Monday, 24 November 2014

Swanage Breezer Railtour Part 2.

So, let's recap.

  • Myself and BGC are on an excursion train from Basingstoke to Swanage.
  • We've had some good ale on the train down.
  • We've arrived at the Swanage terminus of the Swanage Railway and we're off into town.

So here we are, old Swanage town. Against all the odds and weather forecasts we're down the seaside and it's a beautiful sunny day!
In Part 1, I alluded to our disappointment that the town band wasn't on hand to welcome us with some sort of grand civic reception. This disappointment was short lived as we rounded the corner to bump into the town cryer! He was chatting at the time, but I imagine he was just taking a break from announcing our arrival to townsfolk.  

Before we could do anything, we had to get some sea air in our lungs. So like the Skegness adverts, we skipped down to the sea front and were met with a superb view in the autumn sun.

Our first pub was only a short skip away so we headed straight over to the Ship Inn. Pints of Ringwood and Palmers beers were ordered up and we were away. We even sat outside! BGC donned his string vest and handkerchief and we were on holiday.

Thinking we should take in some history as we were there, we crossed the road over to the museum. A good local museum for me me features little set ups of shops, preferably with mannequins in period dress. Swanage museum didn't disappoint. There was even some old quay side rails outside, a relic from limestone days.

Not content with doing one non-pub thing, we set out for the pier. We purchased two 'strolling' tickets, linked arms and promenaded to end of the pier. Naturally I was in a top hat pointing out fascinating features of the coastline to a bonnet clad BGC who fawned over my every word. There's a nice little museum on the pier, featuring model ships with local relevance and some good dioramas, another museum must. 

Thirsty after all our strolling, and with a crab fridge purchased we went for another ale, this time at the White Horse Inn. Ringwood Old Thumper was the beer of choice and BGC managed another Cask Marque scan.  

Next stop, and maintaining the colour theme, was the White Swan. A lively, friendly pub on a Saturday afternoon. BGC was especially impressed with the socket for charging his phone. Pints of  local Piddle Brewery Premium Ale were in good nick and gave us the energy for the long 100 metre walk up the high street to the Red Lion.

The Red Lion wasn't part of the initial plan, but I'm glad we went in. It wouldn't of been a trip to Dorset without a cider, and the Red Lion was the place to be for this. A blackboard at the bar presented a daunting array of headache juice. I decided on a Gwynt y Ddraig Happy Daze. My geography and linguistics aren't up to much, but I'm guessing it was from Wales. Regardless, it was very nice and BGC even spotted the fireplace to be made of a length of bullhead rail in a couple of chairs. As we left we even spotted a local (for us) favourite from West Berkshire Brewery. Good to see Good Old Boy is getting about. 

The next part of the trip was a walk up a hill to a closed pub, so not much to tell there. We did happen across some fine old buildings, including the town hall and even the tiny old prison. An engraved stone proclaimed it was "Erected For the Prevention of Vice & Immorality". Hmm, moving on then.

We thought it was probably time to head to the station, to take in a bit of the atmosphere if nothing else. On the way we stopped on a bridge which gave a good view of the station throat and the shed and loco servicing area.

As we hadn't eaten since Greggs, we thought it prudent to visit the station buffet. Situated in an old carriage, the buffet had a selection of filled rolls and some grand homemade cakes. BGC got a couple of bottles of Corfe Castle Brewery Raven in and we chowed down.

As we were eating, the driver experience freight train steamed into the station. The train drew a great crowd of young and old which is always nice to see. After a quick look in the gift shop we headed back for our train which was sat in the bay platform.

Still chasing that stations Untappd badge, we cracked open a bottle of Box Steam Brewery Chuffin' Ale at Bournemouth station. 

And that was that. A great excursion down to the sea on the train with some nice beer, sunshine, and
a pal.


PS. BGC was one number away from the top prize in the raffle.

Find out more:
Pubs in Swanage
Photos on Flickr