Skip to content

Things to see and do at Corfe Castle

A group of people of all ages having a tour of castle ruins
Visitors on a history tour at Corfe Castle, Dorset | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

There are lots of things to see and do at Corfe Castle. With audio posts dotted around the castle site, you can uncover a colourful history dating back over 1,000 years. There’s family fun to be had on the story trail. And, if you're feeling energetic, why not explore the hills that rise above Corfe Castle, offering views over the surrounding area.

Discover the Corfe Castle ruins

With fallen walls and secret places, 'murder holes' and arrow loops, the romantic ruins of Corfe Castle will captivate people of all ages.

'Walk in my Footsteps' Audio Tour

Step back in time and delve into the rich tapestry of Corfe Castle with our new audio tour.

Walk in the footsteps of eight historical figures, to understand their unique perspectives of Corfe Castle.

You can start downloading the audio tour from the Ticket Office, or at the castle entrance. As you explore the castle ruins, unveil 1,000 years of history in a way you've never heard before.

Look out for peregrines and ravens

Cries of battle have been returning to the castle . Ravens have long called it home, with a legend that if they leave, something bad will happen. However in recent years a breeding pair of peregrine falcons have been nesting in the Keep. With dramatic swooping, screeching and mobbing, they are vying for territory.

Its no surprise that the castle is considered prime real estate. The ledges high in the Keep provide shelter for birds, away from disturbance.

In 2024, both peregrines and ravens have called Corfe Castle home. Next time you're visiting, look up and you may see drama unfolding...

Two visitors stand on a platform admiring the ruins around them at Corfe Castle, Dorset
Admiring the ruins at Corfe Castle | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Explore the Purbeck Hills

Corfe Castle and its neighbouring village occupy a gap in the Purbeck Hills (the word 'Corfe' actually means gap). This long stretch of chalk hills is well worth exploring. Head for Nine Barrow Down, whose summit is dotted with Stone Age burial mounds, or Ailwood Down – both offer breathtaking views over Corfe Castle and the village.

Alternatively, head towards the Studland peninsula for far-reaching views across Poole Harbour and out to sea as far as the Isle of Wight.

The entire section of footpath from Old Harry Rocks to Corfe Castle is part of long-distance walking route the Purbeck Way. Take a look at a PDF of the walking route.

Beyond Corfe, the Purbeck Hills march on into the military training ranges around Lulworth. The 18th-century folly of Creech Grange Arch is an unusual landmark along the way.

Wildlife spotting

The chalk grassland in this part of the country is home to a variety of wildlife and nature. Butterflies including the Adonis Blue frequent the area in spring and summer, while orchids can sometimes be seen flowering among the grasses.

Look out for the grey bush cricket with its bluish-grey colouring and long wings. It favours sunny slopes and open fields. It’s very quiet but if you stay still, you’re more likely to spot one.

Listen out for birds of prey soaring in the sky above the downs. Red kites are easy to spot with their distinctive high-pitched whistle sound and reddish-brown forked tail.

Aeriel view looking at Old Harry Rocks from the sea in Dorset
Old Harry Rocks as seen from the sea | © National Trust Images/John Miller

You might also be interested in

Aerial view of Corfe Castle overlooking the village in Dorset

The history of Corfe Castle 

Corfe Castle has a colourful history spanning more than 1,000 years. During that time, it has seen its fair share of battles and mysteries. Find out how the castle was built and destroyed, and about the people who lived here.

Outside the tea-room at Corfe Castle, Dorset in summer

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.

A group visiting the ruins of Corfe Castle

Group visits to Corfe Castle 

Find out everything you need to know about booking a group visit to Corfe Castle, from admission prices to information about school visits.

An image of the South West Gatehouse of Corfe Castle before and after conservation works.

Caring for Corfe Castle 

The National Trust carries out vital conservation work in and around Corfe Castle, helping to protect this historic site for the enjoyment of visitors both now and in the future.