Our Top 5 Best Pubs in Purbeck

September 7th, 2017

We know that one thing at the top of your list for your camping holiday in Dorset will be to visit a lovely country pub. Ulwell Holiday Park is lucky enough to be surrounded by some real hidden gems. We’ve put together our top 5 best pubs in Purbeck that we know our guests have enjoyed.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere with great coastal views, cosy wood fires, live music entertainment, excellent local food or family friendly facilities… there’s something for you.

All the pubs here are within an easy 15-minute drive from our campsite.

The Village Inn

Ulwell Road, Swanage BH19 3DG

bar and dining area at the village inn in swanage

Ideally situated for pub walks and bike rides, The Village Inn in Ulwell near Swanage is a relaxing place to stop for a pint and a bite to eat situated at the base of the stunning Purbeck Hills. Open all year round, the bar is toasty warm in the winter with a wonderful log burner and has plenty of shaded outdoor seating for gatherings on hot summer days.

As our onsite bar and restaurant, The Village Inn is open to both the general public and residents of Ulwell Holiday Park. Dogs are welcome and there is handy cycle parking available too. A child friendly pub – it outdoor play area and children’s menu for the younger members of your party.

The restaurant offers a great menu of snacks, hot lunches and tasty evening meals and holds a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Check out the latest reviews.

Distance from Ulwell Cottage: on site!

The Sqaure and Compass

Worth Matravers BH19 3LF

This place is truly one of a kind and definitely one of the best pubs in Purbeck. A little off the beaten track, in the sleepy village of Worth Matravers, the Square and Compass has awesome sea views and is surrounded by rambling beer gardens. Inside this quirky pub expect to find the open fires roaring in the winter and offerings of live music throughout the summer.

On a fine day, soak up the sunshine holding one of the award-winning beers or home made cider. Not a foodie pub, The Square and Compass serves only meat and vegetarian pasties and bar snacks. The pub is also famous for some brilliant events throughout the year including a week of stone carving celebrations in July/August and a Pumpkin Festival in October.

Only a short distance from the Priests’ Way and the South West Coast Path, this is a popular stop for walkers. There are several spectacular circular routes nearby for that perfect pub walk day out. Dogs and muddy boots are welcome and there is a large car park just up the road.

Don’t miss the fascinating fossil museum, which showcases local finds from the Jurassic Coast made by the landlord himself.

Distance from Ulwell Cottage: 5 miles

The Bankes Arms

Manor Road, Studland BH19 3AU

Credit: Nilfanion

Situated on the cliff top above the sandy Studland Beach, this 16th century country pub is definitely worth a visit. The large, open beer garden has beautiful views across Studland Bay, stretching from Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight.

Steeped in local history, this pub is a great base for exploring. It is situated just off the South West Coast Path. You can park in the adjacent National Trust car park and enjoy an active day out on one of the many walking and cycling routes nearby. Visit the famous rock formations of Old Harry Rocks or explore the beautiful beaches along Studland bay. You could always incorporate a pit stop at the Bankes Arms into a scenic walk from our Swanage Holiday Park.

The Bankes Arms serves excellent food with a wide range of daily specials displayed on the blackboard inside. It is also the home to Isle of Purbeck Ales and with a microbrewery on site you are guaranteed a good pint!

Distance from Ulwell Cottage: 2.5 miles

The Scott Arms

Kingston BH20 5LH

Views from pub gardens don’t get much better than this! The Scott Arms is a country pub located high up in the Purbeck hills in the quiet stone village of Kingston. It boasts unrivalled views over Corfe Castle and beyond.

Distinctively covered in thick Virginia creeper on the outside, the interior is cosy with two warm and welcoming bars and a contemporary formal dining room. The large, enclosed beer garden has plenty of outdoor seating and room for little ones to roam

A great pub for food and open every day for lunch and dinner, the menu has a range of locally soured British classics and seasonal specials. During weekends in the summer months, things hot up in the garden with The Jerk Shack serving up tasty and authentic Caribbean food.

Distance from Ulwell Cottage: 6 miles

The Greyhound Inn

The Square, Corfe Castle BH20 5EZ

No visit to Purbeck is complete without taking a stroll around the picturesque Corfe Castle. Located in the heart of the village, The Greyhound Inn is a relaxed and characterful Inn serving up fresh food all day long and is the perfect stop for a refuel and refresh after a hard days sightseeing.

The large beer garden looks out over the spectaular ruins of Corfe Castle and you can sit back and watch vintage steam trains chug by on the Swanage Railway. Dogs and families are both very welcome.

The delicious menu options are sourced locally within a 20-mile radius and this pub is famous for a good Sunday roast. Gourmet fish and chips and stone baked pizzas are also available to eat in or take away. You could also pop in for a traditional cream tea.

Distance from Ulwell Cottage: 5 miles

What our guests say

  • A gem of a place

    Sandra, Winchester

    What a find. I almost don’t want to tell you about it.

    It’s a family park with lovely, mostly new, fresh, clean spacious caravans – all set out almost in steps on the side of a small hill. The larger hill rises behind you, the sea spreads out in front and the swimming pool beckons behind the bar.

    The people are friendly, the site is clean and welcoming and the scenery unbeatable. It’s a gem of a place.

  • Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage


    Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage. A truly wonderful location, lying under the stunning Ballard Down and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Being only a 10 min walk from Swanage and the coast means it’s conveniently located for all amenities.

    The staff are always very helpful to sort out any problems and keep the site in fantastic condition. A 5-star park.

  • Friendly, clean & well kept

    Cheshire, UK

    Stayed here as a base to tour Isle of Purbeck and go on to Air show in Bournemouth. Not the cheapest site but definitely the cleanest and well thought out.

    Swimming pool , shop and pub/restaurant all in proximity and well kept/stocked. Bus stop right outside entrance. Grass pitches have plenty of space and well drained with shower blocks water/ drain points really handy.

    Will definitely be using this site again.

  • Lovely weekend

    Tina, London

    We have just returned from a lovely weekend caravanning at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park.
    Lovely clean site with indoor heated pool. We went in the pool around 5pm and were the only ones in there (apart from life guard) it was lovely and warm and clean.

    We walked to old Harry’s rock and then Down into Swanage itself and had fish and chips and an ice cream.
    Staff on the site were helpful and friendly. Lovely stay.

  • Our second, lovely Christmas at Ulwell

    Jane P, Cheltenham

    After the success of Christmas 2016 at Ulwell, we returned again for Christmas 2017 and had another great time. Lovely warm caravan, peaceful and relaxing on site and a fantastic carvery on Boxing Day at The Village Inn.

    Thanks to all staff who were working and made sure we had such a great break away.

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

Latest reviews

Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain

Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

Please note: The Sandbanks Ferry will be out of action until at least October.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North

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