Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Explore the thousand-year-old royal castle shaped by warfare and discover it's long and varied history.

Tourist destinations | Visit

With its towering ruins, breathtaking views, and charming village, Corfe Castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Visiting Corfe Castle

Nestled in the picturesque county of Dorset, Corfe Castle stands as a testament to England’s rich history and offers a captivating experience for visitors from around the world. With its towering ruins, breathtaking views, and charming village, Corfe Castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Whether you’re captivated by history, fascinated by legends, or simply seeking a picturesque setting, Corfe Castle offers an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit to this remarkable site, and let the echoes of the past guide you through its ancient walls.

History and Legends

Corfe Castle’s history dates back over a thousand years, with its construction believed to have begun in the 11th century. Originally built as a royal fortress, it played a significant role in England’s tumultuous past. The castle witnessed historical events, including the English Civil War, where it was besieged and partially destroyed.

Legend has it that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Lady Bankes, the brave defender of Corfe Castle during the Civil War. Immerse yourself in the stories of knights, kings, and battles as you wander through the ancient ruins, and let your imagination transport you back in time.

Exploring the Castle

As you approach Corfe Castle, its impressive silhouette dominates the skyline, evoking a sense of awe. The ruins stand atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the quaint village below. Begin your exploration by walking through the castle’s gatehouse and up its rugged stone steps. As you ascend, the castle’s grandeur and historical significance become even more apparent.

Within the castle walls, you’ll find remnants of its former glory, including the Great Hall, the Keep, and the ruins of the royal apartments. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate stonework and architectural details that have withstood the test of time.

One of the highlights of visiting Corfe Castle is the opportunity to climb to the top of the castle’s keep. From this vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the rolling hills and the English Channel in the distance. It’s a perfect spot for capturing memorable photographs or simply enjoying a peaceful moment of reflection.

The Village of Corfe Castle

Adjacent to the castle, the village of Corfe Castle is a delightful place to explore after your castle adventure. Its charming thatched-roof cottages, quaint tearooms, and local shops exude a timeless charm. Meander through the narrow streets, soak in the village’s tranquil atmosphere, and perhaps indulge in a traditional cream tea at one of the local tearooms.

If you’re interested in learning more about the castle’s history, pay a visit to the Corfe Castle Museum, which houses an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits that bring the past to life. Here, you can delve deeper into the castle’s storied past and gain a greater understanding of its significance in English history.

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, Corfe Castle hosts a range of events and festivals that celebrate its rich heritage.

From medieval reenactments to open-air theater performances, there’s always something happening that immerses visitors in the castle’s past.

Keep an eye out for the castle’s event calendar to make the most of your visit and witness the vibrant spirit of Corfe Castle come to life.


You can either book your tickets online at the National Trust website or pay at the ticket office, which can be found just off the Village Square next to the National Trust Tea Room.

Corfe Castle is open every day (except 25 and 26 December)
National Trust Members: free.
Under 5s: free.
Child price applies for 5-17 year olds (inclusive).
Family ticket admits two adults plus up to three children.

Adult £12.00
Child £6.00
Family £30.00
Family (1 Adult) £18.00
Under 5s FREE

Getting Here

By road

A351 Wareham to Swanage road.

Parking: National Trust parking on A351 opposite the castle mound on the left when approaching from Wareham. (free for members) Alternative pay and display parking at Purbeck Park (turn left at the roundabout when approaching from Wareham), or West Street (max four hours).

Sat Nav: Use postcode BH20 5DR.

On foot

Follow the Purbeck Way from Wareham or Swanage. See the ‘Purbeck Ridgeway – Corfe Castle to coast’ trail for more information.

By train

The nearest train station linking to Dorset and Bournemouth/Poole is Wareham, after which you can cycle or take the Purbeck Breezer no.40 bus onwards to us. Swanage railway is an independently run steam and diesel railway running services from Wareham to Swanage this summer. Alight directly at Corfe Castle station. Find out more about Swanage Railway

By bus

Purbeck Breezer no. 40 Poole to Swanage (passing Wareham train station). You can jump on the bus at multiple points in Sandbanks along the main peninsula or by the Sandbanks Ferry.

By bicycle

Follow Sustrans Route Two from Bournemouth and Poole via Studland Bay or Wareham.

Cycle route information 

By ferry

A chain ferry links Sandbanks in Poole with the Isle of Purbeck, carrying vehicles, bikes and foot passengers. Ferry service runs every 20 minutes. Find out more about arriving by ferry or phone 01929 450203.

Take a trip through a thousand years of history on your visit to Corfe Castle

A trip to Corfe Castle has to be on everyone’s wish-list when visiting Dorset ~ it’s easy to find and there’s lots to see and do when you get here. Exploring The Castle is great fun for kids of any age, and there are plenty of places to explore in The Village to keep you occupied all day.

Visit website

Corfe Castle, Wareham, UK