A historic market town in the county of Dorset, Wareham has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. The town is located between the River Frome and River Piddle, and is close to Dorset’s main port of Poole.
Early records for Wareham show a settlement in the area in Roman times, and although a modern town has built up over this, there is still evidence of the built and natural history of the area. The medieval Church of Saint Mary and earth ramparts built by Alfred The Great hint at the town’s earlier history, while there are also buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian eras. One such building is the Victorian Town Hall which currently houses the Wareham Museum, which is free entry for visitors. The exhibits include a collection dedicated to T.E Lawrence, who is better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence was a world famous military figure who had a country retreat near Wareham, where he spent time towards the end of his life. Cloudhills is now owned by the National Trust and is also open to the public.
Wareham isn’t just a place to enjoy built history and tales of famous figures associated with the area though, it’s also a place to enjoy the outdoors. One attraction worth visiting is the Blue Pool at Fruzebrook, which is close to Wareham and also the popular Corfe Castle. The pool is on the site of a former clay pit, whose remnants cause interesting colour changing effects on the water. The Blue Pool is located on a 25 acre estate, where there are also play areas, a gift shop and tea room for families to enjoy.
Other family attractions in the area include the Arne Toy Museum with its collection of antique toys and dolls, and Monkey World Ape Centre near Wareham. Monkey World houses primates that have been rescued from smugglers, or have suffered abuse and neglect. Visitors can view the primates and community of Lemurs, listen to talks from the keepers, and enjoy walks around the site.
Visitors can choose to explore the area on a day trip, or make their base in the county. There is The Springfield Country Hotel and Kemps Country House in the town, along with several bed and breakfasts, two camping and caravan parks, and a selection of amenities and shops. Just one of many towns and villages in Dorset that are well worth a visit.