With more than a thousand years of history Corfe Castle has more secrets to discover than you can shake a knight’s sword at, and this hilltop ruin is one of Dorset’s most iconic sights. Find out how it survived the English Civil War and narrowly escaped ruin by the Parliamentarians of 1646. The ruins sit surrounded by some of the county’s most unspoilt scenery, and the views across the Isle of Purbeck are nearly as captivating as the castle itself.
As you peer around collapsed walls and stumble upon concealed parts of the ruin you’ll find more secrets and tales with every turn. Like all good castle, Corfe Castle is packed with stories of treason, treachery and weapons so it’s good fun for visitors of all ages. Children can find out what it felt like to wear armour, and there are regular family events held at the ruin.
Don’t forget to count the arrow loops as you make your way around, and if you’re feeling brave you can find out exactly what the murder holes were once used for...on a less gruesome note, the castle has become home to all kinds of wildlife these days so keep your eyes open for some of the ruin’s cuter residents.
Dogs are welcome throughout the ruin but they must stay on a short lead. The National Trust welcomes visitors to bring their own picnics, after all, the castle was the inspiration behind Kirrin Castle which appeared in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. You’ll feel like you really are on a traditional Dorset holiday once you’re enjoying ginger beer in the shadow of a castle. You’ll find a tea room with a garden at the castle too, and the car park is 800 yards from the ruin (please bear in mind that it’s uphill).