After a successful first day, we were lucky and the fabulous weather persisted. Perfect conditions for another countryside trip! I had planned a day of things I had been wanting to do for ages, but never really had the opportunity.
The first stop was Corfe Castle. I had gone past this place before, without a chance to visit the ruins though. Now was the time to rectify that.
After about an hour of driving from Southampton, we parked at the official National Trust Visitor Centre of Corfe Castle. We crossed the road and made the short walk of about 10-15 minutes along a little river and then up towards the entrance of the castle in the village of Corfe Castle.
The ruins are managed by the National Trust, and they are doing a good job preserving what us still there. Various signs give lots of historical background to Corfe Castle. As we entered, we walked across a spacious area of grass enclosed by the castle walls. From the walls, we had a nice view over the surrounding landscape. We even were lucky and saw the steam train of the Swanage Railwayy go past, adding to the idyllic atmosphere.
Once we had crossed the grass, we entered the ruins of buildings within the castle walls. Walls that still stood upright and some that had tumbled over made a little labyrinth of paths that we meandered through. I have to say, just walking between these high, thick walls, that were built centuries ago, was impressive.
After we had explored all the paths and nooks, we slowly meandered back to the entrance. Wanting to enjoy the beautiful weather a little longer, we decided to have tea at the tea rooms just outside the castle walls. I have the suspicion that the great view made the cake taste even better.
Finally, I was keen to get a glance at the whole castle from a little further away. A hill west of the castle that we had passed earlier seemed ideal for that, so I made my brother and father walk up that hill with me. What should I say, I wasn’t disappointed! The impressive ruins on the hill, with rolling hills and a steam train in the background were a phenomenal view.
Old Harry Rocks
After a great first half of the day, we decided to drive ten more minutes to the little villge of Studland. We parked the car and headed out for a walk to Old Harry Rocks. From there, we followed the footpath to the rocks. Before we even got to the exposed part, we branched off on a tiny trodden path and got the edge of a chalk cliff. The air was clear and we could see far along the coast and beaches that must have been Bornemouth.
From there on, we followed the path right to the famous formation of chalk cliffs. The rugged coast line, high above the sea, and the chalk stacks and stumps standing free just off the coast were breathtaking. We stood there and couldn’t get enough of these views. Lots of promontories protruded from the headland into the ocean. They were so narrow that you could barely walk on them. With the visibility so clear, we could see miles along the Jurassic Coast.
We followed the coastline for a while, looking all around continuously to not miss a nice view. Eventually, we branched off, headed over some meadows and past a farm back into Studland.
Back at the car, we then headed back home for another nice dinner: My family tried Haggis! And they actually liked it!