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Langton House

Dorset, England

Ballard Down and ‘Old Harry’ Rock walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start Point

Begin the walk using a stile situated at the lower end of the car-park (Bankes Arms end), cross the field to reach a road. Turn right towards the *village cross, thatched barn etc, and turn left to pass between the buildings (Manor Farm) - towards Ballard Down.

The road rises steeply, passing the Glebelands estate to arrive at a gate giving access to the open ground. A signpost to Swanage indicates the way forward.

A stiff climb to the stone seat (aptly inscribed - Rest and be thankful) on the ridge ensues, but the panoramic views adequately compensate. The bays at Swanage and Studland, Poole harbour (with Brownsea Island) and the sprawling Godlingston Heathare each prominent. The Isle of Wight too if the visibility is good.

At the ridge swing left (towards the coast) and march along a broad, green swathe eventually reaching the O.S. triangulation point. Veer right here, pass through a gate and join the coastal path, which rolls out majestically towards the headland. As the coastal path curves left Old Harry and the attendant cliffs come into view. Their appearance is vividly white, just as though the surfaces had benefited from an application of “brilliant white” emulsion paint! If you want a closer look at Old Harry continue to the cliff edge, otherwise turn left along a well-worn path towards the trees and beyond to arrive at a road. Turn right, uphill, to the car-park.

*The Studland cross is fashioned from Freestone, taken from the stone beds at St. Aldhelm’s Head. The stone contains skeletal evidence of numerous small creatures that lived in the warm seas of the Jurassic period. The cross dates from 1975. The style is Saxon, in keeping with patterns found on surviving Saxon crosses in Dorset.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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