Approximately five miles’ drive south of Wareham and less than eight miles’ drive north-west of Swanage is the small village of Church Knowle, deep within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Within this quaint, historic village is the Church of St Peter, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and with additions dating from the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries! Church Knowle is also home to a busy village hall, the Margret Green Animal Rescue Centre with tearoom, and a well-regarded public house with a somewhat misleading name; the New Inn is, in fact, more than 400 years old and famously had just four landlords in a 150-year period.
Beyond Church Knowle itself is much to explore. Approximately five minutes’ drive east is the village and fortification of Corfe Castle, the ruins of which are a sight to behold. The steam and diesel services of Swanage Railway can be boarded here on their way to the bustling seaside town of Swanage. Less than five miles south-west of Church Knowle is the ghost village of Tyneham, abandoned by its 225 residents in 1943 upon its acquisition by the War Office as a firing range. Its eerie charm can be enjoyed by the public at certain times of year. There to enjoy all year round, however, and undoubtedly the most timeless beauty of all, is the nearby Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, the wonders of which are almost too numerous to list.