Situated between Swanage and Corfe Castle, the small size of the village of Harman’s Cross belies its busy and thriving community.
The village hall holds regular events throughout the year and is a prominent venue for Dorset’s Artsreach – a charity that brings theatre, comedy and music to rural places such as Harman’s Cross.
The village and its surrounding area is popular with campers and caravaners, with various campsites in and around Harman’s Cross.
There’s also a fantastic playground, complete with a zip wire, that is suitable for both older and younger children.
Harman’s Cross village hall
Whether you’re just visiting, or if you are a resident of Harman’s Cross or live locally within Purbeck, Harman’s Cross village hall holds a wealth of year-round activities and events:
Arts & Crafts
- Art group – The Harman’s Cross Art Group is an informal drawing and painting group that meets in the hall between September and July on a Tuesday 2pm – 5pm. It also meets outside for some en plein air art in the summer months and holds an exhibition once a year. Contact Judy Robson: 01929 781033
- Life drawing – Held on Thursdays 2pm – 4pm. For more information call: 01929 424608
- Sewing and craft group – Pins & Needles meets on Mondays 2pm – 4pm. Contact Liz Howell: 01929 480681
- Quilting group – The U3A Patchwork & Quilting Group meets on the first and third Thursday of the month 9.30am – 12.30pm. Contact Delia Ffitch: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Harmony Rocks choir – A women’s community choir that meets on a Wednesday 2pm – 4pm. There is no audition to join and you do not need to be able to read music. The choir holds two concerts a year at the village hall, as well as performing at other events in Purbeck throughout the year. Contact Sue Smith: 01929 477148 or email@example.com
- Live music – The halls hosts regular live bands and musical groups, with a licensed bar to complete the experience
Sport & Health
- Yoga classes – Choose from all-ability to Intermediate hatha yoga and meditation classes. Held on Monday and Thursday evenings or Tuesday mornings, and some Sunday mornings. With Cathy Newman from Purbeck Mindfulness (www.purbeckmindfulness.co.uk/purbeckmindfulness.co.uk/Welcome.html)
- Table tennis – Table tennis sessions are held on a Monday 9am – 12.00pm. Contact Martin Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monthly movie night – Held on the second Tuesday evening of every month. Tickets cost £5 and films start at 7pm. There is also a bar. Find out what’s on this month: www.harmanscrosshall.co.uk/Movie-Nights/
*Note that classes and events are currently subject to change due to Covid-19*
Weddings and events at Harman’s Cross village hall
Harman’s Cross village hall is also a popular venue for private events, such as parties and weddings.
The hall offers a dedicated co-ordinator to help organise your big day and has a capacity of 100 guests.
You are free to use the PA system, stage lighting and projector screen, as well as the kitchen area and other facilities such as the adjoining ‘quiet room’.
The village hall’s patio furniture and use of the car park (capacity of 25 cars) is included. Any external marquee must be provided by an approved and insured supplier.
To contact the friendly team at Harman’s Cross village hall: email@example.com or call 07769 826994 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 7.00pm.
Why not volunteer?
The village hall relies on enthusiastic volunteers, and volunteering at the hall is very much a social affair. No experience or specific amount of time is required, although a range of additional, more specific volunteering opportunities are updated regularly here: www.harmanscrosshall.co.uk/Roles-at-HXVH/
If you’re interested in volunteering get in touch with Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07768 558341.
Harman’s Cross Field Day & Fayre
The highlight of the year for the village is the Harman’s Cross Field Day and Horse Show – a traditional village fair.
Picture credit: Harman’s Cross village hall
The annual Field Day & Fayre attracts over two thousand visitors each year and raises vital funds for the hall.
- Dog show – including the ever-popular dog agility display
- Craft stalls – artists and makers display and sell their paintings, embroidery, wool crafts, sewing, woodwork and photography
- Kid’s fun – face painting, bouncy castle and magic show
- Traditional fun – a coconut shy, tombola and swing boat lend a vintage vibe to the day
- Flower and produce show – from vegetables to pot plants and flower-arranging
- Food tents – including a barbeque, homemade cake stalls, and local produce
- Drinks tents – a fully licensed bar and separate cocktail bar
- Raffles – with a top prize of £100 and over 50 other prizes in the Grand Draw
- Music – with performances from the Swanage Town Band
- Horse show – a gymkhana, horse show and showjumping is held in the adjoining field
The Harman’s Cross horse show and field day is typically held annually, across the August Bank Holiday weekend, with its hub at the village hall.
Next year’s date is set for Monday 30 August 2021. Gates open at 12pm and entrance is £2 for age 16+.
Harman’s Cross railway station
A visit to the village isn’t complete without a trip to one of the iconic stations of the heritage Swanage Railway line.
*Note that, due to Covid-19, Harman’s Cross and Herston Halt stations are currently closed. However, a regular service is running between Norden and Swanage, stopping at Corfe Castle*
Check the Swanage Railway website for timings and tickets: swanagerailway.co.uk/re-opening-services
Picture credit: Andrew PM Wright
Parking and facilities
For your SatNav: BH19 3EB. This will take you to a large car park situated by Harman’s Cross train station, village hall and playground. It operates an honesty box donation.
A handy Spar shop within the village petrol station sits at the centre of Harman’s Cross.
Pick up snacks, alcohol and household essentials here. You can also buy logs and kindling for cosy autumn and winter evenings.
There is another petrol station and garage on the road out to Swanage.
Walks in and around Harman’s Cross
Hop on the steam train or drive and park at Harman’s Cross railway station car park:
- Purbeck Hills – Choose one of the various footpaths for a quiet walk across farmland and into the Purbeck Hills. Some pathways make for a nice short walk and picnic, and some take you all the way to Corfe Castle, Swanage or Langton Matravers.
- Dancing Ledge – You can pick up walking trails for this famous Purbeck beauty spot via Valley Road towards Langton Matravers
- Wilkswood Woods – A fantastic, tranquil walk through ancient woodland. Wilkeswood Farm is also a popular wedding venue
- Corfe Castle – A pleasant but more challenging walk will take you through the Purbeck countryside to the village of Corfe Castle. Head over Corfe Common or down East Street till you reach the village square and Corfe Castle itself
- Jurassic Coast – For the more seasoned walker, Harman’s Cross makes a good base for picking up Jurassic Coast trails or the South West Coast Path
Harman’s Cross is ideally situated between Swanage and Corfe for a variety of things to do and places to see.