Swanage Steam Railway

The Swanage Railway offers a steam and diesel timetable train service throughout weekends and school holidays.  They also have several family events, evening dining and Sunday lunches, and during the run up to Christmas Santa Special trains.  The railway is located in Dorset and you can enjoy six miles of track passing the ruins of Corfe Castle, and travelling down to the beach at Swanage.

We decided to meet some friends at Corfe Castle and got the train at the beginning of the route from Swanage.  We parked in the larger long stay car park which is brown sign posted and next to a set of public toilets and children’s play park.  The railway station is about 3/4 minutes walk from here, walk alongside the cemetery and then when you get to the top of the hill take a left and then around to the main station area.  There was parking right next to the station so if you need nearer access this might be something to consider.  The main station is directly in front of the Co-op so if you need to grab some picnic supplies pop in here.

You can buy the tickets on the day and they do offer free carer passes and they do not expect ID.  Also, all dogs are allowed to travel with you and if you have a wheelchair or buggy they have a separate carriage section where these can go during the journey.  The staff are all approachable and friendly so do ask if you need any extra help or assistance.  There are toilets and a café at the main station at Swanage, but the journey times are not that long between stations if you need to get off.

The train journey itself is great and our son had such an amazing time watching the world go by and generally had a beaming smile on his face throughout the experience.  They do have several carriages but I can imagine this is very popular in the summer months so it might be worth getting there early to grab your tickets to avoid disappointment.

What was great both ends was the very limited walking to the next point of interest.  Once you get off the train at Corfe its about 2/3 minutes walk to the castle and main parts of the village.  Also, in Swanage its about the same amount of time to get to the beach area where you can have a dip in the sea, grab some fish & chips, or just stuff you face full of cake/ice creams.  We did all the above and then from the beach back to the car it was only about a 10 minute walk, so a perfect location to park for us.  We had such a lovely morning and I couldn’t fault the kindness and help of the staff at the railway, also most are volunteers which is so nice to see.