Things To Do in Blandford Forum
Blandford Forum is best known for its Brewery history and the popular Great Dorset Steam Fair. However, Blandford is a great base for exploring the countryside and heritage of Dorset too. Join one of the frequent town guided walks to learn more about the heritage and architecture of this attractive and unique Georgian town.
Spot an Otter!
The banks of the River Stour and the surrounding water meadows are a lovely place to walk or have a picnic. Otters can often be seen on the River Stour. Ask the team in the Tourist Information Centre about the best places for recent sightings. The river is just a short walk from the Market Place in the town centre. Cross the Mortain footbridge and follow the Rotary Way footpath - this trail was designed to be a short riverside pushchair and wheelchair accessible route. Close by are longer walking and cycling routes including The North Dorset Trailway which follows the old railway lines and the Sustrans route 25.
A visit to the Hall and Woodhouse Brewery is a must for any lover of beer!
Discover the generations of brewing expertise with a brewery tour. The brewery is located at Blandford St Mary within walking distance of the town centre; one of the few remaining family-owned breweries in England. Why not stay after your tour to eat in the characterful Brewery Tap restaurant?
A museum for all interests
The Royal Signals Museum is a voyage of discovery - from Morse code to cyber warfare this hands-on museum is an interactive experience for all the family. Discover the fascinating stories of men and women at war and their tales of espionage, deception, interception, codes and code breaking covers the history of army communications. This museum is located on an army camp so adults must take photo identification with them.
The colourful history of Blandford unfolds at Blandford Town Museum, where pre-historic to modern history meets in a refurbished old coach house. See a variety of displays including the exhibit depicting the 1731 fire that destroyed the medieval town. Afterwards, spend time relaxing in the Victorian kitchen garden.
Guided Walks run throughout the summer to help you discover some of the history of this unique Georgian town, with the town guides being local members of the Blandford and district civic society. Walks can be booked from the Tourist Information Centre.
A friendly welcome and a traditional tearoom serving Dorset cream teas with courtyard can be found in The Blandford Fashion Museum at Lime Tree House. This private collection of historic costumes dating from 1730’s to the 1970’s includes the beautiful collections: Ladies of Dorset, Styles that Changed Fashion, After the War and Retro – A chronological look at dress scenes of everyday life from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. See their website for the latest exhibition updates.
Dorset hill forts and ancient monuments
Blandford is surrounded by wonderful countryside, covering a wide range of habitats.
The history of the area can be discovered by exploring the ancient monuments and spectacular hill forts in this part of the county. Hod Hill Iron Age fort's ramparts once protected a large village of around 250 houses and Hambledon Hill is now a National Nature Reserve and one of Dorset's most impressive Iron Age hillfort with multiple ramparts.
Badbury Rings is situated between Blandford Forum and Wimborne Minster and is an Iron Age Hill Fort. The site dates from around 800 BC and is now under the guardianship of the National Trust who have designed a dog friendly, 2 hour walk to help you enjoy the site and the surrounding countryside.
Events and festivals of Blandford Forum
Blandford and the surrounding villages host a wide selection of events throughout the year.
Look out for the following popular festivals: The Great Dorset Steam Fair, The Blandford Georgian Fayre, Teddy Rocks Festival and DorsetFest. Blandford also has an annual carnival.
Nearby in the village of Sturminster Newton is the annual Cheese Festival and at the Larmer Tree Gardens there are several popular festivals throughout the year.
For further suggestions on things to do, visit the local Tourist Information Centre for some friendly advice.
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