It's a 12 mile return trip on a beautiful historic steam hauled train that runs between Swanage, Herston, Harmans Cross, Corfe Castle & Norden. The weather wasn't particularly kind to us as it was cold and drizzling for most of the journey, but luckily the sun almost made it through while we were at Corfe Castle for some beautiful photographs.
We were welcomed in the dining car at Swanage station for a brief overview of the railway and the day ahead with coffee & very nice scones, then at 11.30am we boarded the train.
We rode the train through Herston & Harmans Cross going through small tunnels and under bridges with countryside passing us by, steam billowing and the whistle tooting until we arrived at Corfe Castle station.
Initially when you get off the train, the view is obscured by the picturesque station which has been lovingly restored to how it was back in 1885 when it was opened, so at that point I was still naively unaware.
Some of us were then guided round the signal box on the other side of the track but as space was quite limited we decided to just make the most of taking photographs. We walked up the steps of the footbridge to cross over the line, taking photo's of each other, when suddenly once we reached the middle of the bridge I turned & was blown away with the sight.
|Time travel ?|
|my favourite shot of the day|
Our journey then continued down to the end of the line: Norden Station, where we decided to have some lunch in the buffet car there, but if you have more time, there is another museum here; the award winning Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum which again has FREE admission.
The return journey was just direct back to Swange, passing by all the same places through the pretty Isle of Purbeck countryside. At Swanage station there is a souvenir shop with gifts suitable for all ages. The station is ideally located in the heart of the town for easy access to shops and the beautiful blue flag beach. Swanage is also known as the "Gateway to the Jurassic Coast" with lots more stunning places of outstanding natural beauty to explore.
All in all it was a lovely day out for all ages as we travelled as a mixed age group, ranging from 18 months to 50+, it has the flexibility to be a whole day out or just a couple of hours and it doesn't really matter what the weather does while you are on the train. For a family of 4 it's £32.00 which really isn't bad value for money and you are contributing towards keeping this non profit heritage railway attraction alive.
Would I go again ? - Yes, especially if I was staying in Swanage as it really is just a short walk and then you are on the train. From Lyndhurst it's at least a 1 hour drive so you would want to make a full day out of it.
Would I recommend it ? - Yes, just for the stunning view of Corfe Castle from the footbridge and platform.