Where to go: you can walk to the Handfast Point from Studland, or, for a longer and more challenging route, from Swanage. Alternatively you can take the scenic 11km hike along the spectacular Chalk Ridge from Corfe to the coast.
Look out for: On a clear day it is easy to see the Isle of Wight!
Old Harry's fate
The string of sea stacks that trail out onto the sea off the point here formed after the last age. At some point in the last 20,000 years the sea breached the chalk ridge that would have stretched across to the Isle of Wight. It probably did this by flooding up river channels that had cut down through the chalk. Once this natural barrier was breached the land behind was submerged, creating the Solent. The chalk was slowly stripped back to create the coastline we see now. Sea stacks like Old Harry form when slightly harder areas of rock resist erosion whilst everything else around them is worn away. Eventually these stacks will collapse (Old Harry once had a wife, who is sadly no more) but new ones will replace them. Ongoing erosion like this is the main reason the coast is so beautiful.
A new book that takes a quirky look at the Jurassic Coast has been published in time for Christmas – and it’s already proving to be a big hit. The Jurassic Coast – A Mighty Tale is published by The Jurassic Coast Trust and is written and illustrated by local artist Tim Britton.
Are you a Primary Teacher and need more help to effectively teach Rocks, Fossils and Evolution in your science curriculum? Then come and join us for a FREE training day led by Primary education consultant David Weatherly. Our special Big Jurassic Classroom Superteachers will also be on hand to take you through their own resources they have developed for the new Primary Science curriculum.
This two hour session starts up at the Centre with a 20 minute talk from the Centre Warden about the fossils of Charmouth and how to find fossils on the beach. The group then heads out onto the beach with the wardens and spend the rest of the session looking for fossils.