There's a special atmosphere permeating the hidden Purbeck gem of Burnbake.

Nestling in woodland, halfway between historic Corfe Castle and Studland, this little piece of tranquility with a stream running through, is home to a campsite and luxury lodges and at £4m, one of the biggest recent investments in Dorset's tourism sector.

It's a rather modern twist in an area once described as being of 'unresolved enigma and dark secrets.'

It's a place to escape the mad rush of the world and largely the vision of one woman, Philippa Ryder of the Ryder family, owners of the sprawling Rempstone Estate on the Isle of Purbeck.

Philippa founded the Burnbake site back in 1975 with her landowner husband Ben and his twin brother James.

Then you would have found her working night and day to make it a success, doing everything from scrubbing the toilet block to checking in guests with the colour coded booking system.

Today you may find her out on the water collecting samphire for the home cooking kitchen on site.

"I never worked so hard in my life when we set out," Philippa explained. "When I look back at it now, I wonder how we did it all. It has been an amazing journey."

The land that now houses the campsite and lodges was originally a patch of burnt out heathland, known for centuries as Burnbake.

With trees planted for shade in the hot summer days, it was the start of many subtle changes.

"We may have come a long way, especially recently but Burnbake is still very much rooted in the family and it's why people come back year after year I think," said Philippa.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Rempstone Estate stretched in a broad sweep across the Isle of Purbeck from the southern shore of Poole Harbour to Winspit and Worth Matravers.

The Rempstone parish has been described in his historical terms as an area of unresolved enigma and dark secrets.

The name is thought to have come from one of the original Lords of the Manor, Robert Rempston, in the 15th century.

The estate changed hands many times over the centuries.

In 1861 the census noted that Rempstone Hall had ten resident servants, two footmen, two ladies' maids, a cook, a cookman, a scullery maid, a butler and a carpenter.

In 1927, the hall was inherited by Major Douglas Claude Dudley (Jack) Ryder and his family. Jack was Lord of the Manor for 50 years. He served as a Purbeck district councillor for 35 years where he served as chairman between 1959 and 1968. He also was a Poole Harbour Commissioner. Jack died in 1986.

He was the father of Ben and James. Philippa and Ben married in 1960.

Rempstone Hall was requisitioned by the Defence Ministry and only returned to the family in 1949. It has been claimed though never confirmed in any document, that the D Day landings were planned here.

It's a long and fascinating story and the Burnbake chapter is just a small part of the rich history of the land.

Looking back on a typical day right at the start of Burnbake, Philippa recalls the routine at the height of the summer.

"Running the shop, running the site and everything else. My feet didn't touch the ground. I used to be up here early in the morning, collecting the rent, doing the shop although I didn't really like that part.

"By about 10.30am I would go home and cash up. That would take me an hour. Then I would go back and clean the loos before getting a picnic together and going to the beach to crash out and fall asleep! Then I'd be back on the site for 5pm and work until mid evening.

Our three teenage children were also involved back then. They helped sell basic food stuff from the boot of the car, clean the elsan loos and burn the rubbish. "It was only for a few weeks in the summer then, but it was full on."

In 2000, when she was 60, Philippa decided it was time for a step back after having been at the helm for more that 20 years.

After nearly 40 years of the campsite only, it was decided that the business needed a big step forward.

Planning permission was granted for the bespoke lodges in 2013 and they were installed over the winters of 2015 and 2016.

Philippa and both her sons were very instrumental in this part of the project and are now all directors of the company. Her daughter of Nuni produced the soft furnishings and helped with the overall interior design.

"The ethos of Burnbake is that we don't have too many rules and regulations because life has too many of these already."

Today Philippa and Ben still visit regularly, mending fences, trimming hedges and keeping their hand in, although there's now a team on site.

"Whatever we do here, we will always feel as though we are custodians of the land," she says.

"It is a very precious place."

Still enigmatic, but no dark secrets.