Thursday, July 10, 2014

CORFE CASTLE AND OLD HARRY ROCKS

Tuesday May 13th 2014

I'm pleased to say that Ammonite turned out to be a much better choice of B&B, which was a good thing because we were there for two nights. A large and comfortable bed and a new and spacious bathroom. We joined two other couples for breakfast before setting out on foot for the castle.


We passed rows of thatched cottages until we arrived at the center of the village. It's easy to see why they call the Greyhound pub the most photographed pub in England.


There is also a great view of the castle from the local cemetery.


We began the steady climb up to the ruined castle. Built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, Corfe has seen many changes and residents over the years. It was built overlooking and to defend a break in the Purbeck hills and was one of the first castles to be built in stone. If you read my previous posting on Kingston Lacy you will know that the Bankes family lived here from 1635 until it fell to Cromwell's men in 1646. When the monarchy was restored the lands were given back to the Bankes family but the castle had been so badly destroyed by Cromwell that they decided to build their new house on the estate at Kingston Lacy.



The castle came into the hands of the National Trust in 1981 along with the estate at Kingston Lacy.



Returning to our car we drove towards Studland Bay and then a hike towards Harry's Rocks.


You may remember from my last two visits to England, which you can find on the right hand side of my blog, that we are members of the Royal Oak Foundation. As an American charity of the National Trust it gives us free access to all National trust properties. Anyone can walk to the Old Harry Rocks but if you want to park in their car park for no cost then you must have the National Trust sticker on your car.

There are warnings along the trail of steep drop-offs, crumbling cliffs and of keeping dogs on leash after two dogs went over the edge. There are no railings so you are responsible for your children, your pets and your own safety.




Old Harry Rocks
The water is an amazing turquoise color due to the continuous erosion of the chalk into the water.


The whole of this coastline is called the Jurassic Coast and has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as a place of valuable cultural and scenic importance to be protected for the benefit of humanity.


The coastline showcases 185,000,000 years of earth's history.


Lulworth Cove


Lulworth Crumple


From Lulworth Cove we decided to walk to Durdle Door. First we had to do a steady climb following the coast path. You know how it is when you think you can see the top but when you get there there is always another top.


I stopped here and there to take photos of plant life. A camera is a good excuse for taking a breathing break and you do have to admire plants that can grow in solid chalk.



Then we discovered that much of the cliff had fallen away over the winter and a new pathway had been made, which involved a considerable detour before the final down hill section. If you want to see Durdle door it is necessary to go all the way because otherwise the arch is hidden by the cliff face.



At this point we noticed the sky blackening and we made a hurried return back to our car at Lulworth and to Corfe Castle for the night.


One of the reasons I had booked two nights in the same was that I wanted to go to Hardy's cottage and it was not open until Wednesday. We have a busy day planned again tomorrow. I hope you will join us.

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful, both the manmade and natural. You know I love rocky things! :)

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  2. Fantastic photos and incredibly beautiful scenery! It looks like quite the hike too.

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  3. Great pictures, never being to England. I hope one day I get the chance, is so pretty.

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  4. I love that coastline. It was great to see your photos. Glad you're having a good time.

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  5. Unbelievable beauty! Thank you for the great pictures and commentary!

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  6. Fabulous tour, Jenny. Sounds like the castle was abandoned since the Cromwell period. I hadn't thought about the Royal Oak foundation in many years. We joined it when visiting in the early '90s and it was a great deal with lots of perks.

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