In terms of 'Location, Location, Location', Corfe Castle scores two out of three. There are very few other castles that can boast such a dramatic site, perched on top of a naturally near conical hill.
Tactically, that hill is located in the only gap in a long ridge of steep-sided downland, and can thus control all north-south movement.
It is only on the strategic level that it falls down. Defending Swanage from attackers from the north or, conversely preventing attackers who had been foolish enough to land on the Purbeck coast from proceeding inland, is hardly the stuff of legend.
That said, it saw action during two of our civil wars. The first time was during the one between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda over whether there could be such a thing as a Queen Regnant. The second time resulted in Cromwellʼs troops trying to blow up the castle, leaving us with the romantic ruin we see today.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the National Trustʼs official site, detailed below.