Corfe Castle, is a small village in Dorset, mainly known for being the location of, you guessed it, Corfe Castle! There are some lodging options, a couple of pubs and a few small shops. The castle dates back to the 12th century but now stands as a ruin. It’s now part of the National Trust and visitors can wander through areas that are still standing.
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Things To Do Near Corfe Castle
🗺The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham BH20 5EZ
💰Adults: £10 | Children (5-18yrs): £5
If visiting Corfe Castle and the village, the easiest place to park is at the visitor centre, located at the bottom of the castle hill. It is pay and display and has public toilet facilities (there are more at the castle). Tickets for the castle are paid for at the castle entrance, not the visitor centre.
From the car park, signs will direct you to the castle via a footpath that follows the Corfe River. It’s quite a nice walk but takes you almost completely around the perimeter of the castle hill. The route along the road is about the same distance and takes approximately 8 minutes.
The majority of Corfe Castle is right on top of the hill. There are several interpretation boards around the site that shows why the castle was built the way it was and what it used to look like before it was destroyed in the English Civil War. It was definitely a great location for a castle, you can see for miles across the countryside from the top!
Corfe Castle Model Village
🗺The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham BH20 5EZ
💰Adults: £4.20 | Children: £3
The Corfe Castle Model Village is pretty cool, it’s a replica of what Corfe Castle village would have looked like back in 1646! It even comes complete with a 1/20th scale model of Corfe Castle in its full glory. The trees are slightly overgrown now, but from the right angle you can see the model castle with the main castle standing behind it. I really enjoyed the fairy garden which is hidden in the trees. It is quite well concealed, so make sure to keep an eye out for it!
Courtyard Cafe & Tearoom
A great place to stop for food is at the Courtyard Cafe and Tearoom, which is connected to the model village. They have courtyard seating out the front and a terrace in the model village gardens. There are a few seats inside but we found it very busy in the summer, we sat outside and were lucky to get a table! I had a cream tea which came with homemade scones and a pot of tea. They also serve homemade cakes, all day breakfast, sandwiches, baguettes and jacket potatoes.
Other Things To Do Near Corfe Castle Village
Corfe Castle Playground
🗺30 West St, Corfe Castle, Wareham BH20 5HD
A short walk from the castle is a large playing field, a playground as well as an outdoor gym.
Dorset Adventure Park
🗺Arfleet Mill Lakes, Studland Road, Corfe Castle BH20 5JG
The Dorset Adventure Park has an inflatable water obstacle park as well as a mud trail assault course. A 1 hour session on the water park costs £16.50 per person (wetsuit hire is an additional cost). The 2km mud trail has 50 different obstacles and takes around 2 hours to complete. It costs £9 per child (under 16) and £11 per adult.
🚂Norden (& Corfe Castle) to Swanage
The Swanage Railway is a heritage railway line that runs between Norden and Swanage. They operate both diesel and steam trains along the line, which takes around 20 minutes to get from Corfe Castle to Swanage. During the summer months there are approximately 9 departures heading Swanage bound from Corfe Castle, leaving every 45 minutes. Adult return tickets are £16, child (5-15yrs) return tickets are £8.50. The Swanage Rail Museum located at Corfe Castle station is free to visit.
🚗15 minute drive
Approximately 15 minutes by car is the coastal town of Swanage where there is a beach, places to eat, amusement arcades, mini golf, coastal walks and Swanage Pier which dates back to the Victorian era. We loved eating at The Hungry Shark which had unique covered seating options. They serve a selection of burgers and seafood and I had an alcoholic rainbow slushy!
The SW Coastal Path to Peveril Point is a nice walk. Part of it may get covered up during high tide though, so it’s best to time it with the low tides. Swanage is a popular scuba diving site due to its clear waters and protected location. Even from the coastal walk you can see how clear the water is!
From Swanage you can also see across to the Old Harry Rocks which are on the opposite side of Swanage Bay in Studland. They are a unique white rock formation sticking out into the sea. You can also take a boat trip from Swanage, that follows the coast line past Old Harry Rocks and on to Poole.
Durlston Country Park is another popular option for hiking and is further along the SW Coastal Path. If you don’t want to walk from Swanage, there is a car park at the country park. The Great Globe is said to be the largest stone sphere in the world (weighing 40 tons) and it sits on top of the cliff.
Poole and Bournemouth
A bit further a field, is Poole and Bournemouth. 20 minutes by car from Corfe Castle is the Studland ‘Shell Bay’ Terminal for the Studland to Sandbanks car ferry. The ferry leaves every 20 minutes and takes 4 minutes to complete the short crossing. A one-way journey in a car is £4.75 and the toll booth is ONLY on the Studland side, so depending on the direction of travel you pay either before you get on (Studland to Sandbanks) or once you get off (Sandbanks to Studland).
A great place to visit in Poole is Compton Acres gardens. There’s 10 acres of different themed gardens and woodland with a route that passes through them all. I enjoyed the Japanese Gardens which had stepping stones across the pond and The Rock & Water Gardens which had little bridges. The gardens are open year round and there’s a tearoom and a garden centre. Adult entrance is £8.95 and children are £4.45.
We walked from Bournemouth to Sandbanks and back along the beachfront path. It passes by several different ‘chines’ (dry river valleys) and there are lots of little cafes selling drinks and ice creams and public toilets. The beaches are large and mostly sandy. A fun thing to do is the PierZip, the first pier to shore zip wire on Bournemouth Pier.
Where To Stay in Bournemouth
I stayed at The Winter Dene hotel in Bournemouth which is a bed and breakfast a short walk from Bournemouth Beach. They do a great cooked breakfast and the owners are lovely.