Our next trip away was a five night stay near Swanage. We were quite close to Corfe Castle in a rather pretty area called Harman’s Cross, right near the Swanage Railway Station, at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site.
Traffic dominated the journey down, particularly the last part of the journey, though really it hadn’t been that bad, I guess time flies when you’re having fun! After loading up and checking everything, lights, nose weight etc, we had set off just after rush hour. I no longer have that slight anticipation of towing that I’ve previously had, and even when you feel a little sway behind and check your mirrors to make sure the outfit isn’t starting to snake, it doesn’t fill me with dread, I just ease off a little to confirm all is well and then carry on. I think good loading, and not speeding is the key, but really I’ve sort of forgotten I’m towing now.
Another thing we discovered upon putting the annex tent up on the side of the awning, was that I’d been under the impression it was ‘handed’, that it was supposed to fit to one specific side but not go either side, due to the zip. The reason I thought this was the edge of the main awning tucks inwards, so I assumed the annex would follow suit, but checking it again and seeing how it zips up, we realised we’d put it up the two previous occasions we’d used it inside out! So this time flipped over and now correctly zipped the edge goes outwards, I’m guessing to do with the inner tent that we’ve never used. So with that confusion over, we’ll be putting it the correct way WHICHEVER side we like! Here is a time lapse video of the awning being put up.
The warden at the Harman’s Cross site told us which way to orientate for the sun (should we get some!) and it turned out brilliantly! We got ourselves a nice grass pitch in a corner and had plenty of room and privacy, and by the middle of the week we were finally in the sun!
There is quite a lot to do around this area, and we made the most of it, visiting the beaches of Swanage, and Weymouth, and seeing the really beautiful Jurassic coastline including Durdle Dor.
We took a boat trip across to Poole going by Old Harry Rocks and then past the sandy beaches of Studland and Brownsea Island , and seeing the expensive seafront properties of Sandbanks.
The steam railway we traveled to Swanage on is pretty awesome, it feels just like using a main line back in the day, and took you into the heart of the town. They even have early diesel loco’s, though none were running on our stay.
A day spent at the Tank museum was more impressive than I remembered on a previous visit, with Tank demonstrations outside (the only time it rained all holiday!) and a good array of history from the birth of the WW1 tank up to modern day.
Of course there is the castle, but for some reason we only ever drove past it and never visited!
We felt like old timers, knowing everything we needed to blend in as seasoned caravanners. We’ve forgotten the overwhelming information overload and learning to set up, and just got on with it and made the most of our break, even managing some sunbathing by the caravan while taking it easy one day. One thing we have decided is to try is cook more, having less meals out and the expense they run up. Not just having cooked breakfasts and toast most mornings but also our evening meals.
An upgrade we made this time was a cheap toaster, which came in useful for quick breakfasts when we didn’t want the fuss of cooking a full English!
All in all a great area to visit, we were fortunate with the weather and you could go back and explore so many other places nearby, it’s not the first time I’ve been to this area and I suspect it won’t be the last!