On a spur of the moment we had booked a three night stay at a hotel in Swanage using Booking.com. Travelling outside of the UK was still complicated by Covid restrictions, so we decided a break in Dorset was the answer. I used my “Photographing Dorset” book by Mark Bauer as a starting point for some of the places that we visited.
Day 1 – Friday January 21st 2022 – Going to Swanage via Corfe Castle
Rather than drive direct to Swanage we decided to have a leisurely drive down to Dorset. Despite quite a few visits to Dorset and even staying in a hotel in Corfe when I worked for Logica, I had never actually been to Corfe Castle itself!
Photographing the castle is in Mark’s book on Page 32. This visit I was going as a tourist and not planning to climb hills at dawn to capture images.
We parked in the large National Trust car park on the opposite side of the road to the castle. We then followed the footpath that wound its way around the base of the castle.
After the National Trust entrance, there is a large grassed open space with a gentle climb up to the remains of the main part of the castle.
I could see the hills where I had been taking photographs on my other visits to Corfe.
Below us we could see the railway. Sadly no trains were running due to track repairs.
The Greyhound in Corfe
Rather than walk back to the car park we went for the entrance to the village. On our left was the newly refurnished Greyhound pub. We were sat near the bar with a narrow aisle between our table and the bar. The downside was we had lots of (mask less) people squeezing by. For lunch we had paninis accompanied by thick chips – excellent!
Back to the car
The sky had cleared and we had great views of the castle as we walked back to the car park.
Day 1 – Friday January 21st 2022 – Swanage
The Rookery was a little way out of the town on a steep cul-de-sac that led up to the top of the cliffs. What a friendly greeting we had from Alan when we checked in. It turned out that we were the only guests and had a choice of rooms. We stayed in a cosy room that overlooked the rear of the hotel.
Great place to stay with a very warm welcome
Great location providing us with a gentle walk into the main part of Swanage. We really liked being to select exactly what we wanted for our breakfast rather than having ‘full English’ with no choices.
We had a relaxing weekend, everyone at The Rookery was so friendly and helpful. Our room was very comfortable and despite the cold weather outside we were really warm and cosy.
We enjoyed relaxing with a bottle of wine in the evening after eating at one of the many excellent pubs in the town.
Evening in Swanage
After sorting out our unpacking we walked down Ulwell Road and then onto Shore Road. The sea was on our left and it was rather chilly as we made our way towards the lights of the town. After passing the Mowlem Theatre we walked down the row of shops and pubs until we reached The White Horse Inn. This is where I had had fish and chips for lunch in an earlier visit. This visit we just had one drink before walking back along the High Street looking for somewhere warmer to have dinner.
The Ship Inn
We were very lucky to find a table in the Ship. This is clearly a very popular place to eat in Swanage even in the depth of Winter. We sat in the middle of the main dining room. Our server was very helpful and friendly. We were soon enjoying our drinks and deciding just what to choose from the menu. Linda asked the guy on the next table what his salad was and she ordered that! My steak was delicious too.
By the time we left the temperature had dropped even more. Though this was but not enough to dissuade the customers of the Fish Plaice on the corner of the High Street.
Once back at the Rookery we went into lounge to get warm. There we took advantage of the wine list and enjoyed a leisurely drink before going up to our room.