Knoll House/Dorset – where Enid Blyton found inspiration

I love to stay in a hotel with history. If the history is related to a famous author, so much the better. That’s why I enjoyed to follow the footsteps of Agatha Christie in Istanbul’s iconic Pera Palace Hotel.

And here is another one on the Isle of Purbeck in romantic Dorset, which surely will inspire you too.

KNOLL HOUSE HOTEL

Dorset’s Hidden Gem

  • Renowned children’s author Enid Blyton’s favourite hotel provided inspiration for the Famous Five novels and has welcomed notable guests including Sir Winston Churchill, Roald Dahl, and Sir Richard Branson.

 

  • Acquired by progressive resort management company Kingfisher Resorts, one of the UK’s favourite family-friendly hotels has opened its doors to non-resident hotel guests for the first time in 70 years.

 

  • Situated on the Isle of Purbeck, surrounded by thousands of acres of unspoilt wilderness, Knoll House is less than a mile from award-winning The Pig on the Beach Hotel.

Marking the start of a new era for this iconic British hotel, new owners Kingfisher Resorts have added an informal Bistro as they look to build on its 1930s heritage with subtle improvements while retaining the property’s classic charm.

Inspired by its history for unparalleled family-friendly hospitality, Knoll House provides impeccable service and aims to bring home from home comforts to the traditional hotel stay.

 

Location & History

These views were made for walking! The 630 mile long South West Coastal Path starts just in front of Knoll House at Shell Bay. A leisurely four-mile amble will take you to Old Harry Rocks and the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Closer to home, a feast of trails weave through National Trust woodland and nature reserves. Direct access onto the four mile stretch of award-winning sandy Studland Beach is possible via the hotel’s grounds, where watersports and sunbathing await.

Built as a summer residence for the aristocratic Bankes family in the early 1900s, Knoll House was first turned into a six-bedroom hotel by Chris and Poppy Smith in 1931. Shut during the war and used by troops preparing for the D-Day landings, the Ferguson family bought it in 1959 and it remained in their family until their retirement in 2017.

As the area’s most historic property, Knoll House has an impressive guest book. Sir Winston Churchill took tea at the hotel in April 1944 when he visited Studland to inspect sea defences along with King George VI and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hollywood screen siren Vivien Leigh, author Roald Dahl, and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson are also amongst the former guests.

Knoll House’s most famous resident was children’s author Enid Blyton, who used it as her beach-view bolthole during the 1950s and 60s, staying for weeks at a time. It’s still possible to stay in her favourite room (number 40) or dine at her preferred table. Views from both provided inspiration for her Famous Five novels, while nearby Studland village was the basis for Noddy’s Toytown. The hotel also has a collection of original Noddy memorabilia dating back to the 1950s.

 

Facilities & Bistro

With stunning views of Studland Bay across its four acres of gardens and woodland, Knoll House features a 71-bedroom property boasting an indoor 20’ plunge pool  with steam room, gym, heated outdoor pool, children’s playground, tennis courts, a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course and the only helipad in the area.

Its revamped function room can accommodate up to 100 guests, and caters for private events, team building days, and intimate wedding receptions, while offering an exclusive undisturbed backdrop of the Dorset Heritage Coast for photo shoots.

Open to all, Knoll House’s new Bistro showcases an appetising lunch menu of well-loved English dishes with a modern twist.  Ingredients are sourced from Dorset suppliers, jams and chutneys from Lily’s produce, while the signature Afternoon Tea remains a firm favourite and can be accompanied by a collection of imported coffees and teas.

 

Events

Knoll House will be offering some fun festive fun packages over the holiday season:

Christmas Celebration – After the madness that December always brings with present shopping, school nativities and festive celebrations, slow down and enjoy the delights of a family Christmas and let someone else do all the hard work! From £1,140 for a three night package.

Recharger Break – Two and three-night Recharger Break rates are inclusive of breakfast and dinner. Rates from £280 for a two-night package, based upon two adults sharing.

New Year Escape – A truly memorable start to 2018, with a two or three-night package. For a truly memorable start to 2018, join them for a two or three-night stay. New Year’s Masquerade Stay from £499.

https://www.knollhouse.co.uk/

Photo credit: Matt Jessop

 

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