Cerne Abbas

cerneabbas.org.uk – Cerne Abbas, Dorset

Enid Blyton and Dorset

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Enid Blyton & A Most English Adventure

If you fancy a fine old fashioned English holiday why not book some last minute flights to Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton or Bristol airports and take a car to Dorset? Home to some of the prettiest countryside and favourite location of the much loved English children’s author Enid Blyton.

Enid adored Dorset and holidayed there year after year. For fans of her Famous Five, there are some that believe that Kirrin Bay was based on a combination of Lulworth Cove and Swanage Bay and that Enid took nearby Corfe Castle and the hillock it sits on and relocated it in the middle of her imagined bay. Hence Kirrin Island and its ruined castle were created.

Other nearby locations were also used in the Famous Five and other books, Tilly Whim lighthouse and caves and Pool Harbour will also resonate with those who loved Blyton. Sunken lanes along which many of her heroes cycled are in abundance as are tea-rooms and farms selling local produce.

Although much of the area is protected from too much development by both heritage restrictions and military ownership, the seaside towns have grown considerably since Enid wrote the majority of her adventures in the 40’s and 50’s.

To get a feeling for the Dorset she would have known start your adventure right in the centre of this beautiful county at Cerne Abbas, a quaint little village, little changed for many years, and made famous by the nearby Cerne Abbas Giant, a chalk carving of the also named Rude Man on a hillside overlooking the village. This ancient symbol was not mentioned in any of Blytons books, possibly due to his appearance being overtly male and somewhat aroused!

The location for Cerne Abbas, just off the A352 about 8 miles north of Dorchester is however pure Enid. Set in the valley of the River Cerne, the village is surrounded by gentle hills typical of the Dorset countryside. Start your adventure by packing a picnic and heading off through one of the many footpaths and bridleways that lead out of the village and look for mysteries along the Cerne Valley Way.

You might want to hunt for secret passages in the grounds of what remains off the Benedictine Abbey but beware of any ghostly echoes of the past.

If you want to sample a smashing cream tea, with clotted cream and delicious jam on 2 fruit scones to fuel your exploits, you could try one of the village tearooms, Abbots, for their Giant’s Dorset Cream Tea. Those of you accompanied by a descendant of one of the author’s eponymous canine companions will be pleased to know they are allowed in the garden.

The New Inn is the ideal place to stay the night if you don’t fancy making a camp in the nearby countryside and you can dream of treasure, smugglers and perilous escapades in one of 6 comfortable rooms.

After breakfast start your journey south towards the coast and the excitement of the ruined castle at Corfe and the sands of Swanage along with the stunning scenery around Lulworth for a truly traditional few days of the most English adventure.