Saturday 25 April 2009

Walk from Studland to Old Harry, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

After crossing on the chain ferry from Sandbanks, it is a short drive along Ferry Road to the National Trust car park backing on to the pleasant beach. From here you can stroll along the fine sand, towards Old Harry, visible in the distance, working your way over the slippery, green rocks below the cliffs. After about a mile you turn inland to join the popular wide grassy cliff path offering a glimpse of a grand Victorian home on the clifftop and big-sky views across the bay back to Bournemouth. Before long, you are at the promontory, surveying the white, craggy archway of Old Harry, which looks like it was made out of cottage cheese, and the nearby pinnacles rising out of the sea. You will need a head for heights to follow the narrowing path all the way to the cliff edge. On the way back, it is well worth wandering around the olde worlde village of Studland with its charismatic pub and ancient church. 8/10