Thursday, 6 November 2014

4 Go Mad in Dorset Part 1

The 4 in question being my wife and our 2 dogs... during last week’s half-term break we took advantage of our son being away in Iceland for a few days and had a long weekend in Dorset.

We stayed at West Lulworth at the Castle Inn... as an aside if you’re ever looking for a nice pub with good food and beer [and a huge collection of local ciders!!] this is a good spot to stay in.  It is, however, very much a dog friendly pub which is why we go there so if you’re not a fan of hounds, best not to go there!
Trigger and Lizzie decided our bed was much better than theirs...

The Castle Inn

On our first day we headed off to Tyneham Village which is only a few miles from the pub.  Tyneham is a small village which was evacuated with 28 days  notice in December 1943 as part of the preparations for the invasion of France.  Despite promises that they could return, the villagers never made it back and the site remains the property of the MoD to this day, and sits right in the middle of tank firing ranges!  There’s some info about the village here...

In the last few years the village has gradually opened up to visitors but remains largely untouched and undeveloped.  In each house are displays about the family that lived there...what they did, where they ended up etc.

In the farmyard is an unusual wall display of bits of shell casings that have been picked up over the years.  The village sits in a deep valley with the tank ranges on the hills to either side and the odd AFV full of shell holes....

WW2 shell cases


Casings from a Challenger 2
Smoke and HE rounds from a Scorpion or Saladin a/c

It’s a quiet, strange place and an unusual monument to the impact the war had on people’s lives.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area but it’s a bit tricky to find and obviously can only be accessed when the ranges aren’t in use.

In the afternoon we headed on to nearby Corfe Castle.  Having stopped off for a bite to eat in a nearby cafe, I headed in up to the Castle itself.

Corfe is another of our Kingmaker favourites [see my post from July about Beaumaris] but I’d never actually been despite several trips nearby in the past.

The castle was founded in Anglo-Saxon times [possibly on Roman foundations] and was in use as a Royal castle until 1572 when Elizabeth  sold it on to her dancing master.  During the Civil War it declared for the King and paid the price, being partially demolished by Parliamentarians after holding out during a number of sieges. 

The view from the ramparts

Evidence of the post ECW demolition

It’s a stunning castle situated high above the surrounding village and has some still massive surviving walls.  It’s easy to see how easily it would have dominated the surrounding area........

A great day which ended with a nice meal back at the pub and some lovely beer and cider!  I’ll do another post about the final day which involved a trip to Bovington Tank Museum.


  1. Sounds like a good day out was had by all.

    Is the post title a homage to the first ever episode of Comic Strip Presents? "You shouldn't let him do that George, its not hygienic." :)

    1. ...and lashings of ginger beer!

    2. So, should we expect a follow up post where the four of you sample Meso-American narcotics? ;)

  2. How can I send my kids to Iceland?

    1. Sadly it cost a lot of money and he was only gone for 5 days ☺

      He had a great trip though. ..climbing on glacier, visiting waterfalls and geysers etc. And we got a few child free days!