Last week we descended on Corfe Castle in Dorset for 5 days in half term to celebrate slightly early my Father-in-law’s 70th birthday. We were so lucky that my in-laws decided to treat our family, plus Adam’s brothers and their families, to a stay in what I can honestly say was the most AMAZING converted barn holiday home going- I’d be almost tempted to leave London if I could live in the place we stayed in!
Having moved house on the Friday, going away was actually a welcome break from the chaos of our new place and it also meant we could have 3 rooms decorated in our absence (more on that in another post). It was also lovely to spend time with Adam’s family and just spend 5 days chilling out together, and Freddie and Sasha got to play with 3 of their cousins. I can confirm that 5 children aged between 2 and 5 is quite hectic! 🙂
What was also nice was not picking up my camera and thinking about snapping every moment, and just being in the moment sometimes. Of course though, I still managed to take some photos (c’mon, what do you expect?!), so thought I’d put up a few snaps of our trip away…
^^The lounge and dining room of our holiday home! It was HUGE but no surprise when the place had 6 bedrooms and there were 13 of us staying there. The converted barn was called Woodyhyde Courtyard and was just outside the main village of Corfe Castle, and only 10 minutes in the car from Swanage.
^^Another view of the main accomodation area (Excuse Adam in his swimming trunks!), and it had a whopping kitchen too, I was in heaven! The barn also had a large heated indoor pool, sauna and changing facilities attached, as well as a games room with table tennis (where I gave Adam a thrashing each night, although I’m sure he would dispute this), pool and table football. The children swam every day, sometimes twice a day, and that definitely helped them to sleep well as night despite much excitement at being with their cousins!
^^F & S waiting to catch the steam train to Swanage, and Freddie was of course in his element!
^^Enjoying the amusements in Swanage (where we cleaned up on the 2p machines and cuddly toy grabbers, pure class us Freemans 😉 ). Swanage is a beautiful little town and in the summer the beach is lovely, with some cracking fish and chip places and ice cream parlours. In a past life pre-children I came to Swanage for a wedding and enjoyed browsing quirky shops along the winding streets, or visiting a cosy pub, but when you have children rides and amusements appear to be the way forward! I don’t mind though
much as it’s lovely to see the children so happy- look at Freddie’s face riding that train!
^^Whatever time of year it is, you have to have an ice cream by the seaside! I discovered a new favourite that you HAVE to try- jaffa cake ice cream!
^^Our two playing on the beach and looking for stones and shells.
^^Corfe Castle- truly stunning, and I’m always amazed that it’s still standing even though it’s about 1000 years old. I’m sure it can’t be good having everyone climb on it and SOMETHING must fall down soon, but I trust in the National Trust that it’s okay! When you’re heading towards Corfe in the car, and you suddenly catch site of the castle, it really is a sight to behold.
^^This little lady always loves a shoulder carry!
^^Pumpkins at the castle- the run up to Halloween is a great time to visit, everywhere is decked out and we love it.
^^I found it amazing that what we were standing on was SO old, and that someone had laid that with their bare hands all those years ago. Don’t know why, but it freaks me out if I think about it too much!
^^WHAT a view from the top of the castle, just breathtaking.
^^This bit must surely be on the verge of toppling over… ever the optimist, ever the optimist 🙂
^^Our gorgeous boy, who was a delight all holiday. We’ve been so busy with the move that i’d really missed spending quality time with him (and S), and to do so was lovely. PS Don’t you just love this sweatshirt?! H&M!
^^Our cheeky monkey, who just wanted to climb everything going (no surprise there!)
^^If you see a bike as pretty as this, you need to take a IG-friendly picture, right? Or not… I think I need a new IG husband, or my current one needs some photography lessons! He’ll get there one day… 😉
^^The start of a post-castle cream tea at the Corfe Castle village tea rooms- THE best place for a cream tea and you can sit outside overlooking the castle where the views are just spectacular. I’m sorry but if you head down to the West Country you have to have a cream tea- it’s practically the law.
^^On the Thursday we spent the afternoon at Putlake Adventure Farm- a hidden gem if you’re in the area and have young children. Ours got to try bottle feeding goats, grooming ponies and holding guinea pigs. The above picture shows our two just before the goats were let out of their pen to go for the milk, and when they were, I’ve never seen a child move as fast as Sasha to get out of the way- she practically shinned up Adam’s leg!
^^As you can see, Freddie enjoyed himself rather more than Sasha did!
^^A spot of pony grooming gave me happy memories of riding and pony club when I was a kid, and I mentioned to Adam how wonderful it might be to loan a pony for the children to look after- an idea that was swiftly vetoed by my husband! One day, one day…
^^LOVE these photos of my bouncing twosome! We were lucky that even though it was half term and decent weather that it was really quiet and we basically had the run of the place- Putlake is a hidden gem indeed.
All in all we had a brilliant time and it’s a part of the world that our entire family loves, There’s so much to do if you’re a young family visiting Dorset, that we barely even got started. The barn we stayed in was just incredible, and we’re going to investigate possibly hiring it again for next New Year’s Eve- it really would be the perfect place to party with kids! A WHOPPING thank you to my in-laws for giving us such a special trip and fantastic memories.
Have you been to Dorset and if so, where have you stayed? Do you have any other family-friendly recommendations for us? I’d love to hear your suggestions!Best place to buy creon
We’ve never been to Dorset – always venturing to Cornwall instead. That holiday home looks beautiful though and it sounds like the break was just what you needed x
Ooh Donna, Dorset is just lovely- so much to do if you have young children too. Cornwall is up there for us on the list- we haven’t been yet as a family and I really want to go! x
We must have been there at exactly the same time! We house/cat/chicken-sat in Dorchester for a friend while they were away on holiday, so I can’t really comment on places to stay. We visited Corfe Castle as well – I couldn’t get my head round how old it was either! My four LOVED rolling down the giant hill at the front of it. We went to Durdle Door, Man O’War Beach and Lulworth Cove one afternoon, which are definitely worth a visit, and Brewer’s Square in Dorchester itself was a fab little complex of cafes, restaurants, a cinema and lovely shops. We were only there for three days so didn’t really get to explore any further than that, but we’ll definitely be back for sure! I’ll be writing a couple of blog posts on it – feel free to check them out once they’re published! 🙂
Oh wow we certainly were there at the same time, and what a great place to house sit! I wonder if it was one of yours I saw rolling down the hill at Corfe Castle?! Will hop over to your blog soon and try and find your posts! x