A while back whilst traveling on the Swanage Steam railway we passed a camp site and thought that would be one of the coolest places to stay and made a mental note of trying to find it at some point.
Having realised last week that the rally I had booked to attend months ago was quite close to Corfe Castle which is one of the stops on the railway I went onto google maps to see if I could find this site. Yeah there it was Woodyhyde Campsite. I was straight on the phone to book it. Answer phone. On to the website, filled out the online booking form and hit submit. Two days later I get a reply to say my booking was excepted but also warned me that the entrance to the site was under a low and narrow bridge. I checked my height and width against their “approximate” sizes and we should just fit through. Little did I realise “just” meant within a few millimetres.
The sat-nav took me to the nice, wide, very clearly marked entrance to the track that goes to the site. A few moments after avoiding a dog waker and a minibus speeding towards us we rounded a corner and there it was, the bridge, the very very narrow bridge and not all that high. I approach it nice and slowly ensuring I am suitable lined up and Ann, sitting next to me is gradually getting louder and louder in her protests that “we are never going to fit” and “I hope you know what your doing”.
“STOP your going to hit the wing mirrors”. She was right, I did, on her side. At this point I realised I was not as dead centre as I thought I was. Backed up a little to have another go. Got it right this time but part way in CRUNCH I scrape my wing mirror, tiny adjustment left and CRUNCH I scape the other side wing mirror.
Its at this point I realise that a few inches further and the bridge narrows even more. Now here we hit a snag. Having tried a few times in the past to fold the drivers side wing mirror in I have never got it to budge, the passenger side no problem. So I instruct Ann to pull her wing mirror in and I move over to the left by an inch or two.
“STOP”….. Now what. I am now about to hit the retractable awning thingy and rip it off. Ah s*#! I have less than one tenth of a millimetre to spare on my side and its not finished narrowing. Dammit here goes. I reach out and grab the mirror and pull. Unbelievably our lovely motor home decides I have done enough damage and I am clearly not going to give up so allows me to pull the mirror in with the greatest of ease.
Now not being able to see down my side I ease forward, holding my breath and waiting for the sounds of complete devastation and disaster. OMG were through, We’ve made it. At this point I suddenly remembered no one checked if we had enough height. Oh well must have done. However we do now sport scratches on both wing mirrors, a bit like battle scars, and should deter anyone from thinking they can take us on.
We turned into the site entrance where a large sign said to pitch up and pay at the shop when it opens. So we located a flatish hard standing close to the railway line (thats why were here, well I am anyway).
We got set up and popped back into the shop when it opened at 5pm for a couple of hours. The guy running the place appears to be a bit of a misery but when you get to know him a bit he’s alright and quite friendly in his own way. The shop is very well stocked with everything you could need for camping as well as a good selection of food and most importantly beer, wine and local cider. The cost was a very pleasing £8 per night for all of us without EHU.
The site has two toilet/shower blocks right next to each other the old ones (didn’t try them) and the new ones which were clean and clearly new. The shower cubicles lacked somewhere to sit down (back to the onesie dance) and no curtain there was a kind of wall stuck out with hooks behind to hang your stuff which worked okay. The shower is operated by a token which costs 50p for 4 minutes.
There is no WiFi and mobile signals are not great. Three as a goodish 3G signal but EE and O2 are GPRS only.
The nearest village, according to google maps, is a 20 minute walk away but since I was only here for a day and a bit I didn’t bother and anyway I wanted to sit and watch the trains go by even with carriages full children and old people grinning and waving at me like they all know me or something. It was hard not to wave back, so I did, and hope it made their trip on a steam railway that little bit more special. I can be quite nice sometimes.