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Corfe Castle

Top choice in Dorset

The massive, shattered ruins of Corfe Castle loom so dramatically from the landscape it's like blundering into a film set. The defensive fragments tower over an equally photogenic village, which bears the castle's name and makes for a romantic spot for a meal or an overnight stay. 

Corfe Castle hosts events in the shadows of its atmospheric ruins, including outdoors theater in the summer, and festive events in December. 


The startling, fractured battlements of one of Dorset's most famous landmarks were once home to Sir John Bankes, Charles I’s right-hand man. The Civil War saw the castle besieged by Cromwellian forces; in 1646 the plucky Lady Bankes directed a six-week defence and the castle fell only after being betrayed from within. The Roundheads then gunpowdered Corfe Castle apart; turrets and soaring walls still sheer off at precarious angles – the splayed-out gatehouse looks like it's just been blown up.

Tickets and other information

Corfe Castle is managed by the National Trust, and booking in advance of your visit is strongly recommended (this includes NT Members). The car park is around 0.4 miles (700m) from the site, and the castle grounds are uneven with cobbles and steep sections.

There's a cafe onsite along with pubs and tea rooms in the village of Corfe Castle that will ensure you're well fed.

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