The glorious area of Corfe Castle in Dorset is like a Famous Five book come to life. The historic ruins of the castle are surrounded by glorious natural countryside, a steam railway and a handful of places to stop for a cream tea. To crown it all, the Greyhound Inn sits beneath the ruined castle, making it perhaps the most atmospheric place to sip your pint in Dorset. Inspired?
Read on for our top ten ways to have lashings of wedding fun at the Greyhound Inn.
1. Quite simply, the photographs. These will be ones to impress, ones to frame, ones to oooh and ahhh over for ever. The castle, which is right beside the inn and only a short walk from its terraces, is Grade I listed and a scheduled ancient monument. Its dramatic appearance, looming over the pretty village of Corfe Castle, can’t fail to create an impression.
2. You’ll impress the history buffs. When Oliver Cromwell destroyed Corfe Castle in 1645 he wiped out 600 years of British history, as well as one of the last Royalist strongholds of the South-west. Vandalism, yes, but it did leave the Greyhound Inn with some rather fabulous views from its sunny beer garden. Silver linings and all that!
3. Guests who arrive early or stay on after the wedding have a grand selection of things to do (apart from enjoy a pint in the Greyhound of course). Our favourite is the 10-mile walk along Purbeck Ridgeway, from Corfe Castle to the coast, a route with spectacular views across the sea and Purbeck countryside. You can even return by the Swanage steam railway.
4. Although the Greyhound Inn is not licensed for wedding ceremonies, there is a church directly opposite, and blessings can be organised in front of the castle.
5. You can have up to 100 guests in the pub; 200 in the garden (which has its own bar).
6. The inn is pleasingly old-school. The Daily Telegraph, which reviewed the pub (very favourably) a few years back, said, ‘The main bar feels a bit like your favourite aunt’s front room, albeit with numerous low-ceilinged snug bars leading off into a warren-like interior concealing a fruit machine and pool room.’
7. The venue offers informal garden meals for your celebration, made by rosette-trained chefs. It is simple but delicious, and all sourced locally (within 20 miles): choose from a picnic, barbecue, buffet or three-course wedding breakfast. Marquees can be set up outside to cover all weather eventualities. Prices start from a very reasonable £27.50 per person.
8. The Greyhound Inn offers three packages to make planning easier, but there are also some lovely extras you can choose to make your celebration extra special – including ice-cream stations, popcorn machines and chocolate fountains.
9. If you love a bit of vintage style, you will fall for their mismatched tea cups, saucers, coloured glass vases and napkins. Perfect for a retro afternoon tea as your celebratory meal (and fittingly Enid Blyton too).
10. As if all this weren’t enough, you have the Swanage Steam Railway which chuffs away in the background, looking for all the world like it might be heading to Hogwarts. The stations themselves are mini museum pieces too.
Picture credits: Swanage Steam – AccessibleGuide