Blandford Forum is a traditional market town, situated on the banks of the River Stour in North Dorset. The town’s architecture has a strong Georgian influence, with plenty of interesting buildings dotted around the central market place. Blandford is home to a number of pubs and cafes offering a tasty selection of food and drink. It’s the ideal place to spend a leisurely afternoon perusing the independent shops and treating yourself to a present or two!
Picture credit: Jonas Lowgren, Flickr
Things to do in Blandford
Despite its small size, Blandford boasts a number of things to see and do. One of the highlights of many visitor’s trip is a tour of Hall and Woodhouse Brewery. Beer has been brewed at this historic site since 1977 and the process has changed very little during this time. Find out more about how each of the popular beers are made and hear unique stories about the people behind the scenes. After your tour be sure to stop at The Brewery Tap in the maltings, where you can sample a selection of beers alongside a delicious meal.
Keneston Mill also offers a great day out. It’s home to the largest private botanic gardens in the UK and grows and distils the key ingredients for luxury perfumes in its grounds. Wander around the stunning gardens to smell the aromas or take part in one of their workshops to make your own fragrance.
Museums in Blandford
If you’re interested in history, there are three museums that are well worth a visit during your trip. The Blandford Town Museum gives an insight into the region’s heritage through a number of displays and exhibits. You can learn more about Blandford Railway station, World War II and over 400 years of local history, detailing major events and industries.
The Blandford Fashion Museum showcases a range of historical clothing dating back to the 18th century. There are 13 collections spread over 2 floors and detailed information on the changes in fashion and styles.
Military enthusiasts will love the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp. Here you can see some of the finest examples of military communication equipment, alongside a soldier’s detailed perspective of their experience at war. Interactive displays provide plenty of opportunity for visitors to get ‘hands on’.
Events in Blandford
Every year the world’s largest heritage festival, the Great Dorset Steam Fair takes place in Blandford. This fantastic family event is a must visit if you’re in the area. Over the course of five days, there are hundreds of exhibits, stands and displays
Walks near Blandford
There are some excellent countryside walks that can be accessed from Blandford, if you’re hoping to explore the region by foot. A walk along the beautiful River Stour is great in the summer months and the North Dorset Trailway is a popular route, which follows a disused railway line from Sturminster Newton to Spetsbury, nearly 14 miles in total.
Picture credit: Chris Parker, Flickr
A walk up nearby Hambledon Hill offers far reaching views across the Blackmore Vale. From the top you can see into neighbouring counties. This Iron Age hill fort is one of the best preserved examples in Great Britain and is of great archaeological significance. It is owned and managed by the National Trust and is the perfect place to walk the dog and admire North Dorset’s magnificent scenery. In the spring and summer wildflowers are plentiful