Hi everyone, it’s been a while. I’m sorry for that, and I’m largely sorry for leaving everything to do with the blog to Fiona. She’s done a smashing job though, hasn’t she?
I wanted you guys to know, before I really got into my adventure to Corfe Castle, that just because I stopped writing for the blog, doesn’t mean I still don’t love Enid Blyton, but that my depression and anxiety were giving me writers block, and I was finding it harder and harder to write and keep to schedule. Fiona was a saint, even though she was ever so frustrated with me, but she’s really understanding which has been a life line!
So I just wanted to let you know this before I get going that I may not be returning on to blogging full time, but I’m going to try and be around. Now let’s get started!
In October 2020, in-between the lockdowns in the UK, I managed to get away for a few days, which was very nice and I was lucky with the weather, on my Corfe day at least. I chose to go down to the South West of England to Swanage.
Swanage is somewhere where you have probably heard about in conjunction with Enid. We’re aware that she was fond of that area of the country and used to holiday there with her daughters, Gillian and Imogen, and her second husband Kenneth Waters. In fact, its believed that the Famous Five novels setting of Kirrin is based around Swanage, Studland and all the different places around there, which is partly why I’ve always wanted to visit.
October 2020, I was on the edge of burning out again, and I needed a few days away. So, I booked a very nice Air B’n’B with a friend of mine (unfortunately because of travel restrictions and small persons Fiona was unable to come with me – one day I will get her there!) I also hadn’t seen the sea in over a year and I didn’t want to go somewhere I’d been before. Cue Swanage.
It was beautiful. The beach, the scenery, even the town was fairly thriving so late in the season for a UK beach town, but it wasn’t packed, so we weren’t fighting crowds or anything like that. For those of you who know your traditional run down UK beach towns, they’re kind of sad and a but gaudy, but Swanage wasn’t like that, it was quaint. Enid Blyton could have met me strolling down the street and I wouldn’t have even been surprised. You can find out more about Enid in Dorset here.
I’m largely just going to show you the pictures now, but, I’m so glad I went, it was beautiful, the views were stunning and when it is safe to do so, I really encourage you to go and check it out for yourself!
From The National Trust car park, just past the village, and almost past Corfe Castle, you take a foot path around the back of the castle, down by the river – the Corfe River – and follow the path around to this point where you can look up the hill and see the castle as you walk around to the village and entrance to the castle.
This picture is standing within the walls of the castle, looking up at the remains of the structure. It really is impressive and awe inspiring even today. When you get to know the history behind it – an English queen fought off invaders solidly for a long time here, and find out how far you can actually see, its a pretty impressive view and building for it to even have been built on this hill.
What is left of the castle walls and defences is really impressive and there is a feeling about Corfe Castle that made me feel like even now, if you had to, you could defend it successfully there. I enjoyed imaging the Famous Five running around the castle, finding the secret passages, the cellars and just exploring the ruins. You could even imagine that the castle was on an island, the hill is so tall. If you looked to the North East from the castle ruins (not the courtyard) you can actually see Poole Harbour where Brownsea Island is based – another of Blyton’s places of inspiration.
The view from one of the castle windows. My camera doesn’t do it justice at how far you can see from the hill, as well as being strangely misty and hazy – maybe we’d had a haar come in early in the morning which hadn’t lifted yet. However you get a sense of how far you and see, and the layout of the village in the shadow of the castle. On the left hand of the picture, you can just about see the railway line. I would assume that there were time when Blyton and her family arrived for a day trip to the castle via the train.
Here is a shot of the railway from the castle. We didn’t get chance to go down to the station, as I needed to do some shopping for Fiona’s birthday and Christmas gifts but I did make sure I took some pictures. Unfortunately the day we were at the castle the diesel train was running, and not the steam train. Had the steam train been running, my friend and I possibly would have forked out the £25 for a ride on the train. The diesel train didn’t quite feel worth the sum for the trip!
For now, that’s all I’ve got for you! I hope you have enjoyed my photos and maybe Fiona’ll let me back to tell you about Brownsea Island and Swanage itself.