Category Archives: Dorset

A Trip To Poole Quay And The Ginger Pop Shop

The Ginger Pop Shop on Poole QuayWe took a trip to Poole Quay on Saturday, back to the part of Dorset where I grew up, and my how things have changed.

More of that later, but firstly the main reason for our trip, which was to visit The Ginger Pop Shop and the display Eileen Soper’s Illustrated Worlds, a relatively new attraction that has opened up in what was the Swan Public House, right next to Poole Pottery on the Quay.

Post War Sitting Room at Eileen Soper's Illustrated Worlds on Poole Quay in DorsetThe Ginger Pop Shop has a lot of books and other items (including Golliwogs and Noddy’s Car) that are related to Enid Blyton, the well known author of over 700 children’s books and poems, including Noddy, The Famous Five and The Faraway Tree.

As well as the main shop, the Eileen Soper’s Illustrated Worlds exhibit has many illustrations by Eileen, whose pictures will bring back memories to those of us who grew up on the original versions of books like The Famous Five.

However a REAL TREAT is in store for those grown ups who are prepared to shed their role as parents or grandparents and to venture back to their childhood days.

A painting has been stolen from The Ginger Pop Shop on Poole QuayA picture has been stolen from the exhibition.  Are you ready and willing to to help track down who did it?

If so, head off into the study and follow the clues and see if you can find out the identity of the thief.

I have to admit that Debbie and I thoroughly loved this, and I refuse to give away any clues, other than it’s really fun to do, and you WILL enjoy this.

As well as solving the mystery, there is a miror maze, which the kids will love, an old fashioned living room with toys and items from the 1940’s to the 1960’s,  a section dedicated to World War Two and life at home during the war, an old fashioned school room, and much more.

We definitely recommend a trip to The Ginger Pop Shop as part of your visit to Poole and Poole Quay.

Pubs on Poole QuayMoving on from here, we had lunch in one of the old pubs that are still on the Quay and which have retained their look and character on the outside.  Although the food options are more up to date, the character of the inside of the pubs has been retained, and they also have entertainment in the evenings and weekends.

Outside the Lord Nelson on Saturday there was a trio playing Irish Music, with Fiddle, Guitar and of course the Bodrum without which a jig just wouldn’t be the same.

Walking west along the Quay there are various gift shops, eateries, the old Poole Museum (well recommended also), and at the end the old Lifting Bridge and the Lifeboat Station.

Across from the Quay visitors can drool at the latest creations from the Sunseeker line, luxury cruisers that are well known around the world.

Poole Quay Lifting Bridge and Lifeboat Station

Sunseeker Luxury Yachts at Poole Quay

Next door to The Ginger Pop Shop is Poole Pottery, a product that put Poole on the map, but which now is little more than a huge gift shop.  There are some splendid designs still for sale, including collectables from original designers like Leslie Elsden, who was actually my next door neighbour when I was growing up.  Also a set of plates that illustrate famous ships, including the Archibald Russell which was the second ship that my Grandfather sailed on, and on her maiden voyage too.

There is also a statue on the water front of Lord Baden Powell, who founded the Boy Scouts and held the first Boy Scout Camp on Brownsea Island, which can be seen just across the harbour, as can the millionaires paradise of Sandbanks.

Poole Quay Poole Museum And Old Customs HouseStatue Of Lord Baden Powell On Poole Quay

The sad thing for me is that growing up Poole Quay was the setting for cargo ships to tie up and offload their cargo, for olde worlde pubs and warehouses, whereas now there are luxury homes, hotels, shops and restaurants, which I suppose are good for business and help to attract more tourists, but it’s not the same as I remember.

So we had a great day out on Saturday, to a great place to spend a day.  If you do have the opportunity to go to the South of England and Dorset, I definitely recommend visiting Poole Quay.  You won’t be disappointed.

A Day Out In The Purbeck Hills

If you have never been to The Purbeck Hills in Dorset on the south coast of England, it’s hard to describe the wonderful scenery that you are going to find here.

The Purbeck Hills are an impressive chalk ridge that runs from Studland in the east, through the village of Corfe Castle, then continuing west, providing a natural defence for the rest of the county of Dorset from invasion for thousands of years.

Corfe CastleThere are only two gaps in the hills, the Ulwell gap in the east that allows traffic to pass from the seaside town of Swanage north to Studland, and further west the gap at Corfe, with the ruins of Corfe Castle set on a high mound in the middle of the gap.

It was here that we decided to take a day out over the weekend, since we hadn’t been for a few years, and it’s a wonderfully picturesque part of Britain, close to where I grew up.

Corfe Castle itself must have been truly impressive in it’s prime, but it was destroyed during the English Civil War, and even though many buildings in the surrounding village of Corfe Castle have been built with stones that were cannibalised from the castle, it still stands tall on top of it’s mound, and is one of the most scenic castles in the south of England.

The castle is operated by the National Trust, who have done an excellent job of preserving the ruins, without adding any of the trashy elements that you all too often find at other historic sites.

Goats and sheep roam the castle grounds, and provide another opportunity for amateur photographers like myself to snap away and hopefully get a classic shot.  They are also funny to watch as they scamper over the ruins, trying to find vegetation to munch on.

The view from the top of the mound and the Keep is impressive, with not only views over the castle and the village, but of the steam railway that runs from Swanage through the gap alongside the castle to Wareham.

The weather on Saturday was practically perfect, and we enjoyed walking around the castle, and looking inside one of the largest National Trust gift shops, which has a lot of nice local items for sale.

There was another reason for visiting Corfe Castle this past weekend though, and that was to visit The Ginger Pop Shop, an Enid Blyton themed shop.  Enid Blyton was a well known author of children’s books, who holidayed on The Purbeck Hills and who found inspiration from Corfe Castle and many other locations in the area for her books, and she published over 800 of them during her 40 years of writing.

I have recently completed a page on Squidoo about Enid Blyton, whose books I read when I was growing up, and I went on many wonderful adventures with The Famous Five, one of the series that she wrote.

Having visited the shops and toured the castle, we had a Ploughman’s Lunch in one of the old inns in the village, then drove to the town of Swanage on the coast, where we sat by the beach, had an ice cream, and walked around the shops there.

After we headed to Studland and the ferry at Sandbanks, on our way back home, but stopped off at Studland and walked the half a mile or so across the sand dunes to the famous nudist beach there.

Yes it’s a nudist beach, and it’s been there for a number of years, but there are two wonderful things that it has – aside from naked people!  Firstly it’s a lovely spot, quiet and peaceful, not filled with hordes of families with screaming kids.  Secondly the view across the bay to Old Harry Rocks and on a clear day like Saturday to The Needles on the Isle Of Wight is just great.

We sat there for a good half hour, then wandered our way back home. 

We highly recommend visiting Dorset, and especially The Purbeck Hills.  There is so much to see there, especially if you enjoy walking along the cliff paths, collecting fossils, visiting old castles, riding on steam trains etc.  You can also visit the nearby Tank Museum at Bovington, go to the beach at Sandbanks and mix with the Jet Set, or get an all over tan at Studland on the nudist beach. 

The Purbecks has it all.

 More Information Can Be Found Here:

The Purbeck Hills (Wikipedia)

The Isle Of Purbeck

The Purbecks


Cinema Complex Proposed as Part of Bournemouth Pavilion Area Renovation


Bournemouth Town Council have given the green light for a regeneration of the Bournemouth Pavilion and Westover Road area, which will include a nine screen cinema, restaurants and shops.

Read the full story here:
Cinema Complex Proposed as Part of Bournemouth Pavilion Area Renovation

Bournemouth – Victorian Seaside Town On The South Coast Of England

Bournemouth is one of the finest seaside towns on the south coast of England, and it has a lot to offer the tourist at any time of the year.

Apart from the miles of beaches that are comprised of fine golden sand, which have a backdrop of sandstone cliffs, Bournemouth has a number of theatres, two piers, lots of public gardens and other places to take scenic walks, and plenty of nightlife too.

Bournemouth is close to historic Christchurch, with it’s ancient priory church, as well as to the New Forest, Poole, and the millionaire’s paradise of Sandbanks.

So come find out more about Bournemouth HERE on this award winning lens (Lens Of The Day + Purple Star) from Squidoo.