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Dorset Walk
Studland and Old Harry Rocks from Sheel Bay

County/Area - Dorset

Author - Pia Barratt

Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km

Ascent - 250 feet / 76 metres

Time - 4 hours 30 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SZ035862
Lat 50.675452 // Long -1.95183
Postcode BH19 3BA (approx. location only)
what3words start ears.jolly.handed

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Studland and Old Harry Rocks from Sheel Bay Photo from the walk - Studland and Old Harry Rocks from Sheel Bay
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Jurassic Coast stretches from Old Harry Rock, included in this walk, west to Orcombe Point near Exmouth a distance of some 95miles. Following the coast is the South West Coast Path which starts, or finishes depending on your view, at Poole Harbour and continues round the English Coast to Minehead in Somerset. This walk enjoys both and offers a pleasant walk along the seaside with views inland to rural Dorset and Poole Harbour.

The walk starts at the car park (grid ref SZ035862) by the roundabout on the B3351 that leads to the ferry across Poole Harbour to Sandbanks. After parking it is suggested you walk along the road to the ferry so that you can say you have actually started from the official beginning of the South West Coast Path. So, with the sea on your left, walk along the beach of Shell Bay. Continue along the beach passing into Studland Bay. Please note that this takes walkers through a nudist beach.

From Studland Beach, continue following the South west Coast Path up to Studland Village where refreshment may be taken at the Banks Arms pub. This pub is cosy and well decorated inside and has a large field/pub garden overlooking the sea and cliffs where lunch is served in good weather. The path continues up a gradual gradient to the cliff edge. Heading west you get a fine view down on Studland Bay and east along the coast into Hampshire.

Once on the cliff top path, you have excellent seascapes to the left with a pleasant rural outlook to you right with rolling downland. Quite soon you reach The Foreland (or Handfast Point) from where you get a bird's eye view of Old Harry Rock. Turning the corner the view includes the coast to Swanage and beyond. If you are feeling energetic the path may be followed from here to Swanage and beyond, past the crumbling stacks and archways that line this past of the coast. To return to the start simply retrace your steps.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL15Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL15Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 195Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 195Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

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