Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Top Tourist Attractions

Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck peninsula in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle sits high upon the hillside in the picturesque village of Corfe, in Dorset county on the peninsula known as the Isle of Purbeck.

For almost 1,000 years, Corfe Castle has stood sentinel over a natural gap in Dorset’s rolling Purbeck Hills. Built by William the Conqueror and destroyed in the aftermath of the English Civil War, its dramatic ruins provide a chance for visitors to travel back in time through some of the most famous periods of British history.

Fascinating Corfe Castle

National Trust Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle remains under the remit of the National Trust and is open to the public. Its romantic ruins and many of its original features are still well preserved. The castle’s towering 12th century keep remains in good condition and allow visitors to walk through centuries of history.

Corfe Castle’s role as a military stronghold is also echoed in many of its hidden features – murder holes, fallen walls, and arrow loops to name a few. Stunning views of the village below as well as the picturesque Purbeck Hills that surround it offer a sight to behold, from the castle’s elevated position.

Corfe Castle Model Village

The Corfe Castle Model Village is set in the heart of Corfe Castle village and showcases, at a 1/20th scale, what the castle and its village would have looked like before its destruction in 1646 by Cromwell's forces.

Set within an acre of beautiful, landscaped gardens, there are also giant games, a croquet lawn, a village punishment area, a fossil corner, a fairy garden, a wildlife garden with a bird feeding station, and a small gift shop, and a courtyard tearoom.

Swanage Railway

Settle in and soak up the views of lush Purbeck countryside and white chalk cliffs, characterful villages, and the imposing castle ruins on a steam train ride with Swanage Railway, which passes through Corfe Castle on its travels around the Isle of Purbeck. This heritage railway service provides a list of delightful events throughout the year including test drives and on Christmas days where children can meet Santa during their trip. There are refreshment buffets at Norden and Swanage stations with picnic tables at most of the stations so you can soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a picnic.

Corfe Castle Museum

Corfe Castle is home to England’s smallest town hall building in which the museum is housed on the ground floor. It traces the village’s history from the time of the dinosaurs through stone age man and the riches underfoot. The Museum has images and artifacts taken from Corfe’s past with the clay, stone, and Purbeck Marble industries and snapshots of why and how the village became what it is today.

Enid Blyton in Purbeck

Enid Blyton set many of her books in Dorset. Kirrin Castle in the Famous Five Books was inspired by Corfe Castle and Whispering Island is based on Brownsea Island and is also referred to as Keep Away Island in the Famous Five books.

Enid Blyton enjoyed taking the steam train from Swanage to Corfe Castle and swimming around Swanage Pier. The Ginger Pop shop in Corfe Castle stocks Blyton books and tapes and has produced a handy leaflet and map showing you the Blyton-related sights in Purbeck.

Activities in Corfe Castle

Some of the fun-filled activities are:

  • Dorset Adventure Park: The main attraction is the water park where the floating obstacle provides a real challenge; it’s impossible to visit this watery playground without getting soaked!
  • Fore/Adventure: Paddle your way beneath dramatic chalk cliffs in a kayak, go snorkelling and you might spot seahorses in this unique ecosystem, or enjoy a session of paddleboarding from the sheltered shores of Studland Bay.
  • Cycling around Corfe Castle: With cycle trails that will lead you through ancient forests, along the Jurassic Coast, past Old Harry Rocks, and mighty Corfe Castle, you can experience the best of the Isle of Purbeck when on a bike ride through this impressive region.
  • The Blue Pool Nature Reserve & Tearooms: it is a unique attraction, a true gem in the heart of beautiful Purbecks. A chance to escape the outside world and enjoy walks around a magical Pool famous for its ever-changing colours. Very fine clay in suspension in the water diffracts light in different ways, producing a spectrum of colour - sometimes green, sometimes turquoise, a mesmerizing sight.

Events at Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle has regular historical events during weekends and school holidays, from falconry to the Normans. With its dramatic backdrop, Corfe Castle is a great place to see outdoor performances during summer evenings. Visitors can see how Saxons and Vikings fought or watch re-enactments from the Civil war.

Eating Out

There are several fantastic, traditional pubs in the village, as well tearooms, cafes, and restaurants. In fact, for such a small village, there is a surprisingly large number of places to eat and drink. You can sit outside with views of the Castle or the Swanage Railway steam trains as they make their way down to the Victorian seaside resort at Swanage. Or opt for cosy and warm inside, where in winter, log fires will be lit to keep the cold at bay.


There are some lovely unique and interesting shops to look around and buy something special as a reminder of your visit to Dorset. you will find a gorgeous piece of jewellery, an amazing painting or sculpture, locally made gifts, books, maps, castle guides, postcards, souvenirs, and a range of outdoor clothing and equipment. For younger visitors, we have a full range of toys - including helmets, swords, and medieval models - to fire the imagination of castle explorers.

Corfe castle takes you to another world of magical streets and houses. A favourite haunt for adults and children alike, all ages are captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breath-taking views across Purbeck.


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