Friday, 6 September 2019

Family fun on the Swanage Railway

I have been meaning to write this post up for a while so apologies if it is a bit out of season (just seen the weather outside) but I thought it would be good to share. 

Dorset has always been one of our favourite areas to visit because of the wide variety of days out available. You are never far from something fun to do with the family and when we stayed at the start of summer we were torn with where to go. One day we were split between going to Farmer Palmers and the Swanage Railway. The price for entry to the farm as a family and for the train ride were around about the same price but after realising we go to the farm a lot at home and have a few on our doorstep we settled on a trip to Swanage on the train!

I remember going on the same trip with my family when I was little and we rode the line when Ted was two so it was nice to go back with Callie now in tow and Ted had no memory of it so was all like new to him too. 

We were staying at Rockley Park so the trip to the train station was about 35-40 minutes along the coast. To drive from the car park at Norden to Swanage only takes 5 or 10 minutes so it always makes me chuckle that the train takes 40 minutes to make the same journey but there really is nothing like travelling on a steam train. 

The parking is £3.50 for the day and train costs £39.00 for a Family Ticket which can be used by 2 adults and 3 children or 1 adult and 4 children. We decided against adopting another child for the day but if you have 3 children it is quite a saving from the £54 for individual tickets. 

There are refreshments available at the station which is really quaint and old fashioned. The smaller children get a My First Train Journey ticket which is a lovely touch and we still have Ted's from his first visit. 

All of the staff and conductors are really friendly and come round to punch your tickets. Dogs are welcomed if well behaved and we made friends with one on our journey home. 

Swanage itself is a traditional seaside town, it is quintessentially British and there are lots of areas to explore. Our kids love the old fashioned toy shops, arcades and ice creams on the sea front. We found the "Old Gaol" and the kids giggled pretending to be "baddies" stuck in jail. We joked about leaving them there then decided we rather liked them and carried on with our holiday!

We treated ourselves to Harry Ramsden's for lunch which was delicious and although we would have preferred to support local businesses we have fond memories of HR chips on the night Joe proposed to me 7 years ago so had to be done. I had pie with chips and gravy and the hand made pie really was yummy. They do take away too but it was closed the day we went. I must admit it was nice not to have to share my chips with the seagulls on the beach for a change.

We had a brilliant day and certainly one to add to the memory bank. I am sure we will come back in the future too and are looking into another train journey on our next break in Norfolk this October

Have you ever been to Swanage? What did you think?

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