“Life is to be felt, not figured out. – Thomas Hardy”
For the past 18 months or so that I’ve lived in the UK, I’ve been asking people where I should visit. Which sights to see and places to explore and Dorset almost always popped up in the answers. I’d heard about it before, about it’s beautiful coasts and quaint towns tucked near the edge of the New Forest.
I had no idea how right all those suggestions would be!
Poole was the first stop on our little tour of Dorset, a coastal city with a rich history and some of the softest sandy beaches I’ve seen in England!
The next stop was Corfe Castle, one of the most impressive castle ruins I’ve wandered through in the UK. The Castle and Village are located on the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula near the English Channel. Disney fans may recognize the location in the classic 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomstick.
Built in the 11th Century by William the Conqueror, it is one of the first castles in England to be built using stones instead of earth and timber. It was a favourite castle of King John and remained a royal castle until the 1500’s when it was sold by Elizabeth I
On the day we visited the sun was shining over the Purbeck Hills and we were able to catch a glimpse of the Corfe Steam Train weaving it’s way through the village and hillsides. Felt a bit like the Hogwarts Express as it puffed big plumes of steam into the blue sky in the shadow of the castle above.
The castle which has seen a fair share of battles and sieges, was largely damaged in the English Civil War and now host battle reenactments in the grounds beneath the huge ruins. We watched a fairly entertaining fight between the Saxons and the Vikings complete with heckling from village people and lots of fake deaths, not quite Game of Thrones but still fun to watch!
After our wander through Corfe it was time to visit something that was on my list for a long time, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
First up was a walk around Lulworth Cove, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s best examples of a Cove. The stony beach was filled with people enjoying picnics and walking the perimeter of the cove to take advantage of the vistas from every angle.
A short but steep walk away from Lulworth is the popular Durdle Door, a limestone archway in the Jurassic Coast.The views along the walk are absolutely stunning and worth every step. I’d be wanting to visit the beach ever since I saw photos of it posted shortly after I moved to the UK and the views definitely didn’t disappoint.
It goes without saying that Dorset is absolutely one of the most beautiful places in England, the combination of the historical ruins, the geography, and the beautiful colours of the water, flowers, and skies just seem like paintings waiting to be captured. I could spend days wandering along the grass and pebbles admiring every view we saw.