Enid Blyton absolutely loved her holidays in Dorset, particularly the Isle of Purbeck, and visited three times a year for over 20 years. Some of her best known children's books were inspired by the real places and people she met in Dorset.

Have a jolly good time in Purbeck, just like the Famous Five did.

Enid Blyton's Famous Five recreated at Corfe Castle

Day 1

Climb aboard the Swanage Railway, then sit back and relax during a leisurely trip behind a historic steam locomotive to the pretty seaside town of Swanage.

The 12 mile return trip takes you through the beautiful Purbeck countryside and includes stunning views of the iconic remains of William the Conqueror's Corfe Castle.

Swanage Railway at Corfe Castle Station - photo credit to Diana Jarvis

© Diana Jarvis

The traditional Victorian seaside resort of Swanage makes a perfect morning out; stroll along the promenade and restored pier, wander around the art galleries and boutique gift shops or take a boat trip along the coast with City Cruises.

Swanage Pier

On your return trip on the Railway, stop off at Corfe Castle, said to be inspiration for Kirrin Castle in the Famous Five books. The iconic castle ruin was once one of the county’s great strongholds until betrayal from within led to its downfall.

As well as paying a visit to the castle, the village itself is one of the prettiest in Dorset and a great spot for a cream tea.

Day 2

Catch a ferry from Poole and take a trip to the mysterious Whispering Island (Brownsea Island) which is owned by the National Trust and is the largest island in Poole harbour.

Brownsea Island aerial view - photo credit National Trust and John Miller

© National Trust and John Miller

Brownsea is the home of the endangered red squirrel and is a nature lover's paradise; take advantage of the various walking trails and stroll around the island to uncover hidden beaches, foraging deer and an impressive variety of wading birds. 

Don't forget to pack a picnic of Ginger Beer and corned beef sandwiches to enjoy along the way!

Optional extra's

Visit the vibrant market town of Wareham

England’s second favourite country park, Durlston Country Park is situated near Swanage.

Follow the fascinating story of the majestic Lulworth Castle an early 17th-century mock castle.

2 of Dorset’s best loved attractions, Monkey World and the Tank Museum.

Explore the abandoned war village of Tyneham (accessible most weekends).

Dont forget to tag us on Social Media when posting about this itinerary with the hashtag #visitdorset


Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway - photo taken by Andrew P.M. Wright

Enjoy a nostalgic steam-train ride on the Purbeck line. Trains run for most of the year - daily from April to October and most weekends throughout the year. Park at Norden then catch a train to travel 6 miles south to Swanage, passing through Corfe Castle village.

Corfe Castle
National Trust Property
Corfe Castle in spring

Adults and children alike will be captivated by the romantic Corfe Castle ruins and the breath-taking views across Purbeck.

City Cruises Poole
Boat Trip
Solent Scene boat cruise

Cruises operate daily from Poole Quay and Swanage Pier (1st April - 31st October 2019). We offer a wide selection of cruises along the Jurassic coast, trips to the Victorian resort at Swanage and the Steam Railway, Poole Harbour cruises, evening cruises or private charters.

Brownsea Island
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Red Squirrel on Brownsea Island

A beautiful island with wonderful views, history & wildlife including rare red squirrels and birds, and is also the birthplace of Scouting and Guiding.



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