Corfe Castle was slighted by an act of parliament following the English civil war, however substantial ruins remain perched in a dominant position on the hill overlooking the town and gaurding the overland approach to Swanage, the castle has appeared on many a photographer’s portfolio enshrouded in mist.
Now owned by the National Trust, Corfe Castle even a as ruin it is well worth a visit with some interesting facts regarding its history.
National trust volunteers provide some colour by demonstrating some of the traditional building skills used to create the castle and its buildings. Following your visit, you can see how the castle would have looked when complete by visiting the Corfe Castle model village.
The castle was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil war and was besieged early in the conflict. The Castle held-out and was relieved by royalist troops. Later in the war the castle was again surrounded and this time the castle fell. Not to force of arms but by treachery of some of the officers defending the castle. At the end of the civil war following parliamentary act, attempts were made to destroy the castle using gunpowder. Much of the remains are testament to the building skills of the original masons. You can see that the main gate house is still standing although spilt in half and having drooped a good many feet
Corfe Castle provides magnificent views over the surrounding countryside, Part of the Swanage steam railway can be seen which runs from Wareham To Swanage. Steam trains always creates drama and the attention of visitors. There can be nothing more stirring than on a fine day the sight and sound of a steam train chuffing down a valley with smoke billowing from the funnel. Watching the smoke slowly dispersing and gently drifting along the valley, leaving only a memory of the train after its passing.
From Corfe it is a short journey to Swanage, a small seaside resort on the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck. It has a pleasant promenade with a feel to it reminiscent of holidays as a child. However without the run down appearance other once popular resorts seem to posses. Swanage has traditional beach huts for hire, good clean sands, unpolluted water. putting greens and tennis courts. Ocean Bay Watersports offer pedalo, canoe, kayak hire, jet-ski pillion, and donky rides. Add in the Swanage steam railway and it makes this for an attractive seaside town for those with younger children or couples seeking a relaxing break.
Swanage has an annual fish festival held this year on the 9th and 10th June, where celebrity chefs provide mouth-watering dishes from upmarket scallops and oysters to more mundane fish finger and mackerel sandwiches it is extremely popular and attracts large number of visitors. So all in all a great day out in Corfe and Swanage.