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Wareham is an historic market town and, under the name Wareham Town, a civil parish, in the English county of Dorset. The town is situated on the River Frome eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole. The town is built on a strategic dry point between the River Frome and the River Piddle at the head of the Wareham Channel of Poole Harbour. The Frome Valley runs through an area of unresistant sand, clay and gravel rocks, and much of its valley has wide flood plains and marsh land. At its estuary the river has formed the wide shallow ria of Poole Harbour. Wareham is built on a low dry island between the marshy river plains.
The town is situated on the A351 Lytchett Minster-Swanage road and at the eastern terminus of the A352 road to Dorchester and Sherborne, both roads now bypassing the town centre. The town has a station on the South Western Main Line railway, and was formerly the junction station for services along the branch line to Swanage, now preserved as the Swanage Railway. The steam railway has ambitions to extend its service, currently from Swanage to Norden, near Corfe Castle back to Worgret Junction (where the mainline and branch divided) and into Wareham again.
To the north west of the town a large conifer plantation, Wareham Forest stretches several miles to the A35 road and the southern foothills of the Dorset Downs. To the south east is Corfe Castle and the heathland that borders Poole Harbour, including Wytch Farm oil field and Studland & Godlingstone Heath Nature Reserve. About four miles (7 km) to the south is a chalk ridge, the Purbeck Hills, and eight miles (12 km) to the south is the English Channel.