Set within Dorset AONB the Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula of some 60 square miles bordered to the south and east by the English Channel and to the north by Poole Harbour and the River Frome.

The peninsula is dissected by the Purbeck Hills, a chalk ridge which runs westwards from the sea near Old Harry Rocks to Lulworth Cove.

In the centre of the peninsula stand the towering ruins of Corfe Castle, Dorset’s most visited landmark.

To the east of the peninsula you will find Studland Nature Reserve with its unspoilt beaches and heathland.

There is so much to explore on the Isle of Purbeck. We spend weeks on end roaming this enchanting corner of England.

We took a ride across the peninsula on the Swanage Steam Railway and visited RSPB Arne, a peninsula jutting out into Poole Harbour east of Wareham.

This RSPB nature reserve provides a habitat for wildlife, including sika deer and rare birds, such as the Dartford warbler.

Images by Cool Places Britain | Andrew P.M. Wright

This is an ideal place for cycling and walking.

Studland is the starting point of the South West Coast Path, which traces the outline of the peninsula and runs all the way to Minehead in Somerset.

The Purbeck Way travels from Wareham to Corfe Castle.

Then eastwards to Ballard Down and then, south, and west along the South West Coast Path. Part of this way links with the Frome Valley Trail.

Cool Places to Explore: Corfe Castle | Old Harry Rocks | Swanage Steam Railway | Studland Beach and Nature Reserve | Lulworth Cove | Durdle Door.

Cool Places to Eat: The Pig on the Beach