Standing tall on Handfast Point at the southern end of Studland Bay is one of the most famous landmarks on the South Coast – Old Harry. They are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and are managed by the National Trust.
The chalk formations are popularly known as Old Harry Rocks, but the name Old Harry actually refers to the single stack of chalk standing furthest out to sea. Until 1896 there was another stack known as Old Harry’s Wife, but erosion caused her to tumble into the sea, leaving just a stump.
Thousands of years ago, Old Harry and The Needles (another chalk rock formation) on the Isle of Wight were linked by a line of chalk hills that eroded away during the last ice age. On a clear day you can see The Needles from Studland Bay.
There are a number of theories about where Old Harry got its name. It is reputedly named after either a famous local pirate (Harry Paye) or the devil. The top of the cliff nearby is known as Old Nick’s Ground which is another name for the devil.
With breathtaking views, open fields and long canters, it is clear to see why this ride is a staff favourite. Up on top of Ballard Down, you will be getting all round stunning views of Swanage to one side, Poole Harbour with all its islands to the other and not forgetting the famous Old Harry with the Isle of Wight in the distance.
This ride has long canters in open fields so is for experienced riders only.
Please note: this ride is weather dependant and cannot be ridden in high winds, low cloud or fog. In this case the ride will go into the forest instead