Enid Blyton spent a lot of time in Dorset. Elements of the Dorset coast can be recognized in her books, but Blyton’s imagination romanticized the landscape.
My favorite childhood book series is Enid Blyton’s Famous Five mysteries. Ever since I learned that Enid Blyton’s inspiration for Kirrin Castle is actually Corfe Castle in Dorset, England, and in homage to the books, you can visit the real life Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe, I determined that one day I would go there.
I wanted to spend my time exploring Corfe Castle, strolling along the path atop the white chalk cliffs, and finding out if Swanage was still just as Bryson had described.
Visit Kenwood Estate at Hampstead Heath, London, England. It was the home of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race child adopted and raised by an aristocratic family at the height of the slavery debate in England. Today Kenwood House is an art museum free to the public, and the grounds provide community park space. My favorite room was, of course, the library.
Most tourist attractions did not open until 10:30 – 11am. Only one, the Sherlock Holmes Museum opened at 9:30am. So we decided this would be our starting place, that is, after a stop at the small French bakery on our street corner for second breakfast.