Relaxing, Fun UK Weekend Away’s…… Swanage

November 8, 2011 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

OK it was a bit of a trek for us from Essex however Swanage is well worth a long weekend break away.

A hidden gem this Southern seaside town boasts an impressive castle, steam railway, cafés and restaurants, many places to stay and is far from being too commercialised.

A place where many revisit after fond childhood memories and some have invested into a second home too – apparently including funny man Jonathon Ross.

Swanage marks the start of the world famous Jurassic Coast.

We received a bubbly and warm welcome from owner of ‘A Great Escape’ the immaculate 4 star guesthouse just a 10 minute stroll from the town, beach and steam railway.

Sue, a former IT trainer renovated and designed the now number 1 B & B in Swanage on Trip advisor.

The rooms are a great size and with a small silent fridge you can keep soya milk or wine cool during your stay.

Although Sue didn’t have soya milk there is a large Co Op just 5 minutes away and for ease we picked up soya milk, dairy free margarine and bread.

Breakfast includes Linda McCartney sausages and the usual vegan suspect’s tomatoes, hash browns, mushrooms and beans.

There are a lot of vegetarian options too including waffles and yoghurts.

We headed to Tawny’s Winebar for an early meal. A relaxed evening with time to talk in-between courses.

They always have 2 vegetarian options as main courses and can adapt for vegans. We enjoyed the fresh homemade soup – Green bean, spinach and coconut. They adapted a plate of tapas for us to share – olives, garlic bread, marinated peppers, fresh cherry tomatoes and Basil, and a tasty mix of grilled tofu.

The main course was rather hearty to say the least – and I even took some home for the next day as I cant bear wasting food. A yummy aubergine dish with veggies and tofu.

Sides were homemade chunky chips and roasted root vegetables.

Super to see dairy free ice-cream for desert and we enjoyed this with fresh berries.

Local apple juice and as many ingredients as possible are sourced locally.

A popular restaurant and we  saw people who didn’t book being turned away.

This morning we felt like seeing some history and headed over to The Tank Museum. With replicas of the trenches from the First World War  the museum brings history alive – and we all felt really moved.

(Food vegan some soft drinks, crisps and for veggies a jacket potato.)

Later we took the steam train from Swanage to Corfe Castle. A lovely old fashioned station with a small cafe set up in an old train carriage. They had some vegan friendly sorbets and were helpful food wise. Many vegetarian friendly options although not vegan friendly too.

The castle is very impressive. Set high upon a huge natural hill the castle provides amazing views of the surrounding areas. A super walk with our son Callum who loved climbing through little nooks and crannies!

Corfe Castle dominates the village and is a must see. The village also has a lovely model village, an animal sanctuary, the railway station, cute one off shops and the church.

We had an early dinner at the model village Courtyard Café – It was the vegan standby of jacket potatoes and beans. Their tomato soup is freshly made and it was great to see that they provided soya milk and dairy free butter. Sadly we couldn’t enjoy the freshly made scones as they contained egg. Gluten free seems to be popular here and many gluten free options are available.

The staff were extremely helpful and even made a phone call to check the ingredients of the scones.

It was too early to go back to the guest house by the time we got back to Swanage and we didn’t need another meal. We drove around and couldn’t see a comfy pub to just put our feet up for a while so we decided to run about on the night time beach (Callums favourite (part of the trip!).

Although we rarely eat from chip shops we checked out a few places and The Parade confirmed that there chips are cooked separately and they will even cook a completely fresh batch if you like them too. The manager told us that he had a couple of vegans asking earlier in the day! Horah! So we munched on naughty chips while watching the waves crash in. Lovely.

After breakfast we said our goodbyes to the lovely Sue and headed over to Kimmeridge Bay to check out the fossils. Parking isn’t great in Swanage sadly (where is!?) and its £5 to park your car here too. Now this is an all day charge however as we were covering several places in a day it did add up!

The beach was rather slippery so we left and enjoyed the stunning scenery and found the stunning “Blue Pool”.  Surrounded by 25 acres of woodland the Blue Pool actually diffracts light in different ways and sometimes the pool is turquoise and green.  With a shop, teashop and even a small museum showing you some of the history of the attraction it is easily a great day out.

We met the lovely owner Miss Barnard who grew up here and we wish we could have chatted for much longer as we know that she would have some amazing stories!

Swanage is beautiful and well worth a visit – we look forward to returning.

Click here to see our video clip of Swanage too.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Janey Lee Grace, No 1 best-selling Natural Health Author and Natural Living Guru.. Chewton Glen 5 Red Star – Green and Vegan Credentials Too!

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