If Disneyland had a Yesterdayland, then it would be the domain of the Swanage Railway. Reading the brochure, I learned that the first train ran on the Swanage Railway in 1885. The line was closed and the track was lifted in 1972, but the Swanage Railway Trust and volunteers rebuilt the line, section by section. Today, steam trains operate over the nearly six miles of track through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between the Jurassic Coast’s seaside town of Swanage and the Dorset countryside’s Corfe Castle and Norden.
During our visit, we parked in the car park at the Norden station (Sat Nav (nearest location): BH20 5DW). Instead of catching the train at Norden, we chose to walk the short distance to Corfe in order to see the train, the countryside, and the castle from various angles of approach. The above photo was taken from beside a bridge just south of Norden station. The town of Corfe is just south of the hill on which Corfe Castle sits.
I love Corfe Castle station’s details. The station and the pedestrian bridge, in particular, remind me of the train station in Goathland (notable for being featured as “Hogsmeade Station” in the early Harry Potter movies).
Although tickets can be purchased at any of the three stations, we thought it easier to buy tickets for both legs of the trip at once so we purchased a return ticket to Swanage and boarded the train. We relaxed in a spacious compartment all to ourselves, reading the brochure while we waited. (Please ignore the feet on the seat. Sometimes tired feet are obstinate).
After absorbing the countryside and all it had to offer, we arrived at Swanage station. Had we stayed at the station, we could have browsed the Railway Shop, eaten at the Bird’s Nest buffet, or taken a bite to eat over to the picnic area. Instead, we headed for the beach, which is just a short walk from the station.