Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Visit to Corfe Castle (with added Vikings)

On Sunday Family W made a spur-of-the-moment trip to Corfe Castle. We had intended to stay at home and get some indoor jobs done since rain was forecast, but the day dawned brighter than anticipated and a chance reading about Corfe Castle in the Coast magazine that I was flicking through sent me to the National Trust website to find out more. As luck would have it, weekends in May were dedicated to the Vikings and Saxons and included some re-enactments and a chance for children to join in. It was too good an opportunity to miss, what with DC being such a fan of knights, castles, swords and all that jazz. And even more so since our National Trust annual membership had yet to be used this year (it runs from April) and it was beginning to feel rather expensive.

An hour's drive and we were there. We parked the car and tried to hurry up to the castle as one of the Viking demonstrations was scheduled for 11am (we parked the car at 10.30am.) But we figured without a small boy who is as obsessed with rivers and Pooh Sticks as he is with castles and Vikings. There was just no hurrying him as the route up to the castle runs alongside a river/stream and we had to stop every few yards to throw yet another stick/twig/blade of grass in and watch its progress (or lack thereof as it got stuck.) But it didn't really matter, since this was all part of the fun and when the child is happy, we're happy (mostly...) Since we weren't in time for the Viking show we decided to make the tea room our first stop; suitably refreshed we then headed for the castle.

As you can see, we came prepared. DC brought his very own sword and shield, ready to ward off any Vikings or other marauders.
That small dot on the top of the second grassy 'knoll' is DC. He headed up those embankments and then took great delight at running down them and falling over. Needless to say he was wet and muddy within just a few minutes of arriving at the castle. Boys, eh?
 It's a fair old climb up through the castle ruins, but there are so many nooks, crannies and arrow slit windows to wander round, over and through that you don't actually notice how far/high you've gone.
 Until you turn round and look back down at where you started. The town of Corfe is in the background, with the Viking 'encampment' just within the castle walls.
Despite the rain, we had a great time wandering round (I assume the rain also kept lots of people away since it wasn't very busy at all) and DC took great delight in running away from us and hiding behind the hulking great ruins; it really is a tip-top location for hide and seek.

 Every now and again we would hear the 'peep peep' of a steam train; you can catch the train from a nearby station and arrive into Corfe in vintage style. Hubby has declared that next time we visit, we will do just that.
 Obligatory stocks shot. Unfortunately we had no rotten vegetables to hand. DC was keen to throw an apple, but that would have been such a waste...

And then it was time to watch some Vikings and Saxons wielding a variety of weapons - axes, swords, spears.
Like father, like son.

And, finally, all of the children were invited to join in. Could he be more excited?!?
 They were taught how to line up against their opponents, keep time by banging their swords on their shields and then how to CHAAAAAAARGE.

Victory is ours!
What a fantastic day we had; I'm looking forward to going back again soon as there are plenty more events on throughout the summer.

And at least now with one NT trip under our belts, the price per visit has been halved to just £45 (or thereabouts...)


  1. What fun! I got to shoot a bow and arrow at a reenactment at Ludlow Castle in Yorkshire once.

    1. They didn't have any bow & arrow combos on offer, or I definitely would have been first in line to try them!

  2. That looks like every boys dream day out, especially when it's complete with a sword and shield!

    1. I know! He (and we) absolutely loved it.


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