HISTORIC BUILDINGS, GARDENS AND MUSEUMS

There’s a wealth of places to visit for the history enthusiast near Wareham and in the surrounding Purbeck countryside. Pretty much the last 65 million years is covered!  

Historic Houses and Castles

Don’t miss a visit to the historic Corfe Castle or Lulworth Castle or visit the tiny unassuming but fascinating Cloud’s Hill cottage, home of TE Lawrence. If you are fascinated with Purbeck’s association with the military and its importance during World War Two, then don’t miss a visit to the abandoned village of Tyneham or the Tank Museum at Bovington.

Lulworth Castle

- Lulworth -

Majestic 17th century castle in extensive parkland.
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Cloud’s Hill

- Bovington -

Visit the tiny cottage where Lawrence of Arabia lived.
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Corfe Castle

- Corfe -

Visit Dorset’s iconic castle, steeped in history.
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Tyneham and Worbarrow

- Tyneham -

Famous ‘lost village’ where time stopped in WW2
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Gardens

The Purbeck countryside is vast and full of places to explore, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to visit somewhere where the trees and flowers are within strolling distance!

The Blue Pool Nature Reserve for instance, where the colour phenomenon of its waters  is caused by light diffracting from minuscule particles of clay suspended in its still depths, is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is a true gem of Purbeck.

Another must-visit, situated just outside of Wareham, is Carey’s Secret Garden, which opened its gate to the public in May 2021. This wild, walled Victorian garden was rediscovered in 2019, and has undergone extensive restoration to re-imagine the gardens for a modern age.

The Blue Pool Nature Reserve

- Furzebrook, Nr Wareham -

This nature reserve with its stunning blue waters is steeped in history and is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
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Carey's Secret Garden

- Wareham -

Visit 3.5 acres of beautiful gardens enclosed by a 150 year old wall!
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Museums

There are plenty of other museums to visit near Wareham. See the amazing fossils of the Jurassic Coast at the Etches Collection Museum in Kimmeridge or the Visitor Centre at Lulworth Cove.  Discover the story of Purbeck’s limestone at the Langton Matravers Museum or the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum. 

The Etches Collection

- Kimmeridge -

Museum of amazing fossils of the Jurassic coast.
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Langton Matravers Museum

- Langton Matravers -

The story of Purbeck Limestone.
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Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre

- Lulworth -

Visitor information centre, telling the story of Lulworth from 150 million years ago.
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Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre

- Swanage -

Archaeology, geology and industrial history of Swanage.
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Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum

- Norden Station -

Tells the story of this important industry for Purbeck
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Wareham Town Museum

- Wareham -

Small museum that tells the story of Wareham.
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The Tank Museum

- Bovington -

The world’s best collection of tanks with live displays.
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