Corfe Castle top ten 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.

A family at the south west gatehouse in Corfe Castle

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.

A group of children on the Castle Quest at Corfe Castle

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.

A family enjoying the view from the inner ward at Corfe Castle

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.

Two boys in toy armour at Corfe Castle

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.

A family on the play trail at Corfe Castle

Explore the Wildlife Walk and play trail

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 where there is a play trail made of all natural materials. Signs along the way let you know what you could see if you keep your eyes peeled.

A family having a picnic at Corfe Castle

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.

A boy rolling down the banks at Corfe Castle

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?

A family with binoculars at 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.

A little boy in toy armour at Corfe Castle

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.

Two children on the play trail at Corfe Castle

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.