Historic Days in Dorset
Dorset is known for its diverse history as well as its famous castles and forts including Corfe Castle. Dorset is the perfect place to explore ancient castles and ruins and can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Castles & Forts in Dorset
Corfe Castle sits on a hill in the pretty village of Corfe. The castle guarded the main route through the Purbeck hills and the ruins of the castle remain today to be visited by you! The best way to visit Corfe Castle is by steam train through the green rolling hills of Dorset. Take the kids for a real touch of Enid Blyton nostalgia. The village of Corfe itself is so pretty. Once you have visited the castle ruins, enjoy a Dorset cream tea in a café or taste the local ale in one of the traditional old pubs.
Portland Castle was one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal forts and was built for protection against French and Spanish invasion. Overlooking Portland Harbour, the castle boasts great views of the sea from the gun platforms. Discover the 450 year old history of the castle and then enjoy Portland itself. Whereas the rest of Dorset is pretty and peaceful, Portland is grey and rugged and watching the huge waves crashing on the rocks is most impressive!
Highcliffe Castle is a magnificent 1830’s mansion built by Lord Stuart de Rothesay, a distinguished diplomat. Enjoyed by royalty and the rich and famous and lavishly furnished in 18th century French style, the castle suffered a great fire and for two decades it remained empty. Now, it has been lovingly restored and is open to the public. Many exhibitions are held here and the Heritage Centre is open for visitors to discover the history of the castle.
Sherborne Castle is a splendid castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594. Sitting on 42 acres of stunning gardens, the castle features many improvements from each generation over the past 400 years so is a great showcase for all the different decorative styles. Discover the original Tudor kitchen and even some fossil displays in the cellars. The estate also features a vineyard so you can pop along to purchase some of the castles’ fine wines.
Nothe Fort is a fantastic place for the family to visit. Walk through all the tunnels and underground passageways from the lowest level, the magazine level which was used to store the gun powder and shells to the middle level, which housed the canons to the top level which the soldiers used as the platform for firing canons. After learning about the history of the fort, relax with a cup of tea in the Fort View Café.
Lulworth Castle is a fine castle to visit. Built in the early 17th century as a hunting lodge, it was used to entertain hunting parties for the king and court. Visitors can explore the castle, climb the tower, visit the 18th century Roman Catholic Church and the 15th century Church of St Andrew. There is also a children’s playground and lovely woodland walks where dogs are welcome.