location where the photographs were taken
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Ballard Down

A fine June day, ideal conditions in which to enjoy the extensive views possible from high on the chalk ridge known as Ballard Down. Starting at Handfast Point (SZ 053 825) and the famous chalk sea-stack 'Old Harry', the path followed in this gallery simply heads westwards along the crest of the ridge – past 'The Pinnacles' – reaching the summit 162m above sea level at Ballard Point, then on along the ridge to the obelisk set up to commemorate the provision of a new water supply to Swanage in 1892 (SZ 022 813).

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To view any image full size - simply click on the thumbnail

Old Harry and Handfast Point mark the easternmost end of the 'Jurassic Coast', the name given to this recently (December 2001) designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chalk cliffs at this end of the Dorset coast are the youngest rocks on the site, being deposited during the Upper Cretaceous period, some 70–90 million years ago. From here you can travel westwards along the coast, the fossil remains along the route telling a story that takes you progressively further and further back through time.


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In the top row of pictures:

  • Handfast Point (picture)
  • Sheer chalk cliffs and sea-arch, 'Old Harry' just visible beyond (picture)
  • The chalk sea-stacks known as 'The Pinnacles' (picture)
  • The chalk down is covered in rich mixture of flowers and grasses, ideal for butterflies (picture)
  • Ascending Ballard Point from Handfast Point, the chalk stacks of 'The Pinnacles' on the right (picture)

In the bottom row of pictures:

  • One of several boundary stones spaced along the ridge, marking the limit of the Studland Manor estate, erected in 1776 (picture)
  • The view southwards to Swanage Bay and Swanage (picture)
  • The view southwards to Swanage Bay and Swanage (picture)
  • The view northwards across Studland Bay and the narrow harbour inlet at Sandbanks, behind which lies Poole (picture)
  • Obelisk at the western end of Ballard Down (picture)

See also: Swanage to Sandbanks, and photo: wave erosion at the foot of Ballard Down cliffs

Nearby locations that also feature in galleries on this site:

directionStudland Bay


directionCorfe Castle

More views of Dorset in June

Other sites on the web

The coastline shown here forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

West's Geology Field Guide to the Studland Peninsula and Ballard Down area

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk:   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

picture resolution
The pictures of Ballard Down in this gallery were captured at high resolution.
This is images of dorset stock photography gallery 089
All photographs copyright © 1998–2003 John Allen

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