There’s ‘lashings’ of Purbeck in Enid Blyton’s books

Bust of Enid Blyton from Knoll House Hotel

Bust of Enid Blyton at Knoll House Hotel in Studland.

Enid Blyton is one of the most successful British authors of the 20th Century. Generations have grown up with her charming stories of children exploring an idyllic rural landscape, whilst encountering exciting adventures and filling up on plentiful picnics and lashings of ginger beer!

Holidays in Swanage for Enid Blyton and family...

Enid Blyton enjoyed holidays in Swanage

Enid took inspiration from the beautiful and diverse landscape of Isle of Purbeck for many of her stories. First holidaying in the area 1931, it soon became a favourite haunt.  She stayed in a number of hotels in Swanage, often signing copies of her books at a bookshop on Institute Road. Enid also went on to become president of the Swanage Regatta and Carnival for a number of years. During this time she would sometimes stay with her daughters at the Grosvenor Hotel and indulge in her passion for golf at a club near Studland.

Golf and Knoll House

The Isle of Purbeck Golf Club

In 1951 Enid’s husband, Kenneth Darrell Waters (a distinguished Harley Street Surgeon) purchased the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club (then called the Studland Bay Golf Club). It was more than likely that Enid’s enthusiasm for the game  influenced her husbands purchase!

For the next twenty of so years Enid and Kenneth’s favourite place to stay in Purbeck was Knoll House Hotel in Studland where they holidayed for a couple of weeks every spring, summer and autumn.

They always stayed room in room 40, with its stunning views across the bay. They also had favourite seat in the dining room, sitting at table three, Enid facing south towards Old Harry Rocks and Kenneth facing towards Bournemouth. Today their favourite room is regularly booked out by new generations of Blyton fans!

Knoll House Hotel
View from Enid Blyton's Bedroom
Enid Blyton's place in the dining room
Memorabilia for Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton's golf putter
Mrs Darrell-Waters (Enid Blyton)
Enid Blyton playing golf in Purbeck
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An excellent golfer herself, Enid was made Captain of the club in 1951. Today you can still see her name (using her husband’s surname Mrs E. Darrell Waters) on the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club’s display board of Ladies Captain.

Under their ownership the course was  extended to 18 holes. As well as enjoying the golf, Enid could often be seen writing outside the clubhouse, certainly an inspirational place with its panoramic views across to Poole and Bournemouth.

Enid and her husband eventually sold the business in 1965. However, the club does still have some Enid Blyton memorabilia including her golf putter (see photo).

Enid Blyton - Inspired by Purbeck

Famous Five with Corfe Castle as Kirrin Castle

Local landscapes and even local characters in Purbeck are believed to have inspired many of Enid Blyton’s stories….

Corfe Castle became ‘Kirrin Castle’ in ‘Five on Treasure Island’.

Isle of Purbeck Golf Club is where Enid based a character in ‘Five Have A Mystery to Solve’ on one of the green-keepers at the club.

Kimmeridge inspired the location in ‘Five Fall Into Adventure‘ where the children swim off a rocky beach and spot a ‘dour grey stone building’ (Clavell Tower).

Stoborough Heath and Arne are believed to be the backdrop for the location of ‘Five Go To Mystery Moor’  (Find out more about Purbeck’s heathland)

The Blue Pool inspired ‘the enormous blue lake that lay glittering in the August sunshine’ in ‘Five Go Off in A Caravan’.

Studland The local village policemen, PC Christopher Rhone, a tall ex-guardsman with a generous girth became immortalised as PC Plod from the Noddy books.

Famous Five and 'Lashings of ginger beer'

Ginger Beer in Enid Blyton's books

Did you know that Enid Blyton never actually wrote this line. It appeared in the Comic Strip film ‘Five Go Mad in Dorset.’ You will instead find descriptions of ‘lashings’ of hard-boiled eggs or ‘lashings’ of treacle in her books!

Find out more about Enid Blyton in Purbeck

You can pick up an Enid Blyton’s Trail leaflet from local tourism centres (try the Swanage Information Centre) or find details  for the Enid Blyton Trail at Visit Dorset

Knoll House Hotel also have a page on famous authors who have stayed with them – including Enid Blyton. 

For more details about the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club visit their website

The article ‘There’s lashings of Purbeck in Enid Blyton’s books’ was first published in the September 2023 issue of Love It Local magazine.

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