Camp at Corfe Castle

Corfe, Dorset

Explore this 1,000-year-old fortress above an eponymous Dorset village that's filled with wonky old cottages.

Nope, it’s not a hastily-prepared prop for tourists – or even the leftovers from the latest BBC costume drama. Corfe Castle is the real thing – a 1,000-year-old fortress, lying in ruins above an eponymous Dorset village that’s filled with wonky old cottages.

Look out for the ‘murder holes’ in the weathered old walls of the castle itself; back in the day, they were used to throw rocks into the faces of invaders. Not nice. You may need a stiff drink after this, and luckily there’s a path leading straight to the garden of a great little pub called the Greyhound Inn (order the Poole Bay mussels, they’re delicious). If you fancy sticking around for longer than a day, there are several campsites which are easy on the wallet. Try Woody Hyde just down the road, where there are hot showers (a must, let’s face it), toilets and a shop, plus you’re only a few miles from the beach.

One thing you mustn’t miss, if possible, is a trip on the Swanage steam train. Look carefully and you’ll see it chugging along the countryside while you’re frying up your sausages outside the tent.

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Corfe Castle Corfe Castle © VisitBritain
A view of Corfe Castle ruins from the village belowCorfe Castle ruins © VisitEngland/New Forest District Council

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