Corfe Castle top ten things to do for families
Corfe Castle is yours to explore every day. Plus, there are events and activities all year round to help you make the most of your visit. Here are our top ten favourite things to see and do: check our events page for more information.
Discover 1,000 years of history
Uncover the secrets of Dorset's most iconic medieval monument. Corfe Castle's history stretches back to William the Conqueror and beyond. It was used as a royal palace and a dungeon in medieval times. The castle was twice besieged in the English Civil War and partially demolished by the Roundheads.
Go on a Castle Quest
Spot all the shields to find out the facts and then claim your special prize on a self-guided Castle Quest, available every day. Castle Quest activity booklets are packed with things to do including quiz questions, brass rubbings, puzzles and join-the-dots. Collect your booklet from the ticket office, and don’t forget to pick up your prize before you go.
Take in the views
Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with breathtaking views. See if you can spot Corfe's other castle to the west. The medieval fort known as The Rings was built by a besieging army during the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 12th century.
Try on medieval costumes
Become a knight in shining armour or a beautiful damsel - choose from helmets, shields and swords or fairytale medieval dresses fit for a princess. Look out for the special tents in the Outer Bailey where you can pick up your costume.
Explore the Wildlife Walk
See what you can spot as you walk between the car park and the castle. Our Wildlife Walk takes you into the woods and over the Corfe River on a bridge ideal for playing Pooh sticks - one of our 50 things to do before you're 11¾. Signs along the way let you know what you could see if you keep your eyes peeled.
Enjoy a picnic
Stock up on treats in our shop or tea-rooms then find a place to feast. You can picnic anywhere you like in the castle grounds, but the Outer Bailey and the castle mound with views over the village are favourite spots for many families.
Roll down the banks
A tradition for generations of families - fun for adults and children alike. Rolling down a really big hill is just one of our 50 Things to do before you're 11¾ and the grassy mound is just begging to be rolled down. Why not tick it off your list on your visit to Corfe Castle?
Look out for the ravens
Their nest is high up in the stonework - you might see them come and go. An old legend claims that if the ravens ever leave the castle something terrible will happen. It is said they did disappear for a time shortly before the castle was captured in the English Civil War, but since then they've been nesting here quite happily for hundreds of years.
Defend the castle
Imagine yourself as a medieval archer behind one of the many arrow loops. In the Middle Ages bows and arrows were the main weapons used by those inside the castle to protect it from attackers outside the walls. Medieval longbows were made of wood from yew trees and archers had to be very strong to use them.
Have a Famous Five adventure
Enjoy lashings of ginger beer at the inspiration for Enid Blyton's Kirrin Castle. Blyton spent many summers in Purbeck and the local landscape was the inspiration for many of the settings in her best-selling children's books. The village of Studland is said to have been the model for Noddy's Toytown while Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour became Whispering Island.
With so much to see and do, what are you waiting for? A family adventure awaits you, whatever the weather...