It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to go away to celebrate my son’s birthday over the last few years. Each excursion has centred around a trip on a steam train, his passion. Of course with a birthday in December we get to kill two birds with one stone as it’s impossible to go on a steam train ride without it being a Santa Special. Last year we were in Kent and this year would be spent in Dorset and we’d also spend time enjoying the seaside in December.
Monkey’s birthday was on the Sunday but as I didn’t want his treat to be rushed with a long drive home, I’d booked tickets for the Saturday on Swanage Railway. We’d had a fairly awful drive down to Poole on Friday after school and our tickets were booked for lunchtime to give us some chill out time beforehand.
It was a forty minute drive across to Swanage and the railway had given us directions to the main car park in town. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time, so we parked up (free parking on that particular Saturday too!), worked out where the railway was, and then headed through the local Christmas Market down to the waters edge.
We were all looking forward to enjoying the seaside in December. We live about as far away from the coast as you can get in England, so getting on a beach is always a delight.
Wrapped up warm against the wind we enjoyed at walk along the beach at Swanage. I’d been as a child but really couldn’t remember it. Monkey loved the freedom and although it was nippy, it was a lovely morning, and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Bonus.
We walked along to the pier too, you do have to pay, but it was only a couple of quid and again, we had it pretty much to ourselves.
I could just imagine the whole area being full of people on a warm summers day. The views were just as enjoyable on a cold December morning.
In the late afternoon, after our steam train adventure which I’ll cover in a separate post, we gave my son the option of visiting Corfe Castle or exploring Lulworth Cove. He opted for the chance to search for fossils, so off we headed. We knew he’d only really have an hour or two before the sun had totally set, but we’d make the most of the available daylight. There’s a large pay and display car park just above the cove, so we parked up there and headed down to explore. It’s somewhere we’d never been before and if we go again, we’ll definitely do the coastal walk to Durdle Door from there. As it was, my son was on a mission and off he went, swapping a stick for a piece of seaweed as he spent time enjoying the seaside in December.
As in Swanage, the cove was practically deserted and we all enjoyed the luxury this gave us. Again, I can imagine Lulworth Cove teaming with people in the summer months.
Enjoying the seaside in December really was a breath of fresh air and a great way to end being a 7 year old.
The next morning we woke up to an 8 year old, torrential rain in Poole and a call telling us that Oxfordshire was under snow. It was time to head home and enjoy December in the snow instead! I do wish we lived closer to the sea to make these adventures more the norm, rather than a special treat. The seaside in winter time always makes me feel more alive and I’d love my son to experience that more. But for now, sadly, we will just have to make do with our memories from last month. Do you love visiting the seaside out of season too?