Corfe Castle, Dorset
These ancient castle ruins stand high on a hilltop above the Dorset village that shares it's name. It was built by William the Conqueror, which makes it at least a thousand years old; it finally fell during the Civil War when the plucky chatelaine, Mary Bankes defended her home though it was under seige for 48 days. Now it's in the ownership of the National Trust, and they do have some fun here; on certain days you can meet a musketeer and they have family fun days, re-enactments and a Teddy Zip Wire Challenge. Otherwise go for a walk along the ridgeways and take in the spectacular views of the Isle of Purbeck.
Down in the village are shops, pubs, restaurants and tea rooms, two museums, and a model village. it's nice to make the most of it whilst you're here, so go and explore the castle then have lunch at The Castle or the Greyhound.
The castle itself is open to visitors from 10.00am-6.00pm every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
All information correct at the time of writing