Limekiln House

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Some interesting places to visit in this part of Dorset. Click on the pictures for more information

Mill House Cider Museum  
cider museum

We like this venue. Very informal. Four miles from Limekiln House. Extensive greenhouses with a comprehensive variety of garden plants: flowers, shrubs, vegetables etc. The cider museum exhibits a large number of historical presses and other items with an introductory video on the history and development of English cider making. Also a clock museum and a local produce shop selling Dorset cider, ales, cheeses, ice-cream and other items. Free parking. Toilet facilities.

purbeck bluebells

About seven miles from Limekiln house. Known as the 'lost village', Tynham was taken by the Army for war-time training and was never returned to the villagers. The school and church have been restored and now house exhibits of old village life. There is free parking on grass and a level one mile walk to the unspoiled Worbarrow Bay. Don't miss the historical area over the small bridge and turn left. Toilet facilities. Climb Warbarrow Tout for a view from St Alban's Head to Portland Bill. If you're a fit adventurer and like crystals, look for the calcite vein on the western cliff slope.

Things to do in Purbeck  
purbeck blue pool

Events and places to visit in the Purbeck area. The 'Things to do in Dorset' website contains up-to-date information of current and scheduled events in the Purbecks and surrounding areas. The adjacent picture shows the Blue Pool, a large lake which was originally a clay quarry, now with woodland walks and the usual visitor facilities.

Swanage Railway  
swanage railway

 Lovingly and laboriously restored by volunteers and enthusiasts, with plans to connect to the main line at Wareham in 2018. Swanage Railway is well worth a ride to enjoy the old steam engines and the Purbeck countryside. It's also a good way to visit Corfe Castle (hop off at the station) and Swanage, avoiding parking problems. Swanage Station is close to the town centre and the beach. The starting point car park is at Morden, signposted on the Swanage road from the Wareham bypass.

Corfe Castle  
corfe castle

The brooding ruins of Corfe Castle stand high on a natural mound in a gap in the Purbeck Hills. Steeped in history and intrigue and the scene of many political murders, the castle was blown up by Cromwell. Combined with the village pubs, shops and the local scenery, Corfe makes for an enjoyable day out.

studland beach

Sandbanks stretches from Poole Harbour entrance to Studland and is an unspoilt stretch of beaches, sand dunes, marsh, woodland and lakes, protected by the National Trust. Plenty of off-road parking between Sandbanks and Studland. There is a nudist zone along the beach towards Studland Bay. Studland, the church, Old Harry Rocks and the Bankes Arms pub are worth a visit. We had the best ploughman's lunch ever in 2017.

Abbotsbury Swannery and Sub-Tropical gardens and tythe barn
abbotsbury swans

A 19 mile drive and a memorable day out combining three beautiful locations with free parking at the Swannery and gardens. The large, ancient tithe barn is combined with a children's outdoor centre. Car parking fees apply. There is a cafe / restaurant at all locations and a plant nursery in the gardens. The Swannery is set on board-walks through the reeds behind Chesil Beach. Visitors are permitted to feed the swans and cygnets (or as the signs say: 'baby swans'). The food must be purchased from the Swannery staff. Sometimes there's a seasonal crop maze for children. Highly recommended. A classic thatched Dorset village with old village hotels and pubs. There is a small covered road train to save your legs and avoid any rain while travelling from the car park, about half a mile or so.

Thomas Hardy and Wessex  
stairhole lulworth

Thomas Hardy books are an insight into bygone Dorset and Wessex, describing many local places in great detail. Hardy's cottage at Bockhampton is  maintained by the National Trust. Combine a visit with a walk in the adjacent woods and and a trip to the historical Athelhampton House, a couple of miles towards Bere Regis on the main road. There are allegedly several ghosts here, not all human....

Brownsea Island  
brownsea island

The first trial Boy Scout camp took place on Brownsea Island and was organised by Baden-Powell. The Island is now administered by the National Trust and is a refuge for a scurry of brown squirrels and a muster of raucous peacocks. It is also home to a bird sanctuary and is splendidly isolated in the middle of Poole Harbour. Ferries run from Poole Quay and the Poole side of the harbour entrance at Sandbanks. Full facilities are available on the island. Open air Shakespeare plays are performed in late summer, the mosquitoes are free. Landing fees apply even if you snorkel there, as we found out!

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