Top 10 FREE things to do whilst on holiday in the Purbeck

We all know that a holiday can be an expensive time, that is why I have selected my favourite FREE things to do whilst on holiday in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset! So whether your on holiday with the children or away with friends and family make sure you add these exciting picks to your itinerary!

Corfe Castle Village

Corfe Castle is such a beautiful village, with cute shops, lovely tea rooms and traditional pubs. We visited the small museum located in the village square and mulled around the pretty village square for a while. We decided to walk along the ridge from Corfe Castle to Swanage, I must admit the walk up the hill was rather steep, but the views were worth it!

Throughout the whole walk you could see for miles, from Corfe Castle to Swanage and over to Poole Harbour. Once up the hill the walk was relativity flat, we passed through many fields which belonged to the local farmers – we did have to walk through a few friendly cows, so if you are nervous like me be warned! Instead of walking back we hopped on the steam train back to Corfe Castle.


The village of Tyneham is referred to as Dorset’s ‘lost’ village, where time stopped in 1943. We took our time exploring the derelict houses, reading the backgrounds of the families that once lived there, whilst picturing them inside of their homes. We visited the school, viewing the workbooks left open like a ghost town and carried on to the farm where some of the building have now been restored. The beautiful church is set in the middle of the village, we spent some time looking around and reading up on the history of the village. We heard after we had visited that there was a walk to Worbarrow Bay, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, next time we come back we will be sure to visit the remote bay.


We had a lovely day out at Kimmeridge Bay! We spent plenty of time trying to spot fossils in the rocks and acting like big kids again rock pooling – searching for crabs and spotting the little fishes darting about in the crystal-clear water. Towards the end of the bay there is a mass collection of large rocks which lead around the bottom of the cliff face, feeling like we were sixteen again we darted over them longing to explore further. We came to a large flat rock surface, where big pools of water came cutting into the stone creating large water pockets. Even through we forgot our swimming stuff we rolled up our jeans and lounged on the rocks basking in the sun and taking in the breath-taking scenery.


To start our relaxing day in Swanage we hopped on the Breezer bus instead of taking the car. There was so much to do and see in Swanage - we strolled along the beach, had an ice cream at a local shop and went to the Swanage Museum – we learnt a lot about the local area. We walked along Swanage pier – we did have to pay the small fee, but it was worth it as…WE SAW A DOLPHIN! It was utterly amazing watching the dolphin swimming alongside a local ferry – a dream come true for me! We explored the Swanage lifeboat centre and did some reading up on the amazing work that they do.


Winspit caves are in Worth Matravers, a picturesque little village near Langton Matarvars, with a pretty duck pond and the traditional pub. The walk to Winspit caves took us 50 minutes from the centre of the village, but we do have a dog who likes to say ‘hello’ to everyone we meet! Winspit is a disused old quarry on the coast, the buildings that were once there are now derelict and all that stands are the structured caves. We enjoyed exploring the caves and sat for a while just looking out at the sea, watching the calming waves and spotting the boats on the horizon – it was such a perfect day to watch the sun glistering on the water.

Durlston Country Park

Located near Swanage, Durlston Country Park offered us a great day out - you do have to pay for parking but exploring the park is all free! We walked along the Jurassic Coast, admiring the magnificent cliff views and even stopped at the lookout shed to try and spot dolphins off the coast. After walking down to the lighthouse admiring the beautiful countryside around us, we stopped for a picnic and watched the boats out at sea. There were many activities being advertised included guides walks and trail activity books for children

Dancing Ledge

We walked to Dancing Ledge from the village of Langton Matravers it is flat all the way to the Jurassic Coast and the views are really very beautiful. You have the option to admire the views from the top of the hill or continue your walk down the hill to the Ledge itself. Having a bulldog, we did the walk in the late afternoon and only took a slow walk down half the hill. The views were stunning, it was so peaceful, and we were the only people around for miles - we didn’t see another person during our entire walk!

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is a white pebble beach is glistening blue water. We strolled around the cove taking in the families and other dogs enjoying the water. To the right of the cove you can walk up the hill and look down on the cove taking in your beautiful surroundings, if you continue around you come to what is named Stair Hole – the blue water looked beautiful in the sun.

If you are up for an adventure and want to see the amazing Durdle Door you can walk from Lulworth Cove over the steep hill to Durdle Door, the walk will be worth it! Durdle Door magnificent natural limestone arch and is part of a family of natural wonders including America’s Grand Canyon and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef! Durdle Door is a must on your holiday – I can imagine watching the sunrise or set would be a very memorable experience!

Old Harry Rocks

We decided to walk to Old Harry Rock on a blustery day, we parked in the local car park and the flat stroll only took about 30 minutes. It was a lovely day enjoying the scenery around, from Old Harry Rocks you can enjoy the views over Studland Bay and as you walk further around you can see towards Swanage Bay.

Arne Nature Reserve

We absolutely loved visiting Arne RSPB, situated about a 15-minute drive from the village of Corfe Castle, Arne was a wonder of natural beauty. With so much to do a see we found a quiet beach and had a picnic overlooking the small islands around Poole harbour. Afterwards we spent time walking around the heathland, spotting the enchanting deer and taking in the beautiful birds. If you have children there seemed to be plenty of free activities happening – which looked great for a mucky day out exploring the woodland.

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