The Isle of Purbeck marks the start of one of the true natural wonders of the world - the mighty Jurassic Coast.

This World Heritage Site is home to beaches, nature reserves and is a stone's throw from numerous historic towns and villages.

Renowned for its breathtaking scenery, a trip to the Isle of Purbeck is like taking a step back through the ages.

The quaint villages, the rolling countryside and even the historic engines of the Swanage Steam Railway, seem somehow trapped in the Golden era of the Great British seaside holiday.

Little wonder the charming Isle of Purbeck, which in fact isn't actually an island, provided so much inspiration to Enid Blyton while she was writing the Famous Five stories.

The children's author regularly visited Dorset and the Purbeck landscapes were the muse behind many of her books - Kirrin Castle is believed to be based on Corfe Castle, Whispering Island is based on Brownsea Island and Mystery Moor is reputedly set on the heath between Stoborough and Corfe Castle.

And lest we forget PC Plod, the rosy cheeked bobby in her Noddy books who was based on the late PC Christopher Rone of Studland.

More information about the author can be found at The Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe Castle, which is an Aladdin's Cave of Enid Blyton memorabilia.

As well as strong literary connections, the Purbecks are famous for showcasing the natural world at its most striking.

From the ancient cliffs, containing dinosaur fossils, to the colonies of deer and protected birds at Arne, the area is a magnet for naturalists and ramblers alike.

If you like your culture more on the urban side, then historic Swanage and Wareham are the perfect accompaniments to the great outdoors. Having flourished from a small fishing village, today, Swanage stands proud as a popular seaside resort.

Picturesque hotspots include; Old Harry Rocks, Ballard Down, and Studland Bay and Poole harbour to the north. Durlston Bay and Durlston Country Park are also found to the south of the town.

The town boasts some beautiful architecture and is home to a plethora of great pubs, bars and restaurants.

And don't forget the deserted village of Tyneham, Durlston Country Park, Lulworth Cove and Castle and the beautiful market town of Wareham, with its stunning river walks and Saxon origins.

Corfe Castle commands a prominent position in the Purbeck Ridge and dates from after the Conquest of 1066.

The village was the place where Saxon King Edward the Martyr was murdered in 978.

With quaint tea-rooms and beer gardens to take in the sea views, rolling hills and natural wonders of the Dorset landscape; there is plenty for everyone to explore in Purbeck and the surrounding area.