The Isle of Purbeck is in the south-eastern corner of the county, south of Poole Harbour. It contains towers ranging from six to ten bells in good proximity. :
Wool, Bere Regis and Lytchett Minster are other interesting towers on the main approach routes to Purbeck.
The bells at Corfe Castle and Worth Matravers were restored (and augmented in the case of Worth) for the Millennium, and Kingston was augmented from an eight in 2000.
The area is popular for holidays and for ringing tours, and the area has plenty of attractions for non-ringers on trips. Purbeck is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the village of Corfe Castle is a conservation area, Worth Matravers and Kingston are popular walking spots, and Swanage is a seaside town, with a steam train link to Corfe Castle. Because of this popularity, and the amount of ringing at some towers, bookings should be made several months in advance.
If you arrange a tour during the summer months or over National Holiday weekends then parking could be difficult. Here are some tips -
This small market town has plenty of pay-and-display car parks (70p per hour) all within five or ten minutes walk to the church. The car park at the Quay, close to the church, is a little more expensive and is often full. It is occupied by a market on Saturdays.
There is a large car park at the steam train terminal (follow Park-and-Ride signs at Norden) but requires a (very pleasant) half-mile walk to the village centre. A National Trust car and coach park is situated just north of the village. This is less than ten minutes walk from the church. It is pay-and-display, free for NT Members but otherwise £1 per hour, minimum two hours, maximum four hours. Alternatively a pay-and-display car park (no coaches) can be reached by driving through The Square and is also around ten minutes walk from the church, but has a minimum charge of £3 for three hours. Free parking in the village square and elsewhere is sometimes available but cannot be relied upon.
There is a walker's car park (no charge) about 200 metres past the church. Roadside parking is usually available by the church. Minibus access is reasonable, but there is no room for coaches to manoeuvre.
Worth Matravers has a large car park just north of the village, although this can be completely full on good walking days. There is a voluntary charge. No coaches are allowed in the village.
This seaside town has plenty of car and coach parking. The car park nearest to the church also serves the steam railway station and a super-market and is more expensive in Summer. A large car park, sign-posted for coaches, is a better choice and only ten minutes walk from the church, although there is a coach setting-down point closer by. In winter months street parking is easy near the church grounds.
Wareham has plenty of tea-rooms, restaurants and pubs. Swanage has everything that you would expect to find in a sea-side resort, including very good fish-and-chip shops. Corfe Castle has two pubs and three tea-rooms serving lunches within 100 yards of the church. Worth Matravers has a pub and a tea-room/restaurant. Kingston has a pub with stunning views, large enough to cope with any ringing tour party.
There are toilets on the quay at Wareham, 50 metres from the church, and at Corfe Castle in the Main Car Park and at both National Trust buildings. There are toilets at the Worth Matravers car park and on the railway platform at Swanage. There are no public toilets in Kingston.
Purbeck Tourist Information : South Street, Wareham : 01929-552740.
Swanage Hospital (24hr Minor Injury Unit) : Queen's Road : 01929-422282.