During our wonderful Easter holiday in Dorset, we did occasionally leave the coastline. We’d spotted the dramatic looking Corfe Castle on the drive to Swanage and were determined to visit, and were delighted to find that the heritage steam railway ran directly there so we could leave the car at the cottage.
The children were so excited to board a real steam train and loved the whistling and puffing noises as we chuffed out of Swanage. The journey was short, but scenic – just 20 minutes to get to Corfe Castle (an ideal length of time for impatient children!).
The castle ruins towered over the station, so it was easy to see where to head to begin our visit.
We were thrilled to find an Easter Quest for the children to complete during our visit, and I was impressed that it involved them really learning about the history of the castle and the lives of the people who experienced it through history. There was even better news when we found performances, re-enactments and hands-on activities going on inside the castle walls. We didn’t know where to start!
We’d sadly missed the open archery sessions, but found the court jester giving out juggling lessons – so we all had a go (and didn’t get very far with it). I love the look of confusion on Katharine’s face here!
As the girls watched on, I snapped a photo that never fails to make me laugh. Emilia looks so gorgeous – but what’s up with Sophie?!
This is better. They are becoming such firm friends – it’s a real pleasure to watch!
After exhausting our circus skills, we climbed up to the main ruins, looking back on the colourful tents of the demonstrators and performers and the beautiful countryside beyond.
We whiled away more than an hour in the ruins, searching out clues and clambering over the stone. We had so much fun exploring.
Here’s Alex, dong the dab again in a rather dramatic manner quite fitting of the setting!
Only our rumbling tummies persuaded us to move on from the castle, but we didn’t have to go far for a delicious meal. Matt had read rave reviews of the Corfe Castle Model Village (!) – and in particular that they had fine cakes! We didn’t take much persuading, so headed there for lunch. The food was, indeed, delicious and the attraction a real highlight.
Another Easter hunt got the children running around the garden looking for rubber ducks amidst the flowers and trees. Along the way, we enjoyed the glorious gardens. Here’s Emilia in the special fairy garden which had fairies and gnombes hidden amongst the planting.
We enjoyed a game of croquet (no idea what the rules are, but we had a lot of fun having a go!)
And the girls enjoyed a quoits match together – I think they may have cheated a little…
We finished off our afternoon with a massive slab of cake and some ice cream, before catching the train back to Swanage for a mini golf tournament together.