Corfe Castle is a beautiful site with over 1000 years of history. It has seen it’s fair share of battles, been used as a treasury and military garrison and even been home to royalty. In 1982 it was handed to the National Trust as part of the biggest estate gifted in the Trust’s history.
On arrival, we parked in the National Trust car park at the bottom of the hill. This is free of charge for Trust members, pay and display if you’re not a member. There is an information centre there with hot drinks for sale, toilets and a model of the castle which is worth a look. You then have a lovely nature walk to guide you up to the Castle which we thoroughly enjoyed. There are information posts along the walk about local wildlife which the kids really enjoyed reading.
We arrived around lunch time so headed straight to the National Trust tea room for a bite to eat. There are other cafes and pubs in the village to chose from as well. The kids had a children’s lunch box each and I had a sandwich and cream tea. All the food is made fresh on site and tasted really good. Prices were reasonable and matched what we would expect at a venue like that. There are lovely views of the castle from the tea room. An added bonus for us was that dogs are allowed inside as long as they are kept on a lead.
When we entered the castle grounds we were given trail sheets for the children to have a go at. We were surprised to find there were more ruins than we thought and enjoyed exploring. The trail gave the kids something to focus on and they really enjoyed finding each clue.
They equally loved climbing and finding hidden nooks just as much!
There is an audio trail around the ruins which tell visitors the story of Mary Bankes who led the defence of the castle while her husband was away fighting for the King.
Once we’d explored the ruins we watched the stonemason making a fireplace to replicate the original one in the castle. We also had a go at designing our own shields. We visited on a week day during term time so it was quiet. During weekends and school holidays there are often special events including knight school and medieval crafts.
We really enjoyed our visit to Corfe Castle and highly recommend it for families. The village is also lovely to walk round and there’s even a steam railway to enjoy nearby as well. Look out for special living history events that really bring the castle to life. The site is dog friendly too so you can take your 4 legged friends along with you!
Address: The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5EZ
Price Band: £0 National Trust, ££ Non-members
Disclaimer: No-one from Corfe Castle or National Trust had any involvement in this review. All words, opinions and photos are that of my own.