A guide to a holiday in the Purbecks

Where is The Isle of Purbeck?

The Purbecks or the Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula within the county of Dorset, in the South West of England. The area of land is around sixty square miles and juts out into the English Channel, with three sides of the Purbecks bordered by water, therefore, The Isle of Purbeck is not actually an Island.

What towns, villages and landmarks are in Purbeck?

Purbeck is an area rich in history as well as beauty and is named as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Purbeck coastline forms part of the famous, ninety-five-mile Jurassic Coast, which was named as England’s first natural World Heritage site.

Purbeck is home to some of the UK’s most loved towns, villages and landmarks which are well worth visiting, including the wonderful seaside town of Swanage which has something for everyone, the Saxon town of Wareham with its beautiful Quay, and no holiday in Purbeck is complete without a visit to the quaint village square of Corfe Castle which is steeped in history. Some stunning landmarks of the area are Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Old Harry Rock, Dancing Ledge, St Aldhems Head and Chapmans Pool – the magnificent views are well worth the walk or even climb! The beaches of Studland Bay are exceptional. From Studland you can take the chain ferry across to Sandbanks and catch a boat trip to Brownsea Island, where you will see the beautiful peacocks and rare red squirrels.

Whilst you are on holiday make sure you pay a visit to the quaint Purbeck villages of Langton Matravers, Church Knowle, Creech and Worth Matravers.

Purbeck is also home to the stark chalk Purbeck Hills, the Tilly Whims Caves, the deserted village of Tyneham which is now owned by the Ministry of Defence and the National Trust Landmark of Corfe Castle.

Chapmans Pool

What are some of the best things to see and do in Purbeck?

There are a whole host of things to do in the Purbecks, whatever your interests, there is something for everyone. You can take the opportunity to relax on the soft sandy beaches of Studland and Swanage or hunt for fossils at Kimmeridge Bay. You may choose to go for a scenic walk along the South West Coastal Path, spot a dolphin at Durlston or explore the wonderful forests and heathlands of Wareham Forest and Hartland Moor, where you are likely to see dear and horses. You will not want to miss a visit to RSPB Arne Nature Reserve for an opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife. If you are feeling adventurous you may wish to take to the water in Swanage and hire a kayak, pedalo, motorised boat or try scuba diving from Swanage Pier. You will want to include a visit to Corfe Castle to see the thousand-year-old royal castle which stands above the village of Corfe, see the small village museum, pretty shops, eateries, and our Corfe & Purbeck Holidays office! The Swanage Steam Railway travels through the stunning countryside between Norden and Swanage, stopping at Corfe.

Some other attractions you will not want to miss whilst on a holiday in Purbeck are Monkey World, Tank Museum, The Dorset Adventure Park, Durlston Country Park, RNLI Swanage Lifeboat Station and Keates Quarry Dinosaur Footprints plus many more.

Where is the best place to eat in Purbeck?

Depending what food takes your fancy, there is a wide variety of places to eat in Purbeck. Many of the eateries also offer takeaway options so you can enjoy some alfresco dining whilst surrounded by beautiful scenery or you can take the local delights back to your holiday accommodation.

If you are looking for a pub lunch in a pub garden, Corfe has a good selection of pubs to choose from, The Bankes Arms, The Castle Inn, The Fox Inn or The Greyhound. If it is fish and chips by the sea which you would prefer, Swanage has a fantastic selection with The Fish Plaice, The Parade, Harry Ramsdens, Sea Breeze and Harlees. Many of the other restaurants and pubs in the area also offer a good choice of meals. You will be spoilt for choice wherever you go in Purbeck, with a wonderful selection of tea rooms, cafes and restaurants, offering everything from breakfast, pasties, sandwiches, salads, cream teas, Dorset apple cake and ice cream. If your dog loves ice cream as much as you do you can purchase some at The Blue Pool and Studland Beach! For a special occasion, you could try; The Pig on the Beach in Studland, Chilled Red in Swanage, Mortons House in Corfe, The Italian Kitchen in Wareham, plus many more.

Fish and chips in Swanage

Some of our favourite places are; The Salt Pig Too in Swanage, The Pink Goat in Corfe, Clavells in Kimmeridge, The Black Swan in Swanage, The Kings Arms in Stoborough and The Italian Bakery in Wareham.

Self-catering accommodation, where to stay in Purbeck?

Corfe & Purbeck Holidays offer a wide selection of self-catering holiday properties, whether you are looking for a rural escape or romantic retreat, a pet friendly paradise or somewhere for all the family, we can help you find the perfect property. A self-catering holiday property offers you your own space, home comforts and the freedom to go out or stay in when you choose.

If you are looking to add something extra special to your holiday, we can provide our Holiday plus Service, this could include; a locally produced hamper awaiting your arrival, celebration decorations to assist with a surprise holiday, dog sitting/walking recommendations or catering for a special dinner party.

With so many attractions and places to visit, open countryside spaces and outdoor activities, The Isle of Purbeck in Dorset offers the perfect holiday destination!