Last Updated on
Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck, about 1 mile from Studland. They mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are various walks nearby.
Post code is for Studland.
Studland Bay is best known for its 4-mile stretch of sandy beach, popular with people of all ages. It sits between Poole Harbour and Old Harry Rocks, to the east of Swanage. There are actually five beaches - Shell Bay, Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach - all but the last managed by the National Trust. There is a naturists (nudist) beach in the middle. Studland allegedly was the inspiration for Enid Blyton's Toytown ("Noddy, put your clothes back on at once"). The heathland behind the beaches is full of wildlife, including all six native British reptiles.
Probably Dorset's most famous lost village, frozen in time. In 1943, the villagers were ordered to leave their homes so that the area could be used for training; they never returned. Only empty buildings remain, plus the preserved school and church, offering a fascinating insight into life in isolated communities in the first half of the 20th century, together with an evocative air of sadness.
Check opening times carefully - the area is still used for military training.
Cissbury Ring is the largest hillfort in Sussex, covering an area of c60 acres. Flint has been mined there since Neolithic times, open mining giving way to the digging of numerous shafts and tunnels. It was used as a burial ground in the Bronze Age and was fortified in the Iron Age, in around 400 BC. It is a univallate fort - one with a single rampart and ditch. The fort was in use for about 300 years, was abandoned, and then resettled in the late Roman period - possibly in defence against Saxon raids. It was fortified again during WW2, when an anti-tank ditch was dug round it, an AA battery based there and, during the run up to D-Day, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders were camped there. Now, it's just a pleasant place to walk, with great views over the Downs and nearby coast. If you're lucky, you may spot some wild ponies grazing there.
Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.
The post code below is for the nearby pub.
The Seven Sisters are famous chalk cliffs on England's south coast. Within Seven Sisters' Country Park are a series of trails, taking in local views and wildlife, and a variety of outdoor activities are undertaken too. A favourite walk is from the country park following the small Cuckmere River to the beach, or up onto the cliffs. To get the famous view, you need to visit Seaford Head, accessed through the town of Seaford.
Chanctonbury Ring is an Iron Age hillfort, constructed c6-400BC, though actually in use since Neolithic times. It was probably not a fort, nor ever occupied, but more likely a religious site or, possibly, animal enclosure. 2 Romano-British temples have been found on the hill (they are not visible). In 1760, Charles Goring of nearby Wiston House planted a ring of beech trees around the hill; these, or their descendents, are still there. The hill was used by the army during WW2. There are several other prehistoric sites nearby. Chanctonbury also has a number of legends associated with it - most notably variations of the story that the Devil appears if running seven times anti-clockwise (or backwards) round the hill, alleged links with witchcraft (young ladies sleeping out on the hill are more likely to conceive), UFOs as well as suggestions that the hill is haunted and claims that spending the night on it is an unpleasant experience. Nonetheless, there are great views from the top.
There isn't much left of Bramber Castle - a few sections of curtain wall, the remains of a tower, an overgrown motte, ditch, bits of masonry and an enormous section of gatehouse wall. It was built by the Norman, William de Braose, in 1073 to help control the locality and stayed in the family's hands for about 200 years. Bramber was still in use in the 15th century, but fell into disrepair and was in ruins by the time of the Civil War. Next door is St Nicholas' Church - which was originally the castle's chapel and is a little gem. The location is just on the edge of Bramber village.
The tiny church of St Nicholas at Bramber was originally the chapel of Bramber Castle, built by William de Braose in 1073 and eventually becoming Bramber's parish church. It is reputedly the oldest Norman church in the county. It was originally cruciform, but the transepts have long gone. There is a lovely 11th century chancel arch with decorated capitals and several other medieval features, including a 13th century font.