We are back from a recent break staying in Swanage, Dorset. This one was a fairly low key relaxed break however we did look around the area a bit. We have been to the area before so some parts we are quite familiar with (see here for an earlier blog). However the uppermost two images are taken somewhere we had not managed to get to before. This is the old village of Tyneham, taken over by the military during World War 2. It is still unoccupied and inside a military range so access is very restricted. In 1943 225 people were removed from Tyneham and the surrounding area so that the Ministry of Defence could use the land for the duration of the war. The land is still occupied by the MoD and there is bitterness remains from those who lost their homes. The village has a very strange feel to it. Part tourist attraction (although there are no gift shops/cafes etc), part memorial and partly a freeze frame of history. Interesting however I came away with mixed feelings.
The other antiquity is far more public! Corfe Castle is unmissable if you are heading to Swanage. Set in a gap between the hills it looks as though it could fall down even more at any moment. Construction started in the 11th century and it was destroyed in the 1600s during the Civil War. Once you are in among the walls you realise just how substantial they really are. Equally you realise what a great vantage point it occupies. We have visited it each time we have been in the area – “iconic” describes it well – a remarkable ruin.
Swanage makes a pleasant base for exploring the Purbeck area generally. It is a small town and compact with a good seafront and is a popular tourist resort. When very busy I can’t say it appeals to me very much. However when few people are around, particularly in the early morning or evening, the views are good and the light can be lovely.
Once again we have been out to Old Harry’s Rocks before. They are close to the start (or end) of the South West Coast Path. It is a lovely walk along the cliffs from either side and the limestone cliffs make for a remarkable view. The Pinnacles – pictured above – are on the Swanage side of the promontory.