We booked a last minute trip down to Dorset last weekend to make more use of alll the camping equipment we bought. That and the lack of hotel availability. We stayed at the Woodyhyde campsite in Wareham, close to both Swanage and the impressive Corfe Castle.
The campsite’s focal point is the heritage steam railway line that runs through the site. Swanage railway is the one of the most popular heritage lines in the country and attracts thousands of visitors each year. There is a station on the doorstep of Woodyhyde, which is closed currently due to Covid, but the nearest station is closeby in Norden.
Tent pitches aren’t regimented if you choose not to have an electrical hook up which is nice, and even though they were fully booked it didn’t feel crowded at all. Fires raised off the ground are allowed, perfect for the very necessary marshmallow toasting.
The following day and just a 20 minute walk to Corfe Castle saw us use our National Trust membership for the first time. 2020 appears to have aged us by at least 20 years and I’m not even sorry. NT and bird feeders are the one.
Set upon the hilltop the castle has dominated the Purbeck skyline for ten centuries. The ruins are good to explore and the views of the countryside and railway are spectacular. The village itself is beautiful with an excellent bakery to fuel the walk to the next stop.
The highly recommended Square and compass pub in Worth Matravas, Swanage took us around an hour to walk to from Corfe Castle and was worth it in the end. A local treasure and something of a Dorset institution, they serve local and craft ales as well as a pie and a pasty. And that’s it. Just a pie, which is always vegetarian and a pasty. Served on a paper plate, after a long walk and overlooking the sea we spent the whole afternoon there.
Sunday saw us get the steam railway from Corfe to Swanage and after years moaning about doing this as a child I was almost reluctant to admit I chose to go on it. Just a 20 minute journey through the countryside and towards the sea on the lovely restored train was a really nice way to start the day.
After a walk down the coast and a cracking roast and quiche at The Salt Pig (don’t judge me I was full from the fish and chips the night before) we made our way back on train (£25pp).
If one thing this year has taught us it’s to appreciate the smaller things, the beauty of this country, simple pleasures and making the most of time at the weekend. I’m confident we won’t always choose to head to the airport in the future when we’re itching to go on holiday. Until next time Dorset.