Lashings of Ginger Beer

Did you know some of the best Famous Five books such as ‘Five on Treasure Island’, ‘Five Go to Mystery Moor’ and ‘Five Have a Mystery to Solve’ were based in Dorset? George lived with her parents in Corfe Castle and all her chums would come to stay for their adventures.

Who hasn’t found a bag of barley sugar and some luncheon meat sandwiches in their pockets at some point? And we all know that ginger beer makes you feel better when you’re a bit poorly. And eating out tastes SO MUCH BETTER don’t you think? And then of course we don’t really need to say that every, but every building has a secret passage leading to underground caves.

But Enid Blyton didn’t stop with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog. Her inspiration for PC Plod in all the wonderful Noddy books came from the real life PC Rone who  walked the lanes of Studland.  We don’t think that Studland is full of Toyland’s characters, but let us know if you spot Big Ears, Bumpy Dog, Mr Wobbly Man (he’ll probably be coming out of the Bankes Arms!) or Sly and Gobbo the mischievous goblins!

Enid Blyton loved Dorset; owning the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club and a farm in Sturminster Newton. She stayed at a number of the hotels in Purbeck and used to sign copies of her books in the old Swanage bookshop. Enid loved to travel on the Swanage Railway to Corfe and based Kirrin Castle on the imposing Castle there. Brownsea Island became Whispering Island and the Ridgeway became Mystery Moor in the world of Enid Blyton.

There are lots of trails available to help you enjoy Enid Blyton’s Dorset, but please do pop in when you visit. We’d love to share your barley sugars!

Nadine Evans


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