Whether you are an historian, or simply fancy a fun-day out with the family filled with exploration, fresh air and beautiful views, then head over to Corfe Castle.
Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the idyllic village of Corfe on the Isle of Purbeck in the county of Dorset. The castle was built by William the Conqueror and dates back to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The ruins spill out over the rolling hills, boasting magnificent views, the walls and towers filled with nooks and crannies just waiting to be explored.
We first visited this magical castle during the Easter holidays when our children were younger, they enjoyed tearing around the grounds, led by relevant clues in search of Easter eggs, (one of the many organised events that the castle hosts throughout the year); but equally enjoyed an afternoon of imaginary play and discovery.
The castle is now owned by The National Trust and for a small entrance fee, allows you access into the grounds. There are ample facilities on the site, including the old castle pub and a pretty tea garden which overlooks the Purbecks. Maps and information pamphlets are all free of charge, and guides are on hand with any questions or facts you may want to ask.
I didn’t realise until recently, but for many years, the famous children’s author Enid Blyton (one of my favourite authors from childhood) holidayed in the area and Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in the Famous Five novels. Enid Blyton visited the ruin in 1941, arriving by steam train from Swanage Railway.
The award-winning standard gauge preserved steam railway is also located in Dorset with easy access from Hampshire and the South of England. So, for those wishing to travel by steam train, this impressive locomotive passes via the grounds of the castle. Looking down from the hilltops with the steam train passing, was reticent to a scene from the classic film ‘The Railway Children’.
The picturesque village of Corfe itself is also a must for a Sunday afternoon amble. Two main streets form the village, which consists of rows of pretty stone cottages, home to tiny doors and sash windows. The village boasts a few art galleries, pubs, a model village and a quaint traditional sweet shop adorned with glass jars full of everyone’s favourite sugary treats.
For an even dreamier experience, the castle is lit by hundreds of lights during the Christmas period and sparkles for miles around. If you are ever passing, you must add Corfe and its’ castle to your list of places to visit in Dorset!
As ever, thank you for stopping by
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