Winter Solstice 2023: Historic chance to take it in at Purbeck landmarks

PURBECK residents can experience the Winter Solstice at Corfe Castle and Old Harry Rocks for the first time. 

Until this year, the National Trust had not hosted events at the two sites to mark the occasion – which is when the Earth reaches its furthest point from the sun. 

However, the trust has said on Thursday, December 21, visitors can watch the sunrise from the ruins of Corfe Castle.

The portcullis opens at 7am, with fires lit in the Outer Bailey to offer warmth and a place to toast marshmallows. 

Sunrise at Old Harry Rocks. Image: National Trust, Jon Bish.

Sunrise at Old Harry Rocks. Image: National Trust, Jon Bish.

The following day, December 22, the charity is hosting a guided walk to watch the sunset at the top of Old Harry Rocks.

It takes around 30 minutes each way and will be followed by a full English breakfast at Knoll Beach Cafe. 

Sophie Trenchard, visitor experience officer, said: “Corfe Castle and Old Harry Rocks offer beautiful backdrops to experience sunrise on the shortest days of the year.  

“For the first time ever, our Winter Solstice events are on consecutive days so visitors can experience both.”

Guests are encouraged to wear warm clothing. 

READ MORE: Will we see a white Christmas in Dorset in 2023?
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Entrance to Corfe Castle is free for National trust members, or £11 for non-members. 

Tickets for the walk are £19.50 for adults, and £10 for children – for members and non-members – including the breakfast. 

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