Monkey loves trains so when we heard about the Swanage Steam Railway down in Dorset we thought it would be a nice thing to do on our holiday. Add to the fact that you can ride the train to an amazing ruined castle and we were sold! (We love a good castle.) It isn’t the cheapest day out to combine the railway and a trip to the castle but being National Trust members thankfully we only had to think about the cost of the train tickets.
The steam railway runs between Swanage and Norden in Dorset, with a couple of stops along the way, one of which being Corfe Castle. We chose to park in Swanage, and take the train from there to Corfe Castle and back. There is a park and ride at Corfe Castle so you could, in theory take the bus to Swanage and the train back to the castle or something, but there is also quite a nice big car park 5-10 minutes walk from the station in Swanage. (There is no car park right at the station in Swanage, just a co-op with a short stay car park)
We took a little picnic to eat on the train journey and Monkey was just so so happy to be on the train. The staff were great with him and so friendly, and he loved getting his ticket stamped. It’s not a very long journey, about 20 minutes, which is probably about right with little ones and the scenery on the way is very pretty.
Corfe Castle in the village of Corfe, is seriously impressive, perched on top of a hill so you can see it for miles around.
It’s not very suitable for buggies but the National Trust to have some baby carriers available for hire and you can leave your buggy at the gate. We also saw a few people who had taken their buggy up the hill and tried to get it round the site.
As LM is too much of a fidget pants to be happy in a carrier we just carried her about in our arms. As I mentioned, we love a good castle so we very much enjoyed having a good explore of the ruins.
The views from the top of the hill are amazing and I loved seeing the steam train chugging by.
Afterwards we stopped at a little tea room and decided to have some cream tea in the gardens…. unfortunately we got completely swarmed by wasps which wasn’t fun and sacrificed our jam, moving it onto another table hoping the wasps would surround it instead of us. It worked very well thankfully but I have never seen so many wasps all crammed into a small pot of jam!
We tried to get a nice family selfie with corfe castle in the background and, well, it’s not great but not too terrible either. Not easy getting all 4 of us looking n the right direction!
Then it was time to have another fun little journey on the train back to Swanage. A lovely little day trip.
Do your kids love trains, and castles?