The location of attractions is intended only as a guide. Distances are 'as the crow flies'.
A gem of a country pub, the Square and Compass has heaps of character. Award winning beers and ciders are served through old serving hatches and food consists mainly of good old home-made pasties. There are lovely views across the fields to the sea and some great stretches of the South West Coast Path to walk nearby.
Stumbled across this pub totally by chance. Although not very big inside, and only serving pie to the hungry walkers and cyclists, it has a charm that is slowly being lost across the country. The beer garden is somewhere to enjoy on a sunny day, with large granite tables and benches offering views over fields to the sea beyond. It even has a fossil museum underneath. One off my favorite pubs now and I cannot wait till I visit again.
Swanage Beach has won many awards and is a popular spot amongst visitors and locals alike. With clean, safe swimming and a gently sloping shelf, you can cool off with a dip in the refreshing waters that lap the beach. Rent a kayak and paddle around, hire a deck chair to relax in style or build the mightiest of castles in the sand, the choice is yours. There is easy access onto the beach, as well as disabled facilities.
This is a moderate, circular walk of approximately four and a half miles which follows the coast along high cliffs past a Norman chapel and returns across fields.
Home to some of the country’s most significant ruins, the village of Corfe Castle is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula that stretches across a large part of Dorset. History lovers will find the castle itself fascinating – a dramatic hilltop ruin over 1,000 years old. Corfe Castle has a lot more to offer, though; good shopping, some great places to eat, fantastic walking in every direction and even a model village complete with a reconstruction of the castle as it would have looked before it was destroyed.
Great venue particularly for NT Members. Village itself can get very busy, but the castle ruins are a real attraction. Many lovely walks out into the Purbeck Hills and for steam enthusiasts the railway line to Swanage is a must.
A National Trust nature reserve, this three-mile curve of sand is home to many breeds of rare bird. Voted the UK's 4th top beach by Which? Magazine - though locals would probably place it higher. Studland is also a popular family beach famous for its nudist section at Knoll Bay, the National Trust's only designated naturist beach. With safe shallow waters, sandy beach and a cafe this is a great place for children. National Trust members can park for free.
Gets pretty busy at peak times, but it's a great place all year round - as sandy as the Bournemouth beaches but totally sheltered from the prevailing south westerly breezes. National Trust Membesr park for free. Use the road from Corfe or chain ferry from Sandbanks.
High on a windswept hill, this atmospheric castle is a dark and brooding place indeed.
Rich history - combine with Kinsgston Lacy
William the Conqueror founded a castle on this site but the current ruins date from the 12th Century. Sir John Bankes bought the castle in 1635, and was owner during the English Civil War during which his wife led the defence of the castle when it was twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces. The ultimate settlement of the siege involved Lady Banks 'retiring' to Kingston Lacy House, near Wimborne. Now owned by the National Trust (as is Kingston Lacy, and Studland Bay, also originally owned by the Bankes family), it is a great visit, particularly for history buffs. The NT shop in Corfe is one of the Trust's biggest and busiest.
Events at Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle is a great setting for open-air theatre and cinema events. Living history days and castle quests during school holidays help to bring the history of these fascinating ruins to life.
A little glimpse into the past. Corfe Castle resurrected to its former glory before Cromwell and his troops stormed it in 1646. The model castle and village are set in an acre of beautiful landscaped gardens; ideal for a few hours' mooching.
A collection of workshops, set in an old milk factory next to Corfe Castle railway station, sees talented artists, potters and sculptors in action. You can wander around and meet the artists, in particular Frances Pollard, a founding member who works with ceramics, and Tony Viner, founder of the Purbeck Film Festival.
Get all ‘Brief Encounter’ with a steam train trip on the Swanage Railway.
A fantastic heritage steam and diesel railway line. Stunning Corfe Castle is one of the stops. Staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Large prams can be accommodated in the guards carriage.
A load of chuff?
According to my boyfriend, the keen railway enthusiast, this is very good - I particularly remember how loud the 'choo choo' was!
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