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Castle Ride

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Distance : 12 miles
Time needed : 2 - 3 hours
Degree of difficulty : One steep hill. No off-road sections.
Suggested starting point : Wareham Quay

Explore this route across Hartland Moor, enjoying views of Corfe Castle, then cycle on through leafy lanes to the village of Church Knowle and the tranquil Blue Pool.

Please take care on all roads and follow the Highway Code.

Directions

Section 1: Wareham to Norden

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    • Leaving Wareham Quay, turn left, over the bridge traveling south toward Stoborough through water-meadows on both sides .
    • Head into the village between the two 30mph signs, passing the Kings Arms on your left.
    • Take the first turning on the left into the interestingly named Nutcrack Lane.
    • Follow this road passing the red phone box on the left, and continue straight over the first crossroads.
    • Carry on past the entrance to Stoborough Heath , and head straight on past the next turning on the right, which has a cattle grid.
    • At the next junction turn right, signposted Corfe Castle and you will pass Slepe Farm on the left. Follow this road for a while, taking time to stop and appreciate the fantastic views across Hartland Moor to Corfe Castle . At Norden, turn right towards the roundabout then follow the signs towards Corfe Castle.
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      • At the foot of the castle mound , opposite the National Trust car park and visitor centre, turn right (signposted Church Knowle and Creech) and follow this winding road up the hill, past the Woodland Caravan Park on your right and head into the village of Church Knowle.
      • Carry on through the village past St. Peter's Church on your right and later past The New Inn on your left.
      • The road will lead you to a crossroads, take the turning to the right signposted Wareham, and climb through the tiny hamlet of Cocknowle.
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        • Head on up to the summit of the chalk ridge where you are blessed with a panoramic view of the Purbecks . Ride gently down the other side on the ridge, taking care when approaching the hairpin bend.
        • Carry straight on past the turning to East Creech on your left.
        • Continue past the entrance to The Blue Pool on your right , however this may be an opportune moment to purchase refreshments, and take a breather! (Entry fee applies).
        • From The Blue Pool continue to the roundabout, taking the second exit, signposted Stoborough. Travel towards the village centre past the Lookout Caravan Park and Stoborough First School.
        • Follow this road all the way back along the south causeway to Wareham, take the first turning on your right after traveling over the bridge and you will be back on Wareham Quay.
      • Corfe Castle

        Corfe Castle is one of England's most dramatic ruined castles and is a major tourist attraction in the Isle of Purbeck. Although the ruins suggest the castle is falling down, it was in fact demolished deliberately during the English Civil War, over 350 years ago. The Old Hall dates

        back to the time of William the Conqueror with later additions from Henry I, King John and Henry III.

        St Peter's Church, Church Knowle

        Built for the most part between 1200 and 1250, it is of a type familiar then in the South of England, consisting of a table tomb of Purbeck Stone, supported on columns. On the centre of its back wall is the figure in brass, of a man in armour praying, with a kneeling woman on either side and two armorial shields above,which is a rare find in such good condition.

        Swanage Railway

        The railway first came to Swanage in 1885 and was operated by the London and South Western Railway Company. Having survived the Beeching axe, British Railways closed the line in 1972. However a group of enthusiasts formed the Swanage Railway Society and

        re-opened the line, initially running from Swanage to Harman's Cross and later to Nordon, via Corfe Castle.

        Please follow the Countryside Code:

    • Take care this is a very steep hill and on-coming traffic could be a danger.

      Section 3: Blue Pool

    • Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
    • Leave gates and property as you find them
    • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
    • Keep dogs under close control
    • Consider other people

        Parking

        Long stay car parking is available at Streche Road - off West Street, Wareham.

        Norden Park & Ride - Steam trains leave regularly for Corfe Castle and Swanage.

        For opening times ring Purbeck or Swanage Tourist Information.

        Railway Stations

        There are railway stations on the London to Weymouth line at Wareham, Wool and Morton.

        Telephone 08457 48 49 50 for train times or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk link will open in new window  

        Maps

        This route can be followed on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.OL15 (Purbeck and South Dorset)

  • Section 2: Church Knowle

 
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