Blue Pool, Furzebrook // Wareham

The magical Blue Pool is unique attraction in the heart of the Isle of Purbeck. Set in peaceful woodland between Wareham and Corfe Castle this apparently natural beauty spot began life as a clay pit in the 17th century. It is minute particles of this clay that gives the pool its ever changing colours from greys to greens to blues. There are several walks around the lakes and woodland along with a tearoom and gift shop.

The Blue Pool is a disused, flooded clay pit within the 25 acre Furzebrook Estate on the Isle of Purbeck, about two kilometers south of Wareham and five kilometers east of Corfe Castle.

The name comes from the minute particles of clay that are suspended in the water, which difract the light and give rise to an intense turquoise colour. The pit was dug in the early seventeenth century, when Purbeck ball clay was used for making fine ceramic products. The clay-digging operation ceased before the First World War, although the site quickly became popular as a tourist attraction.

A cafe and tearoom opened in 1935, followed by a museum and gift shop. These provide all the onsite amenities along with traditional Dorset cream teas with homemade scones.

The Furzebrook estate ('furze' meaning 'gorse') supports a variety of animal and plant life including rare Dorset heath and Marsh Gentian. The lush vegetation around the pool is home to grey squirrels, rabbits and badgers, while numerous rare birds and amphibions make their home on the water. Both of Britain's endangered and protected reptiles, the green sand lizard and the smooth snake, live here in considerable numbers.

The Furzebrook estate is crossed by a network of sandy paths, while the pool itself can be reached via steps or using a flat route suitable for wheelchairs. The Blue Pool was declared an Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1985.