Dorset is home to some unique geology and natural habitats, including the Jurassic coast, England’s only natural world heritage site. We asked the local National Trust rangers for their favourite walks on and around this dramatic coastline
• As featured in our Dorset holiday guide
• Tell us about your favourite Dorset walk in comments
Distance 1½ miles
Start Corfe Castle ticket office, grid ref: SY961821
National Trust downloadable route and map
There are few castles more evocative than Corfe Castle (nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle), an imposing ruin perched high on the hill, which is thought to be the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. It’s a formidable defensive, and the common around the castle has been shaped by human activity over thousands of years, leaving an interesting archaeological landscape. Cream teas for the tired walker await in the Bankes Arms Hotel (dorset-hotel.co.uk) or, for something stronger, the beer garden overlooking the castle at the Greyhound Inn (greyhoundcorfe.co.uk) is the perfect place to relax with a pint.
Our pick of the most welcoming and stylish places to stay in Dorset includes a 16th century Abbots House with miniature railway in the garden and a B&B in a former post office
• As featured in our holiday guide to Dorset
• Know a great place to stay in the area? Add your recommendation in the comments below
It doesn’t have much in the way of sea views (rooms four and five are the ones to go for) but this Grade II-listed townhouse is beautifully situated within minutes of the beach, Broad Street shops and some of the best of Lyme Bay’s restaurants (Mark Hix’s seafood joint is a few minutes’ walk). The rooms and suites are pretty cool too (white walls, wrought iron beds, rain showers, Georgian fireplaces, retro furniture). You get breakfast in bed delivered to the door in hampers – a morning picnic of warm savoury flans, Dorset cereals and toasted Townmill breads (if you don’t fancy it, you get £10 knocked off the room rate). For the best views in town, go for afternoon tea on the garden deck at the Alexandra Hotel next door.
• 1 Pound Street, 01297 442499, hotel1lyme.com. Doubles from £95