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Corfe Castle, Dorset

The charming village of Corfe in Dorset offers plenty for any holidaymaker.

Not only is the village straight out of a children’s storybook (Enid Blyton based some of her most famous stories on this wonderful little village), but the stunning landscape and close proximity to gorgeous beaches and rambling hills, means there is ample exploring to do.

Have a read of our 9 favourite things to do, perfect if you are staying in a beautiful old stone cottage in Corfe.

1. Visit the ruins of Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset

This is obviously a must and is often the main reason people visit until they realise what an absolute chocolate box delight the village itself is. Corfe Castle stands majestically on the hill above this pretty village.

Back in the day, the castle guarded the main route through the Purbeck Hills; the gap between the area where Purbeck marble was quarried and the rest of England.

The castle is now managed by the National Trust and for a small fee, you can explore the castle ruins and learn the fascinating history that the castle holds dear. Tales of murder and war going back 10 centuries. All this to the backdrop of the most beautiful Dorset scenery.

2. Go back in time at Corfe Castle Model Village

Nestled in the heart of Corfe Castle Village, the Corfe Castle Model Village depicts life in Corfe and in the castle, as it would have been before it’s destruction by Cromwell’s troops back in 1646.

Sat in luscious green landscaped gardens with its own croquet lawn, magical fairy garden, fossil corner and a village punishment area for scoundrels, with working stocks and pillories, you will be completely enchanted and entertained.

Giant games will keep you and your family occupied after you have soaked up the village history, and afterwards, you can head to one of Corfe’s delicious eateries to taste some of Dorset’s finest delicacies. The perfect way to spend an afternoon in this beautiful area of Dorset.

3. Go Rambling through the hills of Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, one of our favourite National Trust properties in Dorset, is surrounded by the Purbeck Hills. Adorn your sturdiest walking boots and climb to the top of the hills where you will be greeted with the most stunning views and walking routes.

Walk along the top of the hills towards Swanage or over to Kimmeridge. Either direction will afford you fabulous views and a great finishing point whichever way your rambling takes you.

4. Have a pint of the finest ale in one of Dorset’s famous Inns

The pubs in Corfe Castle seem to do things that bit better than most. The menus would not look out of place in the heart of London yet the décor, huge roaring fires and amazing history are all Dorset through and through.

Many welcome dogs, others offer fantastic seasonal entertainment and all provide the most wonderful way to while away an afternoon.

5. Enjoy a Cream Tea in the Castle Gardens

Dorset is well known for its perfect take on traditional English afternoon tea. What better place to enjoy this delicious tradition than in the Purbeck hills in what would once have been the garden of Corfe Castle.

6. Go Fossil hunting at Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset

Kimmeridge Bay is just a 13 minute drive from Corfe Castle, but the beauty of it is not to be missed. The natural beauty of Kimmeridge Bay is more than enough to warrant the short journey.

But the fact that it is one of the best places in the country to do rock pooling and fossil hunting is an added bonus that will keep children amused for an entire day. Make sure you pack enough sandwiches and ginger beer in your picnic basket!

7. Pizza and Powerboat around Studland Bay

Also, just a mere 13 minute drive from Corfe is Studland Bay. If you are renting a wonderful Corfe Castle holiday cottage and are looking for a great dining experience, then why not enjoy Pizza and a Powerboat around Studland Bay.

An exhilarating powerboat ride around Studland Bay taking you up close to Old Harry Rocks, followed by a pizza cooked in Knoll Beach Café’s outdoor wood-fired oven and the best dining spot right on Studland beach itself.

8. Chug through the hills in a traditional steam train

Swanage Steam Train

There is nothing more delightful than sitting in the garden of a gorgeous Corfe pub, watching out for the steam train arriving from Swanage.

Why not take a trip yourself! They have such wonderful family events on their calendar including ‘Evening Dining’ and ‘Sunday Lunch’ services, as well as seasonally themed events such as the ‘Santa Special’.

The journey takes you through six miles of beautiful Dorset scenery, past magnificent Corfe Castle and down to the blue flag white sandy beach. This scenic railway is definitely one of our favourite things to do in Swanage.

9. Visit Corfe Common

Corfe Common has remained completely unchanged for more than 1,000 years, so sit as thousands have before, enjoy the view and eat sandwiches and chocolate cake, all to the backdrop of Corfe Castle ruins. Look out for the Bronze Age barrows which line the central ridge and the medieval sunken lanes or hollows in the common which were how the stone from the limestone quarries was transported across the common to the village. A common steeped in this much history makes a fine spot for a picnic!

Take the dog-friendly Corfe walking trail and explore the common, keeping your eyes open for all the historical landmarks. Kissing gates, a copper bridge dating back to the 1800s, remains of 4,000 year old Bronze Age burial mounds and hollow ways worn into the ground from the carts. Laden down with limestone as they traveled from the quarries to the village, are just some of the wonderful medieval sites that you will see.

Take a look at our beautiful selection of Corfe Cottages. Dream Cottages has over 350 beautiful Dorset Holiday Cottages, many in and around Corfe, perfect as a base to explore from.