A Sea Kayak Trip to Old Harry Rocks

Jun 20, 2018 | Sea Adventures, Kayaking Adventures, Sea Kayaking, Intermediate Sea Kayaking

Studland Beach:

As we set off from our beach hut on middle beach, Studland to kayak to Old Harry Rocks. Our instructors are already pondering about what they might discover. Along our special stretch of Purbeck Coastline. Will there be a seal in Studland bay today? Have those Oystercatcher chicks left the nest yet? What surprises will we find uncovered today at Old Harry Rocks as the tide drops? Each day is a new adventure.

seaweed forage tour group guide

To Our First Check Point:

Meanwhile, as the group come together on the water their first task for the day is “Get comfortable with your kayaks as we head over to Redend Point”. We like to think of our kayaks as “crafts” that allow us to become immersed and entangled with the environment around us. Taking in the sites and sounds as we cruise along and picking up seaweeds to learn about along the way.

group sea red end point studland

What will we see whilst we kayak?

The weather has been kind to us, the sun is out and there’s not a cloud in the sky. The water’s surface is like a mirror as we carve our way through it just metres from the shoreline. The sand and silt has settled to the bottom. Consequently, everything underneath our kayaks is clear without the guide of a snorkel. The group observed some mullet swimming past underneath. As they make there way over the eel grasses and through some stands of Japanese Wireweed.

serrated wrack seaweed forage tour

Kayak to See Spectacular Wildlife:

Children in the group are hopeful to spot one of our special residents in the bay. The spiny seahorse, although they are elusive creatures who camouflage well amongst the eel grasses. The instructor has another trick up his sleeve. Guiding the group towards a part of the coast he has been monitoring for the last few weeks. Working their way along the chalk cliffs toward Old Harry Rocks, a delighted instructor sees some new residents have emerged.

Consequently, today the group were fortunate enough to observe three oystercatcher chicks. That had hatched and were only a few days old. The chicks traversed the flint stone shore clumsily as they were still finding their footing. And both the male and female were present and guiding them to safety. The group watched the family from afar. As the instructor noted “this is their home and we are visitors” before continuing the kayaking journey to Old Harry Rocks.

wildlife oyster catcher bird chalk cliffguide tour chalk cliffwildlife oyster catcher bird

Old Harry Rocks!

As we rounded the next outcrop of chalk cliffs we came to a cove just in front of Old Harry Rocks that seemed as though it was illuminated from below. Small chalk boulders that had once been part of the cliffs now clustered the seabed below giving a bright colour to the seabed. This white chalk beneath us exposed all manner of things. And it was easy to identify fish, spider crabs and seaweeds below the kayaks without having to leave the comfort of our kayaks.

After playing a game in the kayaks within the sheltered waters of the cove, the instructor began to tell tales of Old Harry Rocks. Its geology, its history and the coastlines notorious reputation for pirates and smugglers. Who would hide behind the rocks awaiting passing merchants. The group also got to learn a thing or two about the cormorants, sunning themselves on the rocks. And the terns who were diving into the tidal race, collecting whatever food was being swept out with the ebbing tide.

kayak to old harry guide chalk archwayold harry guided tour kayak double archway stackkayak old0 harry cliffs arch guided

The Return Journey:

As the group began to make their way back on their kayaks to Middle Beach, there was smiles all round as the instructor did their routinely headcount. Lastly people discussed amongst themselves the many things they had discovered. Subsequently laughing about who got wet the most during the kayak game. We were fortunate enough today to observe the bounty of life this coastline has to offer. And we had only travelled between our base at Middle Beach and Old Harry Rocks on our sea kayaks. Who knows what wonders we might discover as we venture beyond Old Harry Rocks during one of our lengthier kayak trips towards the Pinnacles.

kayak old harry chalk cliff paddling

Kayak to Old Harry Rocks…Book With Us:

Book Your Two Hour Kayaking Tour To Old Harry Rocks

If you have children who are aged 12+ or you want to explore that little bit further around the coastline towards Swanage. To take in the caves and pinnacles shown in the images below. Then our half day Old Harry Rocks Kayaking tour which takes three hours is the one for you! Read more about the trips on our kayaking page.

kayak old harry guided tourarchway paddle sea dorsetpinnacle studland rocks guided paddle tourpinnacles cliffs sea studland dorset

Book Your Half Day Old Harry Rocks Kayaking Tour

Find us at Hut Quarters, Middle beach, Studland, Dorset 


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Starting with four Kayaks and a hut on the beach, Fore has evolved to include, sea, shore and solid ground adventures to get big and small humans in the great outdoors. Read our story.


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