Holidays were a bit weird this year. Instead of going away for a long time we went away for four days, then came back home for a week, then went away for another four days. The first time we went away, Chrystal did not come with us as she was on her two-week annual camp with the army cadets. While we were in Dorset we decided to return and give her a chance to see it all.
The reason for the four-day durations was that we had to be back home for Thursday so Charlie could do his paper round, but that suited me: I’m not sure I could take too many days living in a tent. Jayne loves camping, but I still have to be persuaded.
At least it gave me some different things to photograph than the sights of Crawley and London, including some spectacular scenery.
This was our home on both trips – Woodyhyde camp site – although we stayed in a different field the second time.
I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but I suppose it was OK. The shower and toilet block was functional, there was always plenty of hot water and the showers were free.
I am told that some places have token- or coin-operated showers. Its not that I mind paying, but I just wouldn’t fancy the hassle of making sure I had correct change all the time. I needed all my change for bloody pay & display car parks!
There was a shop selling all the basics a lot cheaper than I would have expected such a place to be. The opening hours were both regular and erratic in that it opened every morning and every late afternoon but not always at the same time, nor for the same duration.
There was a notice up on the outside of the shop with a phone number to call in the event of an emergency. I imagine that was for if there was a fire, or if the water had stopped or something.
On the first trip Charlie went up to the shop one morning at 8 o’clock and it was not yet open. There was a woman outside on her mobile phone and Charlie said that her side of the conversation went something like this:
“Hello. Its 8 o’clock and the shop isn’t open yet… well it is an emergency – I’m out of milk!”
It made us laugh anyway.
The site is only for tents, with no caravans allowed. That is one reason we chose the site. As far as I’m concerned its bad enough camping without having someone next door sitting warmly and comfortably in a caravan while you are trying to light a gas stove outdoors in a force 6 gale. Given that access to the site is by a tiny farm track which leads under the steam railway at a very narrow bridge its probably just as well that caravans are not allowed.
The site is about a mile outside Corfe Castle village on the road to Swanage. There are a few footpaths and bridleways going past the site leading in various directions. One of them goes into a field right opposite the turn-off for the site and as soon as you get into the field there is this brilliant view of the castle ruins.
I don’t know how many times we passed the castle or saw it from a distance, but I still find it impressive every time I see it. Even in ruins it is imposing so I can only imagine what it must have looked like before it was blown up.