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Family-friendly things to do at Corfe Castle

Family visiting Corfe Castle at Christmas time
Family visiting Corfe Castle at Christmas time | © Jon Bish

Corfe Castle is the perfect place to enjoy a fun-filled family day out. Explore the castle ruins and join in with a jam-packed programme of events. This Winter, Monty Mouse and friends need help hunting for a festive family feast and wayward children are invited to join our rather curious Christmas storytelling tour.

Family-friendly events at Corfe Castle

Monty Mouse's hunt for a family feast

Monty Mouse and his friends are hosting a festive feast for all the mice in the village. But there's a problem, he has mislaid the ingredients for their after dinner sweet treat! Can you help Monty Mouse find the ingredients and help save the celebration? Explore the ruins and discover the village mice as they get ready for the festive season.

15 November - 7 January | 10am - 3.30pm daily | Normal admission applies | Free to National Trust members

Corfe Castle's Rather Curious Christmas

Wayward children step right up and join our storyteller for a rather curious Christmas tour of Corfe Castle. See if you can become a Christmas champion of perfect parlour games, Learn to make the most irritating party instrument of all ages and of course see if you can master a delightful Christmas dance.

Weekends and school holidays in December | Tours will begin at 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm (New Year's day 12:30pm and 2pm) | Normal admission applies | Free to National Trust members

Christmas festivities at Corfe Castle

Take time to relax and enjoy a winter warmer in the seasonal setting of Corfe Castle. Gather around a fire pit to toast marshmallows whilst catching up with friends or family and make a Christmas wish on the wishing bridge. Natural decorations will be sprinkled around the castle, collected from across the Purbeck estate.

Weekends at school holidays in December and New Years Day | 10am - 3pm | Normal admission applies | Free for National Trust members | Toasting marshallows need to be purchased

Experience the magic of Corfe Castle at night

For one night only, to coincide with the Corfe Castle Village light switch on explore the ruins of Corfe Castle lit under warm glowing lights with the stars above you. Make a special Christmas wish at the wishing bridge. Gather around a fire pit to toast marshmallows whilst catching up with friends or family.

Braziers and festoon lights will illuminate the paths but we recommend you bring a torch with you for the walk from the car park and to spot uneven ground in the ruins.

Saturday 2 December | Village lights switch on at 5pm, Castle open until 8pm| Normal admission applies | Free to National Trust Members

Winter Solstice at Corfe Castle

Watch the sun rise over East Hill on the shortest day of the year from the castle ruins. Explore the ruins and keep cosy around a fire pit roasting marshmallows in the Outer Bailey.

Bring a camping chair for added comfort.

Thursday 21 December | 7am | Normal admission applies | Free for National Trust members

See all events coming up at Corfe Castle

Family visiting Corfe Castle at Christmas time
Family visiting Corfe Castle at Christmas time | © Jon Bish

Family-friendly things to do at Corfe Castle

Climb up through the Castle ruins to discover one thousand years of Corfe Castle's history as a royal palace, fortress and family home.

Spot the ‘murder holes’, count the arrow loops and feel history come to life as you expore the ruins. Once at the top of the mound, you can enjoy panoramic views of Purbeck and if you time it right, you can see the heritage steam train winding through the countryside.

Watch birds soar overhead and spot the wildlife that has now set up home here – from bees and butterflies to lizards and grazing cattle.

Don’t forget to look out for the ravens as you go. An old legend claims that if the ravens ever leave Corfe Castle, something terrible will happen. It's said that they disappeared for a time shortly before the castle was captured during the English Civil War, but since then they've been nesting here quite happily for hundreds of years. Their nest is high up in the stonework – you might see them come and go.

Planning your family visit

  • There are baby changing facilities in Castle View Welcome Centre and next to the Ticket Office.
  • Buggies are welcome across the site but please note the paths are uneven and there are multiple step areas. There is a buggy park in the Outer Gatehouse for you to use. We recommend you use buggies or carriers for your visit.
  • High chairs are available in Castle View Welcome Centre and the Tea-room.
    The Tea-room offers a children’s menu for food and drinks, and can provide gluten or dairy free alternatives on request.
  • There are outdoor picnic areas by Castle View Welcome Centre and at Old Mill picnic area.
  • From the car park to the castle entrance it is about a 15 minute walk on a step free path.
Two children play with toy swords in front of Corfe Castle in Dorset
Children playing at Corfe Castle | © National Trust Images / John Millar
Outside the tea-room at Corfe Castle, Dorset in summer
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Eating and shopping at Corfe Castle 

Situated in an 18th century former cottage, the Tea-room at Corfe Castle serves a delicious menu of hot and cold food, drinks, cakes and bakes. Afterwards, stop off at the Shop to discover beautiful collections of homewares, gifts and locally made ranges to take home with you. The second-hand book shop located in Castle View is also filled with literary treasures.

Two visitors walking through the historic ruins at Corfe Castle
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Things to see and do at Corfe Castle 

Corfe Castle offers plenty to see and do, including walks around the ruins, a story trail and wildlife spotting in the surrounding hills. Find out more.