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Swanage Area

Corfe Bears started life in the picturesque village of Corfe Castle, situated in the heart of Purbeck, a beautiful corner of England covering about 60 square miles. As you approach from the North, the line of the Purback Hills stands like a wall on the horizon and the way through here is where two rivers have cut through the chalk, leaving a steep sided hill between them. The word Corfe actually means “Cutting”, “Pass” or “Gap” in Anglo-Saxon.

The majestic ruins of Corfe Castle have dominated the landscape for the last 1000 years. It was built by William the Conqueror and was one of the most important castles in the land because it protected the gateway to Purbeck. Then in 1646, during the English Civil War, the castle fell to treachery from within. Orders were given to destroy it, leaving the ruins we see today.

Purbeck has an amazing diversity of scenery, ranging from a traditional beach/seaside, sand dunes, rolling countryside, heath land, forest and common land. Panoramic views are everywhere:- from West Hill look across to Bournemouth Bay to Hengistbury Head, taking in the beaches of Bournemouth, Poole Harbour and the distant Isle of Wight. On a good day, some of the hilltop Iron Age Settlements in middle Dorset are visible. East Hill has a similar panoramic view as West Hill and has one of the best views of the village, including the Steam Railway.

It is an area abundant with wildlife, including birds of prey, rare wild birds, deer, wild horses, lizards and snakes. In the spring and early summer, Corfe Common is a carpet of wild flowers, rare orchids, marsh gentia and quite uniquely, bluebells grow in abundance in the open, well away from tree cover.

Purbeck is part of the Jurassic Coast, designated as a World Heritage Site and this covers 95 miles of truly stunning coastline, with rocks recording 185 million years of the earth history. Many fossils can be seen in the rocks and fun can be had hunting for them on the beaches.

The Swanage Steam Railway runs for 6 miles, between Swanage and Norden, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle, which was the basis of Enid Blyton’s Kirren Castle. Corfe Station is like taking a step back in time and has a free Museum just behind the platform – well worth a visit – stand on the bridge and get steam blowing through your hair!!!

The golden sands of Swanage beach are perfect on a nice day for sandcastle-building, relaxing on a deckchair - or even a paddle or swim?! The shopping in Swanage is fantastic, with many high quality, independent shops and some lovely cafes and restaurants.

Attractions nearby:

  • Corfe Castle village and Norman ruins ( 5 miles )
  • Studland Beach / Nature Reserve
  • Wareham
  • The Wareham Bears at Blue Pool
  • Lulworth Cove / Durdle Door
  • Lulworth Castle
  • Monkey World
  • Tank Museum
  • Tyneham ( lost village)
  • Church Knowle Animal Sanctuary ( 7 miles) Free
  • Farmer Palmers
  • Kingston Lacy
  • Brownsea Island
  • Poole - 20 miles
  • Bournemouth - 24 Miles
  • Weymouth - 27 miles
  • Dorchester - 26 miles

We will happily give you information and advice on places to see/stay, to make your
visit an enjoyable one.

This website is Copyright © Corfe Bears and protected under UK and international law.