Sunday 3rd June 2012
Toilets: Corfe Castle Station; numerous pubs and cafes; model village (in their cafe, before paying to go in); castle; Swanage Station.
We took advantage of the extra-long bank holiday to get away to the seaside, taking a train from London Waterloo to Wareham, and then the number 40 bus to Corfe Castle. We thought it would be a good idea to get away from the Jubilee celebrations in London, but Corfe Castle itself turned out to be covered in bunting. It’s a picturesque village, though, overlooked by its castle.
The village itself is sometimes described as being a tourist trap. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, since it’s different to what I’m used to, and it’s nice to get away from everyday life. It’s a picturesque little village in the middle of the countryside with pretty little pubs, a ruined castle, a model village, tea rooms, a steam railway, and lovely independent shops (well, okay, including the Ginger Pop Shop which is full of Enid Blyton memorabilia, and also sells golliwogs; controversial to say the least, but let’s just forget that one for now). The main disappointment was our extremely bland meal at the Greyhound Inn, for which we had to wait ages. Okay, so it was a bank holiday, but the pub was in a prime position in the centre of the village, so it’s not like they even needed to be any good. It seemed like the best places to eat were the tea rooms, both at the castle and the model village. In the end, we didn’t have time to visit the castle because we’d waited so long at the pub.
What’s up with all the inappropriate Comic Sans everywhere these days? I think the model village can just about be forgiven, seeing as some of it is aimed at children.
The people who created it had a fun sense of humour, as they included a model-of-the-model. In addition, if you click on this photo and look closely near the top left, you can just about see a model-of-the-model-of-the-model.
The gardens also had a wildlife area, a fairy garden, and some giant games of draughts and Connect 4.
We’d booked a B&B in Swanage, and got there by way of the Swanage Railway. Corfe Castle Station had a tiny museum outside, which was free of charge. The platform was also a good place to take photos with the castle in the background.