Friday, 24 August 2012

A Day Out on Brownsea Island and Enid Blyton

 This week, when the sun was shining, and it wasn't pouring with rain, we went to Brownsea Island in Dorset, although there was low cloud and drizzle on the way and we nearly turned round and went home again!
I'm so glad we didn't, as you can see, it turned out to be a beautiful day.
I love Brownsea Island so much because it reminds me of the Mediterranean coast with blue sea sparkling through the dark pine trees.
In 1907, it was the site of the first Boy Scout camp and Scouts were still arriving, girls as well as boys in these enlightened times, some with rucksacks almost as big as themselves in the little ferry which sails every half an hour from Sandbanks.
The island belongs to the National Trust, and is one of the last refuges for the Red Squirrel, and one raced by me so fast that I ended up with a very grainy photo, not good enough to post here.

 There are several narrow little beaches, where waves lap over caramel covered pebbles, and I could imagine the Famous Five landing a rowing boat and setting out on a great adventure.

I used to love the Famous Five books, and any book with Enid Blyton on the cover is irresistible.  (I bought the Barbara Stoney biography on a trip to Enid's former home, Old Thatch near Bourne End, a couple of years ago.) So I was excited to find Enid Blyton and her enchantment with Dorset by Dr Andrew Norman in the National Trust shop.*
It focuses on the Famous Five books and their setting in Dorset, especially the Swanage and Corfe Castle area, with lots of detailed information about the region in Enid's time and before. However, the most interesting fact for me is that Brownsea Island features as Whispering Island in Five Have a Mystery to Solve. Definitely one for my bookshelf!

*The pictures and text behind the book in the photo are from another source about Enid Blyton and are just there to make up the picture.


  1. What an idyllic place, Jean, and lovely photos. I adore islands but hadn't heard of this one. And I just loved Enid Blyton and the Famous Five (I even mentioned them in Summer of the Eagles)!

  2. Thanks, Rosemary. I hope that one day when you are down in the south you can visit Brownsea too. I've just bought Five Have a Mystery to Solve and it has the original cover illustration - that takes me back!