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Corfe Castle

Watch battle re-enactments among evocative medieval ruins and learn about the role this fort played in the English Civil War.

Built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, Corfe Castle was once a sturdy stone fort. Although only ruins remain, the crumbling castle atop a scenic green hill, is now one of Britain’s most-visited historic structures. Walk where kings and knights once walked as you explore the quaint alleyways, steps and tumbledown walls.

In its heyday, the castle was vital for monarchists in keeping the supporters of parliament at bay during the English Civil War. Watch a thrilling battle re-enactment in the Old Bailey area to see history in action. Learn about the heroic acts of the lady of the manor, Mary Bankes, who held the fort on her own.

If you are visiting with children, a great way to see the site is to complete the Castle Quest. Pick up a free quest booklet at the ticket office and get the family together to embark on the self-guided adventure. Complete all the exercises in the booklet to receive a prize at the end. 

Many parts of the castle were renovated in the first couple of centuries following its construction. View the oldest surviving segment of the structure in the West Bailey and find out about a medieval murder mystery associated with the castle. It is said to involve a young Saxon king who was violently murdered on the orders of his conniving stepmother.

Head to the heart of the castle to see the royal residence, the living quarters of Norman kings. Take note of the exceptional stonework sculptures. The use of stone to build parts of the site indicates the castle was held in high esteem. 

Stop by the National Trust shop for toys and souvenirs and take a walk through adjacent town with which it shares its name to see the model village and the historic parish church.

The site opens daily from morning until early evening. There is an entrance fee for adults and concessions are available for children, families and groups.

Corfe Castle is a 25-minute drive southwest from the town of Poole in Dorset. It is part of the Purbeck Heritage Coast, a scenic area of land that juts out from the south of England. Take a train to Swanage Railway Station, which is just a few miles east of the castle.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 291 properties near Corfe Castle
Bankes Arms Hotel £108
Bankes Arms Hotel

Bankes Arms Hotel

23 East Street, Wareham
     
    3.7
    of 5, from 63 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0

    Situated in Wareham, this inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum and Corfe Castle. Isle of Purbeck is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) away.

    Mortons House Hotel £108
    Mortons House Hotel

    Mortons House Hotel

    45 East Street, Wareham
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 39 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in Wareham, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum and Corfe Castle. Isle of Purbeck is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

      Ammonite B&B
      Ammonite B&B

      Ammonite B&B

      88 West Street, Corfe Castle, Wareham
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 20 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Wareham, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum and Corfe Castle. Isle of Purbeck is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

        The Old Telephone Exchange 4 Self Catering Cottage in Corfe Castle Village
        The Old Telephone Exchange 4 Self Catering Cottage in Corfe Castle Village

        The Old Telephone Exchange 4 Self Catering Cottage in Corfe Castle Village

        , Corfe Castle
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 11 reviews
          0.0 out of 5.0

          This family-friendly Wareham cottage is located by the ocean, within 1 mi (2 km) of Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum and Corfe Castle. Isle of Purbeck is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away.

          Country Lodge in Dorset. The Perfect Location for Holidays With Family & Friends
          Country Lodge in Dorset. The Perfect Location for Holidays With Family & Friends

          Country Lodge in Dorset. The Perfect Location for Holidays With Family & Friends

          , WAREHAM
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 24 reviews
            0.0 out of 5.0
            The Scott Arms - Inn £82
            The Scott Arms - Inn

            The Scott Arms - Inn

            The Scott Arms, Wareham
               
              4.3
              of 5, from 39 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Wareham, this inn is within 3 miles (5 km) of Corfe Castle, Isle of Purbeck and Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum. Langton Matravers Museum is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) away.

              Kingston Country Courtyard £100
              Kingston Country Courtyard

              Kingston Country Courtyard

              Kingston, Wareham
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 104 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Wareham, this bed & breakfast is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Isle of Purbeck and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Corfe Castle. Langton Matravers Museum and Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Janes Places - Isle of Purbeck
                Janes Places - Isle of Purbeck

                Janes Places - Isle of Purbeck

                Springbrook Close, Wareham
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach, this holiday home is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) from Isle of Purbeck and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Corfe Castle. Langton Matravers Museum and Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum are also within 3 miles (5 km).