6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

Enid Blyton characters and locations based on the people and places of Dorset

PUBLISHED: 15:23 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 15 May 2017


Purbeck is the spiritual home for the Famous Five, an area beloved by their creator Enid Blyton who regularly holidayed here for over 20 years, as Visit Dorset reveals

The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Noddy are just a few of the household names created by Enid Blyton, but less well known is the fact that she based some of her characters and locations on people and places in Dorset, especially Purbeck. An area she visited three times a year for holidays for over 20 years.


Pre Supper Swims in Swanage

Swanage has one pier less than it did in the Blyton heyday, when she and husband Kenneth, used to swim round both piers before supper. The bookshop where she signed copies of her works is now Martins the newsagent. However, the famous children’s author would recognise two other familiar Swanage landmarks – The Wellington Clock Tower and The Grand Hotel, the hotel that she favoured in the 1950’s. Although always a visitor, rather than a resident, Enid Blyton became an integral part of Purbeck life and was elected president of the annual Swanage Carnival and Regatta.


Teeing off at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club

In 1950 Kenneth Darrell Waters, Blyton’s husband purchased The Isle of Purbeck Golf Club from Harry Palmer. This magnificent heathland course is consistently ranked among the top 100 courses in the British Isles by Golf World. It dates back to 1892 and the original 18 holes were extended to 27 under their ownership. Park in the lay-by and admire the view that Blyton would have enjoyed as she teed off. Find out more at purbeckgolf.co.uk.


Steaming towards Corfe Castle

Five on a Treasure Island (1942) was the first Famous Five adventure and featured Kirrin Castle ruins where some gold is hidden. Corfe Castle, a dramatic hilltop ruin now owned by the National Trust (nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle), was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle. Blyton visited it in 1941, arriving by steam train from Swanage. This is something you can still do today, thanks to Swanage Railway which runs steam trains between Swanage and Norden. You may like to imagine yourself as one of the Famous Five disembarking at Corfe Station! When the station is open, you can even photograph yourself alongside a painting of the Famous Five, with the castle in the background. More details at swanagerailway.co.uk.


Brownsea Island

This magical island in Poole Harbour, owned by the National Trust, was the inspiration for ‘Whispering Island’ in the Famous Five Adventures. In Enid Blyton’s day it was owned by the very reclusive Mrs Bonham-Christie, who would not tolerate visitors and allowed the island to return to nature. In Five Have a Mystery to Solve (1962), Blyton described it as ‘Keep Away Island’. nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island.


Mystery on Stoborough Heath

‘Mystery Moor’ is reputedly based on the heath between Blue Pool and Ridge and featured in Five Go to Mystery Moor (1954). Heathland birds and all six native species of reptile as well as the vivid marsh gentian can be found here. Blue Pool, a flooded pit where Purbeck ball clay was once extracted, is famous for its ever changing colours. Very fine clay in suspension in the water diffracts light producing a spectrum of colour - sometimes green, sometimes turquoise. Set within the Furzebrook Estate, it is also home to the Blue Pool Tea Rooms, a tea house dating from 1935. More at bluepooltearooms.co.uk.


Studland’s Mr Plod

Little Noddy Goes to Toyland, published in 1949, was the first Noddy book and was a worldwide success. Reputedly, Mr Plod the Toyland policeman is based on PC Christopher Rhone, a Studland police constable, who must surely now rank as the world’s most famous policeman!

In the early 1960’s Enid stayed at the Knoll House Hotel, until her dementia made holidays too difficult. The popular coastal hotel has far reaching views across to the Isle of Wight and its gardens are adjacent to the glorious golden sand dunes of Studland Beach which is owned by the National Trust and offers a wonderful family out at the seaside. Find out more at knollhouse.co.uk.


Find out more

To download a leaflet that will show you how you can discover Purbeck in the footsteps of Enid Blyton go to visit-dorset.com. Information provided by Purbeck District Council 2017.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Tue, 13:08

Tried and tested by two-legged and four-legged walkers, these dog-friendly rambles are the perfect way to explore our lovely county

Read more
Tue, 11:47

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Many of Dorset’s towns and villages are opening their private gardens to the public this month to help raise money for local charities, church repairs and village halls

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

From Chalbury Hill, Bincombe Hill and Came Down, there are wonderful views over Weymouth Bay to the Isle of Portland that will reward you on this challenging walk

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

Start your day with sun salutations in a beautiful garden, try your hand at printmaking in a mill, then finish with a Shakespeare play at sunset or a spot of conscious clubbing

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

Visit Dorset has teamed up with some of the county’s best photographers to reveal the best locations to watch the sunrise or sunset to celebrate the Summer Solstice

Read more
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Roman road, an elegant mansion set in landscaped grounds and far reaching view across Poole Harbour all combine in this easy walk along two old railway routes

Read more
Friday, May 11, 2018

Ian McEwan’s Booker Prize-nominated novel On Chesil Beach has been made into a film, but capturing Chesil’s wild windswept beauty proved to be quite a challenge for cast and crew

Read more
Friday, May 4, 2018

Sam Scriven of the Jurassic Coast Trust shares thrilling tales of Dorset dinosaurs and reveals what this coastline looked like millions of years ago with the help of paleoartist Dr Mark Witton

Read more
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The quiet country lanes around this Blackmore Vale village offer delightful walking, but the fields before Thornhill Park are more of an adventure, as Edward Griffiths discovers

Read more
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

From a cheese racing challenge to hundreds of guitars on a beach, Visit Dorset share some of the more unusual events and places to explore in the county

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

From farmhouse to country house, tea room to hotel Sue Quinn leaves no crumb untested as she seeks out some of the finest cream teas in the county

Read more

On this fascinating urban walk Edward Griffiths reveals the legacy left by two philanthropic sisters who established Talbot Village to help support the local community

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

Every May the ancient woodlands of Dorset are covered in a carpet of bluebells. We pick eight of the best spots to enjoy the seasonal colour in the county

Read more
A+ South & South West
Great British Holidays advert link
Pure Weddings advert link
South West Life advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

subscription ad
subscription ad

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Dorset's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search