Wessex Attractions: Ballard Down

Ballard Down is an area of chalk downland in Purbeck, owned by the National Trust. It is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Visible from the downs are Old Harry's Rocks which, like The Needles, were once part of a range of chalk hills that became partially submerged as sea levels rose. Legend has it that they got their name because The Devil once took a nap on the rocks.

An obelisk on the downs commemorates the provision of a supply of drinking water to Swanage in 1883. It was taken down during World War 2 to prevent the Luftwaffe from using it to navigate, but re-erected in 1952.

The downs are home to several are butterfly species, including the Blue Adonis. The 2017 BBC adaptation of Howard's End by EM Forster was partly filmed there.

The postcode for satnav purposes is BH19 3DG, and the 50 Breezer Morebus service between Bournemouth and Swanage stops half a mile from the site.