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Corfe Castle Dorset – the ideal place to roll down a hill

corfe castle 2The National Trust list of 50 things to do before you are 11¾  is a great way to challenge children.

Number 2 in the list is to roll down a really steep hill and we have found one of the best places to do this when we visited The National Trust’s Corfe Castle in Dorset.

Papa Joe and I are much much older than 11¾, so I must admit that, after exploring the battlements and looking at the fantastic view across to Poole and Wimbourne, we decided not to roll down the hill. lnstead we descended sedately as children came rolling past us.

 

Where: The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, BH20 5EZ          Tel:01929 481294 
Admission: Under 5 Free         National Trust members free
Facilities: tea-room, shop, cafe by car park, quiz/trails,holiday activities, baby back-carriers for loan
Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle

corfe castle 1Corfe Castle is in a magical setting strategically towering above the attractive Dorset village of Corfe and guarding the main route through the Purbeck Hills.  Many of the houses in the village were built using stone from the castle after it was blown up in 1645.

As you approach Corfe from Wareham you will see The National Trust pay and display car park on your left.  The main building was used as a small museum but now contains a small cafe, toilets and a sitting area where you can browse general National Trust information.  On the other side of the main road, a small shady path, suitable for buggies, leads you up to the main entrance of the castle. Along the path are information boards and a nature trail.

corfe castle 3Once in the main square you will see the National Trust shop and opposite in the building opposite the ticket office.

It is exciting to enter the castle over the drawbridge. In summer months there are often events and displays near the entrance. Sometimes period costumes and swords are put out so that your grandchildren can dress up. The children’s puzzle trail is great fun to do.

You can explore all over the site but it can be difficult to push a buggy up to the main ruins.  You can borrow baby back-carriers, a small donation is requested.

The castle dates from the Norman Conquest. In medieval times it was one of the five royal castles; King John kept his crown jewels here.  After surviving 2 sieges in the civil war, it was finally blown up after its capture by Cromwell’s engineers.  If you want to see how the castle looked in 1646 before it was blown up you must visit  the Corfe Castle Model Village and Tea Rooms, in the adjoining Corfe Village.  Don’t forget to try their delicious dorset apple cake.

corfe castle 4

After your visit, stroll into Corfe Village and walk down West Street with it’s tiny museum and  tea shops.

At the bottom of the hill by the west car park and ‘God’s Acre’, you will get a superb view of the ruins.

As you walk through the village you will see why the BBC filmed the ‘Mayor of Casterbridge’ here.  Corfe Castle was used for filming some scenes in ‘Bed Knobs and Broomsticks’.

 



Getting There The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, BH20 5EZ 
   
Google see map or get directions

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