bay with Poole harbour beyond.

At length we turned right from the Down and crossed two fields to pass a cottage (a useful landmark) beside the Studland to Corfe road. We followed the track near to the road to reach Studland church with its famous Corbel Table just below the eaves.

To conclude, there was a wonderful display of gravestones.

Conditions: warm, becoming a little cloudy towards the end.

From: memory.

Distance: about 5 miles or a little less.

Map: Explorer OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset).

Rating: 4 stars. A delightful reminder of what a great walk this is.

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