Photo: Jim Champion

Consistently named one of the most romantic ruins in Britain, a stop by Corfe Castle is a must for any visitor to Dorset. It dates back to the 11th century and is believed to have been built by William the Conqueror. It was one of the first stone castles to be built in Britain, which is a sign of its importance as a fortress. Reputedly the site of King Edward’s murder in 979 and demolished by Cromwell’s Parliamentarian forces during the Civil War, Corfe Castle has an extensive record of warfare and sieges and is full of historical intrigue.

Explore the ruins of the castle by tracing the steps of the kings and knights who walked these grounds centuries ago. Though this mighty Norman stronghold has been reduced to ruins by centuries of combat, the ruins of Corfe have turned into a structure with hidden corners and fascinating caves that beg to be explored.

Try to stop by Corfe Castle when one of their re-enactments is being performed. Step back in time as medieval knights wander the grounds and 17th century lords come alive and explain Corfe’s tumultuous history. You can even take part yourself with period costumes available for all ages!

Wander through the surrounding countryside to see stunning views of the castle and the town of Corfe Castle nestled beneath the imposing ruins. Stop by the charming town to have lunch at one of the local pubs. You can also visit a miniature model of Corfe Castle during its medieval heyday. There is a steam train from Swanage that you can take for a truly enchanting journey.

The castle features a steep climb up to the keep and is not ideal for those in wheelchairs.


The Square Wareham, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5EZ
Tel: 01929 481294
Times: 10am – 6pm, summer
10am – 5pm, winter