Visit the Isle of Purbeck for outdoor adventure and natural beauty

The Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula located in south Dorset. The area is home to some of the country’s most well-loved towns and landmarks including Swanage, Lulworth Cove, Corfe Castle and Durdle Door

On Purbeck’s boundary is Poole Harbour - one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Brownsea Island is the largest island in the Harbour and is managed by the National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust. Taking a boat trip to Brownsea Island is an ideal day out and it is one of the few places in southern England where you can see red squirrels!

Where to stay

Cosy cottages, farmhouses, picturesque campsites, grand hotels, bustling local inns and hostels give plenty of accommodation options for your visit to Purbeck.

And if you’re looking for something specific, be sure to check that they are family or dog friendly. Or perhaps you’re looking for an adult-only retreat or somewhere that caters for walkers or cyclists – well we’ve got those too. It’s easy to check availability and book online, contact the establishment directly or speak to Swanage Information Centre for some extra help and advice.

Things to see and do

Relax on the beach, explore the South West Coast Path, hunt for dinosaur fossils or just sit back and enjoy the views of the world famous Jurassic Coast.

Want to escape the masses? Then head inland to explore forests, heathlands, and downlands. There are many nature reserves and green spaces in the area with their own unique wildlife, ancient trees or colourful wildflowers. Take a relaxing walk to discover scenic views and find peace and tranquillity.

With its coast, countryside and Poole Harbour, the Isle of Purbeck is perfect for birding. Top bird watching spots include the RSPB Arne Nature Reserve, Brownsea Island, Durlston Country Park and Wareham Forest.

Whatever time of year that you visit, you will find activities and attractions to keep the whole family happy.

And if you want to have a car free holiday, you can travel around on a vintage steam trainopen top buses or by boat.

Retail therapy

Browse the great range of shops and markets for everything from sausages for your breakfast to a souvenir of your holiday.

Many of our retailers and shops are independent and family run, so you know you’ll get a friendly welcome, great customer service and something to take home which you won’t find on every high street in the country.

Something to eat?

With lots of restaurants, cafés, bistros, pubs and tea rooms in Purbeck, there is something on offer to suit any occasion. If you fancy eating in, many of our eateries are now offering takeaway options to enjoy on a day trip or delivered to your door.

From riverside restaurants and cafes using the best of local produce to traditional country pubs and fine-dining in country house hotels, there is plenty of choice to eat out.

What’s On

There are lots of events to fill your calendar from family fun to festivals, exhibitions and performances.

Let the children feed lambs in springtime, take part in a seashore safari, go to one of the biggest music festivals in Dorset or get your dancing shoes on at a folk festival – it’s the stuff that memories are made of.

Towns and Villages

Visit historic Wareham and Corfe Castle, the traditional Victorian resort of Swanage or the coastal villages of Studland, Kimmeridge, West Lulworth and Worth Matravers.

Wander around the shops in Swanage, Wareham or Corfe Castle and perhaps take a coffee break or lunch stop in one of the many eateries.

West Lulworth and Studland are home to some very famous landmarks – Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks. You can follow the South West Coast Path to get the best views and take home some fantastic photos.

Worth Matravers and Kimmeridge are quaint and very picturesque villages with a real country charm, and both are very popular with walkers.

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Bradle Farmhouse

Bradle Farm lies in a valley 3 miles west of Corfe Castle surrounded by the Purbeck Hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst the original farmhouse and farm are mentioned in the Doomsday...

Brownsea Island

The perfect day’s adventure, this island wildlife sanctuary is easy to get to but feels like another world from the moment you step ashore. The island sits in the middle of Poole Harbour, with...

Corfe and Purbeck Holidays

Corfe & Purbeck Holidays specialise in letting quality self catering holiday properties in the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, Dorset.  All of our our cottages are well equipped, comfortably...

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle ruins are one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War, partially demolished in 1646 by the Parliamentarians, they sit proudly upon a hill of this...

Cumulus Outdoor Adventure

Cumulus Outdoors offers unrivalled outdoor experience and a range of outdoor adventure experiences for families and private groups, a range of school residential programmes including field studies,...

Cyclexperience

Get tranquility and exercise on a bike whilst exploring the woodlands, heaths, beaches and hills of the Isle of Purbeck!  Ride top of the range mountain bikes or modern...

Dorset Adventure Park

Located in Corfe Castle, Dorset Adventure park is a family fun Waterpark and Mud Trail. Featuring 18 acres of woodland and lakes with stunning views of Corfe Castle. Whether you’re looking to...

Fore Adventure

Fore / Adventure host two hour taster sessions to three day expeditions for all ages and abilities, getting closer to nature by sea kayak and stand up paddle board and enjoying the fruits of natures...

Grand Hotel

Located in the heart of the Isle of Purbeck, The Grand Hotel has stunning views across the bay and has direct access from the gardens to the private beach. The Burlington Health Spa and...

Kingston Country Courtyard

Kingston Country Courtyard is a 16th century B&B accommodation. We have 25 rooms located around two courtyards with car parking facilities onsite. We have a wide variety of rooms available these...

Millbrook Guest House

Millbrook is a family run B&B that has been providing accommodation to holiday makers and visitors to the area for over one hundred years. We offer modern rooms, with free wi-fi and our own...

Purbeck Park

Purbeck Park - Where adventures begin… Located in the centre of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, Purbeck Park is a 'must visit' location. Start here and explore nearby attractions and the...

Purbeck Sports Centre

A family friendly sports centre offering something for everyone. Swimming sessions for all abilities, sauna, football and cricket pitches, racket sports, modern gym and a packed timetable of...

RSPB Arne Nature Reserve

Arne Nature Reserve is situated on Poole Harbour and within the Dorset National Landscape, it's a stunning landscape which consists of dramatic open heathland and ancient oak woodland.  Arne...

Swanage Holiday Apartments

We are pleased to be able to offer two adjacent two-bedroom 2nd floor apartments in a purpose-built building located in a quiet side street just 50 metres from the waterfront and glorious town beach....

The Blue Pool Nature Reserve and Tearooms

Discover the enchanting Blue Pool Nature Reserve & Tearooms, a hidden treasure nestled in the Furzebrook Estate in the Isle of Purbeck. Escape into a world of wonder as you wander along sandy...

The Mowlem Theatre, Cinema and The Showbar

Situated on Swanage seafront The Mowlem, cinema, theatre, function rooms and sea view bar offer the perfect entertainment during your visit to Swanage. The refurbished and comfortable auditorium hosts...

The Pines Hotel

We are an independently run, 43 bedroom cliff top hotel, enjoying stunning, panoramic views of Swanage Bay with our own private access to the sandy beach below. Quietly situated close to the South...

Burnbake Forest Lodges

Burnbake Forest Lodges & Campsites - self catering lodge and camping holidays in Dorset near Corfe Castle, Swanage and Wareham.  Burnbake is a magical, woodland...

Coast and Country

Quality, affordable clothing brands for active spirits both young and old.

Coast Restaurant - Grand Hotel

The Coast Restaurant is fully air-conditioned with commanding views across Swanage Bay, offering fine dining with exciting and innovative cuisine, using fresh local produce where...

Country Corner

Traditional and contemporary furniture, soft furnishings and decorative items for the home.

Dorset Cottage Holidays

Dorset Cottage Holidays is a an independent, family run agency, established over 20 years ago and located locally in the heart of Corfe Castle in Dorset. We offer over 60 holiday cottages in Swanage,...

Knoll House Hotel

You’ll find us at Studland Bay on the Isle of Purbeck, between Poole and Old Harry Rocks. Purbeck is a quiet landscape of coast, cliffs, heath and woodland, and a haven for wildlife. It’s...

Seasons Green

A pretty, 17th century gift shop and gallery in the beautiful village of Corfe Castle. Our range includes unusual products from local makers and creators, as well as small producers...

Swanage Railway

Whatever the weather, take a journey back in time with an enjoyable day of excitement and nostalgia at the award winning Swanage Railway. Sit back and relax during a leisurely trip behind a historic...

The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms is a historic Inn found at the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck. Located in Stoborough village near Wareham, records say that an Inn has stood at this site for over 400 years. Today,...

Tilly Whims

Clothing and footwear, a great range of boutique brands adaptable for any occasion and ideal for a holiday by the sea.

Discoverthe Isle of Purbeck

Things to See and Do

Choose from castles, museums, country parks, beaches, model villages, vintage railways and more.

Eating Out and Takeaways

Whether you want a quick snack, a picnic lunch or a fine-dining experience, you won't be disappointed.

Shopping and Markets

Swanage and Purbeck are full of independent and unique shops selling everything you need on holiday.

Places to Stay

B&Bs, hotels, luxury log cabins, seaside cottages, rustic campsites, lively holiday parks and more.

Events and Festivals

From music festivals and carnivals to country fairs and outdoor cinema - you are spoilt for choice.

We handrawn heart Castles

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Corfe Castle

The iconic Corfe Castle in the mist and the pretty village of the same name. © Paul Dimarco

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Nature & Wildlife

Dorset has some of the best wildlife and natural landscapes found anywhere in the UK.

Gardens & Parks

Dorset’s mild climate makes it a perfect location for some truly magical gardens.

Animals & Farms

If your family like to ‘go wild’ and get close to nature, Dorset has lots to offer.