Corfe Castle is a village on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. It gets its name from, you guessed it, a castle which sits on a hill overlooking the village.
Jennie and I live in Bournemouth for the majority of the year, and with it being so close, we’ve wanted to visit for a long time. Unfortunately, a lot of the attractive destinations in Dorset are only easily reachable by car.
We took a train to Wareham, and a bus which goes to down to Swanage, getting off at Corfe Castle. It didn’t cost too much because get this, if you’re under the age of nineteen, you receive a child’s ticket. And yes, while I’m older than nineteen, the bus driver didn’t think so. I didn’t take this as flirtation on his part, although I certainly could have done.
The village itself is so picturesque, it’s like a postcard. Grey cobbled streets, endearing little church, alluring shops and about fifty places to have a cream tea. To save money we took lunch with it and ate it on the hill next to the castle.
William the Conqueror enjoyed leisurely hunting in Forest of Purbeck, and decided he’d like to build a castle in the middle. The Castle was passed down through royalty, until Elizabeth I sold it in 1572. It was defended by Lady Mary Bankes twice during the English Civil War. She lost the second, and Parliament decided to slight it, hence why stone ruins is all that remains.
The village and castle are said to be the inspiration for Kirrin Island and its castle, the setting for Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novels. There is a Blyton shop in the town square, but unfortunately it was closed on the day we visited.
My grandparents advised us to see the old railway station, we weren’t that excited but when we got there we were pleasantly surprised. The steam-trains are still in circulation and run through Wareham, Corfe Castle and Swanage. I don’t think I had ever seen a steam train before but it was pretty cool in a dorky train-enthusiast sort of way.
Corfe Castle is a quaint village and one definitely worth visiting if you’re in the Dorset/Devon area. “It’s like going back in time” is about as cliche as it gets for a travel blogger, but I can’t imagine this place has changed that much in the past hundred years or so. If I ever get to that part of the country again, I’d eagerly return, keen to press on down to Swanage too.