Purbeck – famous for much more than five minutes
Gentler, slower times. Kids and a dog going out on adventures all by themselves. Summer holidays jam-packed full of long sunny days far away from YouTube, busy theme parks, Xbox and TV.
Many of the places in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five Books were inspired by the glorious Isle of Purbeck, tucked away in the far eastern corner of Dorset. It comes complete with islands and castles, lighthouses and castles, cliffs, caves and coves. Age-old tales of smugglers, wreckers and lost treasure run deep through the DNA of the Isle and it’s folk.
Blyton visited and wrote in the area for many years. Her husband even bought the local golf club in Purbeck and the family owned a farm deep in the Dorsetshire countryside. And although it’s a bit less sleepy these days, the Isle of Purbeck still retains its charm as one of the most unspoilt places to visit or for holidays in the UK. So, if you’re a Famous Five fan or just want a lovely coastal holiday, or day-out, then the Isle of Purbeck is for you (lashings of ginger beer – or other beer – entirely optional). Here’s a few Famous Five inspired places to base a trip around.
This imposing National Trust-run castle is steeped in history and is well known as the Castle on Kirrin Island which features in many of the Famous Five books. Charming Corfe village sits at its foot with more to explore, like pubs and shops- including an Enid Blyton inspired shop.
Kirrin Station is thought to be based on the tiny station at Corfe. Swanage Railway volunteers have lovingly restored the line over many years and now runs diesel and steam train services between the village and nearby resort of Swanage. They run a fantastic Santa Express at Christmas – book early!
Sat in the heart of Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island inspired ‘Whispering Island’ in ‘Five Have a Mystery to Solve’. It’s run by the National Trust these days and is a mecca for the scouting movement since Lord Baden-Powell’s held the first scout camp there. It’s also a wildlife haven and one of the last refuges of our rare native Red Squirrel. There’s also some cracking little beaches to discover. A Regular ferry services run from Poole Quay to Brownsea Island.
Isle of Purbeck holidays
Many other Purbeck locations pop-up in Famous Five books like ‘Blue Pool’ in Five Go Off in a Caravan’, or nearby Stoborough Heath and Hartland Moor in ‘Five Go To Mystery Moor’, and Kimmeridge Bay in ‘Five Fall into Adventure.’ Add Swanage, Lulworth Cove, Durlston Country Park, Durdle Door and the Jurassic Coast; and it’s no wonder that many visitors today continue to be as enchanted by the Isle of Purbeck as much as Enid Blyton was over half a century ago.
Celebrate your love affair with the coast – Enid Blyton clearly did through her books.
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