Ruby the VW Campervan is parked up on a fabulous wooded glade on the outskirts of Corfe Castle, Dorset.
We’re on the Camping and Caravan Club site and our first impressions were great. The pitches are spacious and not on top of each other. It’s quiet despite being full and the terracing means our pitch has a view of the rolling Purbeck Hills. As we are checking in, Keith’s already sourced and brought the local Purbeck ice cream to sample – which by the way is delicious! And despite a bit of drizzle which soon passed, we are able to sit outside in the evening sunshine which was on our pitch til gone 8pm.
Dinner was chicken fajitas on the outside grill and washed down with a couple of gins.
The weather was so lovely (and forecasted to be wet tomorrow) so Keith suggested an after dinner walk into the village – he’s been to Corfe Castle before and was keen to show me! The walk from the campsite is off road and about 15 mins / 3/4 mile. It passes fields of wheat and nearly immediately on leaving the campsite you get your first view of the castle in the distance. It’s wonderful!
As we get closer, the castle ruins become more and more impressive. I immediately see why Keith’s been wanting to return for the last 10 years that I’ve know him.
As the National Trust site is closed (it’s almost 7pm by this point), we opt for a beer in the beer garden of the Greyhound which has the most impressive beer garden view in England.
Sadly the service was not so impressive so we only stayed for one, but I had the Purbeck cider which was delicious. We walked the high street and stumbled into the Fox for one more – another great view from the beer garden and this time a much friendlier welcome.
We’d loved our evening visit to the village and walked back to Ruby feeling excited about our visit to the grounds tomorrow.
Wednesday dawned wet and windy. We couldn’t complain, the weather had been fab so far. Actually it was almost a relief, as we could have a massive lay in, lazy morning and late brunch without feeling guilty that we should be out enjoying the weather. Keith made me a delicious full English and I did some writing for the blog and read.
At 3pm it stopped raining so we donned our wet gear and headed back into the village to visit the National Trust maintained “Corfe Castle”.
The Keep would have been the tallest in England at the time – it’s position on the Purbeck Hills dominates the skyline and would have been a great place to keep an eye on the surrounding hills. These days the castle is in ruins however you get a sense of its enormous height with various walls inside the main keep that still stand high and straight; others less so!
Although the rain had now stopped, visibility was low so we vowed to perhaps pop in again tomorrow if the weather was better. The joys of having NT membership.
We walked back to Ruby surprised that despite our late start we’d still managed to walk 3.75 miles. Dinner was chilli and nachos which was delicious.
Thursday arrived and what a difference a day makes with the weather. It was glorious – perfect for a trip to the seaside.
We wasted no time and got up and had breakfast by 9am. This is early for us!
We were due to catch the 10:25 bus from Corfe Castle so we’re on a go fast mission getting most of the jobs gone like making a pack up etc. As it happened we arrived with oodles of time but we spent it admiring the traditional English stone houses and taking the obligatory bus stop selfie. We caught the number 40 Purbeck Breeze bus operated by More which picked us up from outside the Morton’s House Hotel. The fare was £4.20 each single or £6.40 return. We got single as we were getting the train back later.
Neither of us had been to Swanage before, and I know that the weather helped hugely, but – it was gorgeous. Actually we could have been in Greece. The water was so clear, with little boats bopping up and down. A small amusement arcade, a pier, lovely stretches of beach (a dog friendly one about a mile down the road ), appealing al fresco bars/ restaurants and of course, fish and chip shops.
We intended to do a walk along the coastal path but got drawn into the first bar we saw by the appealing looking chair and table in prime position for the best view.
This turned into two, then another bar with a lovely table made three.. you can probably guess, we didn’t get up on the cliffs – we stayed in Swanage.
We had fish and chips from the fish Plaice (gorgeous) before walking the entire length of the promenade – this is when we found the dog friendly section.
An absolutely cracking day.
When it was time to go back to the site, we stocked up on some grocery essentials before boarding the 16:40 steam train to Corfe Castle (£8pp £1dog)
What a delightful way to return to Corfe Castle, isn’t there just something about the choo choo sound and the chug chug sounds of the wheels pulling. The scenery was lovely- but it was only 20 minutes long – the train continued elsewhere.
We explored the pretty and historical station before returning to our campsite, surprised that we’d still walked 5 miles despite having an unintended pub crawl.
Dinner was was Mac n cheese. My fave.
Tomorrow we move on to Charmouth.
Until next time