Nestled in the beautiful Isle of Purbeck (whilst called an Isle, it is strictly a pennisula) is Dorset's iconic landmark Corfe Castle. Possibly this and Durdle Door (which will be covered in a separate post) are two of Dorset's tourist attractions that I believe everyone should visit. And before we begin, as a rough guide, Corfe Castle is about a 30 minute journey from Poole and about 40 minutes from Bournemouth.
Corfe Castle can be found in the village which shares the same name. Corfe Castle is a favourite haunt for adults and children alike, and you simply cannot fail to be captivated by the very romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views. As with all castle of this period, it holds a fascinating history behind the ruins, and in particular, the castle was a stronghold during the time of William the Conquerer. In 1635 it was then purchased by Sir John Banks and was defended by Lady Banks during the Civil War (however, eventually destroyed by parliamentarians).
It's a history lovers dream; with fallen walls and secret places tucked in ever corner, coupled with tales of treachery and treason. You truly feel history come to life walking around the ruins, and if yore lucky, you will possibly also get a glimpse at the wildlife which has set up home in this fascinating castle!
But be warned, there's a lot more here than meets the eye; so grab your comfiest walking shoes! When you truly explore, and climb the steep ramparts of Corfe Castle, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the village and surrounding countryside. And trust me, it really is quite the view. My friend had a house where I am based in Dorset with a view so high she was able to see Corfe Castle in the distance, so to then be at the sight itself, is magical.
But for those that simply want to admire the castle from the ground, Corfe Castle village doesn't disappoint at all. Though small, it's packed full of ever-so quintessential English traditions you could imagine (and so Instragram worthy!). Head to the village square, where you'll find lovely little shops offering a range of products, from pocket money treats to luxury locally made gifts. Then wander over to the sweetest Tea Rooms, where you can of course indulge in a homemade Dorset cream tea in a delightful 18th century setting. There is also a summer garden nestled at the back where you can admire the unrivalled castle views or the glowing open log fire in winter. And if you really truly feel like stepping back in times, Corfe Castle regularly hosts living history days in which volunteers dress, eat and live as they would have done in Norman and Medieval times.
Also I nearly forgot to mention that Corfe Castle sits on the historic Swanage Railway and if you do truly want to step back in style, this would be such a lovely addition to your trip!
For more information on visiting Corfe Castle click here to visit the National Trust website.