Uncover Wareham’s southern charm and civil war past

Wareham, Dorset

Wareham is packed with old red-brick houses and wonky, half-timber cottages that'll have your trigger finger reaching for the camera button.

When it comes to the scenic Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, Corfe Castle gets most of the attention – but just down the road there's another place we think you'll love.

Wareham is a lot older than its Middle-Aged appearance; those grassy mounds you see dotted along the outskirts of the town are the remains of the defensive walls, built in the 9th century by Alfred the Great to defend against the invading Danes. Later on, in 1644, the town came under siege from home-grown soldiers, when 2,000 Cromwellian troops surrounded the place during the English Civil War.

Things are a lot more peaceful nowadays, though, especially if you're bobbing about on a rowing boat on the River Frome. They can be hired from Wareham Boat Hire, just by the quay on the edge of town, and the resident swans are more than happy to make room for a “little ‘un” on the glassy water. When you've finished messing about in boats, why not nip across the road to the Old Granary, where you could sit outside by the river with a pint and soak up the afternoon sun – or head along to the nature reserve at nearby Arne, for a guided nighttime walk?

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Clavell Tower, a Landmark Trust propertyClavell Tower, Wareham © VisitEngland/Landmark Trust
Durdle Door, WarehamDurdle Door, Wareham © VisitEngland/VisitDorset
Wareham in DorsetWareham in Dorset © VisitEngland

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