Charming, packed with history, and surrounded by beautiful countryside
None come to mind... except that it's too far from London to visit often!
I'd take the village without the tourists. -Signed: a tourist ;-)
A short stroll along West Street will bring you to the open area of land known as Corfe Common, Dorset´s largest working common. This is a haven for botanists and historians. Evidence exists here of a civilisation dating back to 6000 BC. Several barrows (burial mounds) can be seen soon after leaving West Street onto the common. It’s also considered...more
This is a system in the UK, which I greatly admire. To be able to walk on other people's land as long as you respect the rules, which let's everyone enjoy the great variety in landscapes. Open all year, Corfe Common is Dorset's largest working Common and from which you can get great views of Corfe Castle. Since it is run by the National Trust,...more
I suspect many visitors come here just to see the castle, but Corfe Castle village is very small and is well worth the half an hour or so needed to explore it on foot. The heart of the village is the Square, with its old pump and war memorial, overlooked by the castle. From here, West Street and East Street lead (confusingly given their names!) in...more
This claims to be the smallest town hall building in England, although it is no longer used as such and instead serves as the town’s museum. I think it could also stake a claim as one of the smallest museums, consisting as it does of basically one large display case! This contains a hotch-potch of items, including dinosaur footprints, relics of the...more
The church in Corfe Castle is dedicated, unusually, to a former King of England, Edward the Martyr, who is said to have been murdered here in the village in 978 by his stepmother Elfryda because she wanted to put her own son, Ethelred “the Unready”, on the throne. The story goes that while stag hunting in the Purbeck Forest, Edward paid a visit to...more
I would be surprised if many people can visit Corfe without being tempted into visiting the castle, even if they’re not particularly interested in history; it so dominates the village that it seems impossible to resist its lure. It may be in a state of ruin, but to me, and to many other visitors, that is part of its charm.Corfe Castle was begun by...more
49 East Street, Corfe Castle, BH20 5EE, United Kingdom
Good for: Business
Built in 1549, it is aluxurious hotel right next to Corfe Castle, with a distant view of the sea. It...more
We spent a couple of nights in this small bed & breakfast, which, although not fancy, was more than...more
You can find the Tea Rooms in the town square in Corfe Castle close to the castle entrance.This is a pleasant place to visit after looking around the village and the castle,here you can either sit outside in the garden with views onto the castle,or if the weather is unkind go inside .A good selection of food is available,all from locally sourced...more
From what we saw, the pubs in Corfe offer pretty standard pub fare, so for a treat on our second evening we booked a table at this well-reviewed hotel, and what a treat it proved to be! From our arrival and pre-dinner drinks in the lounge, to our after-dinner drinks in the same place, the whole evening was a real pleasure. Staff were attentive,...more
After visiting the castle one morning, we went to the tea-rooms right by the entrance for coffee. We sat in the pretty garden and enjoyed an excellent view of the castle. The coffee was good (I appreciated the fact that you can choose from a regular or strong brew) and Chris enjoyed his mug of hot chocolate too. I was seriously tempted by the...more
Although we only stayed two evenings in Corfe, we managed to visit three of the four pubs in the village, so I thought it would be helpful to give our impressions of each:
The Greyhound: an attractive old building on the east side of the square. We had a drink here before dinner on the first evening, and found it a friendly place, evidently popular with locals and tourists alike. The one downside to us was its slightly odd shape – there are two rooms at either end, one with a couple of table for drinkers, the other with several closely placed tables for diners. Between these a narrow area runs in front of the bar, with more tables on one side. We were seated here, and were put off having dinner here by the feeling of being in a corridor, and somewhat in the way of other customers waiting to get served at the bar. But on reflection, and after our meal at the Bankes Arms (see below and Restaurant tip) I think now we should probably have given this a try!
The Bankes Arms: another attractive old building, this time on the south side of the square and literally a stone’s throw from the Greyhound. We had dinner here, choosing it over the Greyhound because it felt more spacious and had a bigger menu. I’ve covered my impressions of the meal elsewhere, but for drinking I think this would be an OK choice if you want somewhere a little quieter, though it seemed to be frequented more by tourists than locals, which probably tells you something. I’ve seen reviews on Trip Advisor that talk of the unfriendliness of the landlord, but we found him pleasant enough, and the Ringwood ale was a good choice to wash down our meal.
The Fox: on West Street claims to be the oldest pub in the village, but is a less quaint building than either of the others we visited. It is narrow and long in shape, with a bar midway between back and front rooms, and was the quietest of the three, though that may be because we came here towards the end of the evening. There were fewer beers on tap, and the décor was a little tired, but the barman and the resident cat were friendly. Near the back there is a glass-covered hole in the floor which looks down into the old well which was discovered during restoration work a few years back, while the stone fireplace apparently dates from the 14th century.
Dress Code: These are all pretty casual places so no need to dress up
As we were staying in Corfe Castle we could park our car by our B&B, but for those of you visiting from further afield, be warned that there is very limited parking in the centre of the village itself. There are however several other good options. Firstly, you’ll see parking for the castle signposted from the A351 just north of the village, from...more
115 Reviews and Opinions
We spotted a small sign to this gallery and turned off the main road to investigate. We were very pleased we had, as it’s a great spot for anyone who, like us, enjoys poking around in art studios and small galleries. It consists of two adjoining spaces next to the railway line. One is a potters studio on the ground floor, and above (up some steep...more
If you’re shopping for gifts for family and friends this would be an excellent choice. The shop is bigger than it appears from outside and has a wide range of gift items such as toiletries (soaps, lotions, etc.), toys, tasty-looking jams and chutneys, sweets (fudge and toffee, for instance), note-pads, tea-towels and other household items. An...more
When walking around the village, have a close look at the roofs of the older houses. They are made out of slabs of stone, mostly at least 4 centimetres deep. Together with the thick stone walls they give these houses a great sense of strength and antiquity. Indeed, some of the stones in these walls were taken from the ruins of the medieval castle following its destruction by the Parliamentarians, so they are even older than the cottages themselves.
This photo, taken by Chris, shows some of the old houses in West Street. The recess around the white door on the right gives some indication of the thickness of the walls, and the stone roofing slabs can be seen above the gable windows of the house next door.
Apart from the main A351, many of the roads around Corfe are narrow and winding, so please take care while driving. You may meet cars coming towards you round any bend, and it’s hard to see them coming from any distance as many roads are lined with high banks and even higher hedges. On the smallest roads, e.g. on the military ranges, either you or the on-coming driver will often have to back up to a suitable passing place, so a degree of courtesy is called for. It’s hard too for the driver to really appreciate the scenery (when it can be seen over the same high hedges, that is), but don’t worry – there are often parking places where you can stop and admire the views, such as here on Creech Hill near Tyneham.
Luggage and bags:
Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Whether snowy/wet/sunny/warm or cold weather, layer your clothing.
Wear thermal underwear (these are easily bought at the local clothing shops), with warm leggings and a top under a toasty jacket for the cold. I have my trusty grey duffle coat, plus a white snow jacket for this type of weather, and they are a godsend!
Wear flat shoes that have a good grip, as when it is snowing, and afterwards, when it is sludge, it's really difficult to walk and keep your balance!
Always remember to bring a cap/hat that covers your head and neck for when it gets hot, as well as sunglasses.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen (Factor 35 is the minimum factor I use, no matter what the weather is), headache tablets and usual little things like some plasters for blisters, cotton wool, germolene etc.
Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension.
Miscellaneous: Have a map of the area handy, plus a local bird, flower and tree book. For this you also need a pair of good quality binoculars
This outing was the recommendation of the owner of our B&B, and a very good recommendation it proved to be! You can only visit Tyneham at the weekend, and in the school summer holidays; the rest of the time it is inaccessible because it is situated on Ministry of Defence land used as for military firing ranges. Until 1943 Tyneham was a typical...more
From Corfe Castle it is an easy drive to some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in England - the so-called Jurasic Coast. This is a designated World Heritage site, a status achieved because of the area’s unique insight into the Earth Sciences. It gives a clear picture of a geological “walk through time” covering the Triassic, Jurassic and...more
I’d remembered the Blue Pool from a childhood visit, and was keen to visit while in the area. The pool is actually an old clay quarry, and it is the very fine clay particles suspended in the water and diffracting the light which gives it its distinctive colour. You will see photos of it as a deep turquoise, but the rather dull weather on the day of...more
The best possible way to see this little village is to walk it.
It is not a big village, and is easily walkable, no matter what your level of fitness is!
Even the walk up the hill to the castle ruins, although steep in places, is relatively easy to do.
My favourite time to walk is in the early morning and at dusk, and even though I never walked here at that time, I would think, with this imposing castle overlooking me, it would add a certain moodiness and magic to the air at that time.
Equipment: All you need are some comfy trainers and a bottle of water, and off you go :)
The village is the capital of the 'Isle of Purbeck', in Dorset. It is a typical English town, with the character-filled stone cottages and thatch roofs, with the most intricate of thatch designs.No matter what the weather, or time of year you venture here, the castle will deliver. Its vantage point lends much in the way of imagination and mystery....more
Corfe Castle was a Royal castle during medieval times. These were tough times, times of bloodshed and violence, and it changed hands quite a few times.The following kings had ties here:~ Edward II was imprisoned here for quite some time~ King John kept his crown jewels safe here~ Henry VII gave the castle to his mother~ Henry VIII took occupation...more
Much of the village we see today, hails from the 18th century.It is incredible to think that buildings etc. are still standing after all this time!House building was in huge demand during this time as this was the centre of the Purbeck stone trade. When this trade then unfortunately moved to the coast of Swansea, Corfe village declined to a certain...more