aerial view of Agglestone rock

A walk to Agglestone Rock, Dorset

A large lone rock, on top of a conical hill on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Agglestone Rock, also known as The Devil’s Anvil, is an enchanting and intriguing landmark, a sight to behold and a place to visit.

You can come to this lonely rock not only for the landmark, but also for the view. From here you get to see much of what Purbeck has to offer: sea views across Studland Bay and over to Poole, as well as open moorland and woodland.

I stayed at Burnbake Forest Lodges and there is a beautiful scenic walk across Godlingston Heath on an Agglestone Rock walk straight from the site. Or there is the option of taking a shorter route straight up from the village of Studland.

There is a lot of curiosity in not only how it got there, but also in the myths and legends of times gone by.

Social walks with baldhiker

The name Devil’s anvil

Today, Agglestone Rock already looks impressive as it is. But we have to go back in time to realize how the rock got its nickname The Devil’s Anvil.

In 1970 it toppled over and fell to form what we see today. But before that, it was shaped like an anvil, which can be seen in this photo from the early 20th century.

devil's anvil before it collapses

We also know that the lone anvil rock has captured the imagination of drawings and sketches throughout the ages.

The mythology states that the devil himself threw the stone from where it was at The Needles on the Isle Of Wight and aimed for Corfe Castle. He missed and the rock landed here about 5 miles from his target.

Other variations state that he was aiming for Salisbury Cathedral or Bindon Abbey.

side view of agglestone rock

Agglestone Rock History

If you believe in mythology, yes, it was launched here by the devil. But in reality it is a weathered remnant of iron-cemented sandstone from the Tertiary period.

If you read the writings of visitors a few hundred years ago, you will learn what it looked like to some extent in the shape of an anvil by human hand. In addition, it had stones carved into a ring around it. After all, there was once a quarrying activity here.

close up view of agglestone rock

No one knows for sure, but it seems to be a combination of the millennia of weather eroding the sandstone and leaving this rock above the surface. Then the human hand could have molded it over time to create a kind of anvil-shaped monument that once had a flat top.

Hiking To Agglestone Rock

footpath to agglestone rock

As I said before, there are a few options when it comes to hiking to Agglestone Rock.

From Studland Village

The walk from the shore at Studland is a shorter 3 miles albeit up and down. There are even some routes from here.

The common one is from the middle parking lot on the beach, zip code BH19 3AX. Head back through the village past Studland Stores and onto Heath Green Lane. Turn right when you reach Agglestone Road which then leads onto the path to the moors.

You will see the stone and the path ahead.

From Burnbake Lodges and Campground

This is the hike I did when I stayed in one of their beautiful lodges. It turned the walk into one that not only had a destination, but also a few extra miles to explore. Plus the view and variety were delicious.

Walking through the woods from the rear of the site, take the woodland path east.

trees on the path to agglestone rock

Wonderfully dog ​​friendly and not another soul in sight. This walk is really a follow your nose and actually go straight. You can also pick up a map and useful information from reception if you wish.

The wide path eventually narrows and you follow a path that divides the moorland with The Isle of Purbeck Golf Course.

Just keep following the path. Be sure to stop to take in the views over Poole harbor etc.

overlooking Poole harbour

After the golf course you head downhill towards Agglestone Rock instead of uphill which gives a great perspective compared to other ways of getting there.

approach to agglestone rock

The dogs absolutely loved this walk, chasing each other through the heather filled moorland.

A place to sit and relax with a view of the sea in the distance, and on a clear day you can see the Isle of Wight quite easily.

Dorset and the Isle of Purbeck are packed with absolute gems of interesting places. If you visit, make sure to check out the unique Agglestone Rock.

You may also like:

  • A walk to the Devil’s Pulpit, overlooking Tintern Abbey
  • A day at Brimham Rocks – A geological marvel
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