The hike between Corfe Castle and Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck is a fair old distance at twelve miles, but the route is packed with history and passes some of Dorset’s most recognisable scenery. This’ll take you back to your childhood - Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle which featured in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. The ruin makes a dramatic sight against the skyline, and the castle once protected the only way to pass between the Purbeck Hills.
That’s enough about the castle for now (we won’t give away all its secrets) let’s focus on this stretch of the South West Coast Path. The walk starts at Corfe Castle Square (where you’ll find a shop dedicated to Enid Blyton souvenirs by the way), and takes you to Swanage station where you’ll be able to get a train back to the village. You’ll walk an area where the footprints of dinosaurs have been discovered, the terrain has been quarried until there was nothing left and that includes rutted tracks from ancient times.
Better yet, if you keep one eye on the sea when you can you may even spot the odd dolphin or porpoise. Look out for Corfe Common as you go too, as this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to its trackways that date back to prehistoric times. Objects including an axe found on this common have been dated back more than an impressive then thousand years.