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Purbeck


food and drink at the adjacent 18th -century tea-room, with its delightful garden. Close by, and not to be missed, is one of the largest National Trust shops in the country, carrying an extensive range of National Trust merchandise.


From Corfe, one can reach the town of Swanage by steam train from the village station. Swanage Railway, Dorset’s premier steam railway, runs from Norden park-and-ride station, along six miles of track to Swanage town centre. Alternatively, by road, one of the prettiest drives is along the B3069 leaving from Corfe, which rises quickly and provides some of the best viewpoints back to the castle you can find.


As you descend from the tranquil countryside you arrive at the town of Swanage, where a settlement existed as long ago as 877 and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Swanwick and Swanic. One


It is now part of the Durlston Country Park, which offers 263 acres of clifftop countryside, internationally important wildlife, and an exquisite array of flora. At the Park Centre you can learn about the fascinating local ecology and wildlife and maybe catch a glimpse of the bottle-nosed dolphins that frequent Durlston Bay in the spring and autumn.


North of Swanage, and adjoining Poole Harbour, is Studland. This area is a nature reserve and has an excellent unspoilt beach which is perfect for sunbathing. The area is also full of rare fauna and is therefore of interest to botanists. In the heart of this area of outstanding natural beauty, is the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, a wonderfully traditional course, offering golf the way it was meant to be played!


Founded in 1892 it has undergone expansion and considerable redesign over the years. It comprises of the Purbeck Course, which is on part of the


1.


Cliffs at Durdle Door


of the oldest parts of the town you can visit today is the spring fed Mill Pond with a Mill House boasting a superb date stone of 1734.


The Victorian era saw Swanage come alive and transform from a small quarrying town to a popular seaside resort. This was helped by the Three Gentlemen of Swanage, William Morton Pitt, John Mowlem and George Burt.


In particular, George Burt, made an ever lasting impression in the Durlston area, when he planned and built a large housing development complete with roads, shops and a church. For recreation he created woods, paths, seating, an aviary and, as the centrepiece of his kingdom, a castle. He was fascinated by the natural world around him and in 1887 The Great Globe located here was constructed. It is 10ft in diameter it weighs 40 tons and consists of 15 segments of Portland stone.


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Studland and Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve, and the short 9 hole Dene Course with views across to Swanage Bay.


Indeed the fifth tee possesses one of the finest views in British Golf, situated as it is, on a Bronze Age bell barrow over 3000 years old. The views take in Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island, Studland Village and the Isle of Wight.


Outstanding golf, food and views make the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club a rare and memorable part of your visit to Studland. Visitors are welcome at the club.


From Shell Bay, the most easterly of the Studland beaches, you can leave the Isle of Purbeck by a short journey by car ferry to Poole.


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