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Best of Dorset

Westrow

Best of Dorset

Food Scene
Gastropub famous for its double-baked cheese soufflé. Good atmosphere, good beers, excellent b&w photographs on walls. Though recently has become part of a chain so not quite so independent as it was. Booking recommended, especially at weekends. 01725 516 207; http://kingjohninn.co.uk.
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King John Inn
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Gastropub famous for its double-baked cheese soufflé. Good atmosphere, good beers, excellent b&w photographs on walls. Though recently has become part of a chain so not quite so independent as it was. Booking recommended, especially at weekends. 01725 516 207; http://kingjohninn.co.uk.
An excellent gastropub with friendly atmosphere and fine food, wine and good selection of quality craft beers. Characterful decor. Classic British country inn (but with excellent food). Good for romantic dinner for two, or celebratory lunch/dinner for family or group of friends. Booking recommended. 01725 516 261. http://www.museuminn.co.uk.
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The Museum Inn
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An excellent gastropub with friendly atmosphere and fine food, wine and good selection of quality craft beers. Characterful decor. Classic British country inn (but with excellent food). Good for romantic dinner for two, or celebratory lunch/dinner for family or group of friends. Booking recommended. 01725 516 261. http://www.museuminn.co.uk.
Gastropub with stream running between bar and restaurant. Seasonal and local produce can be expected. Good selection of ales.
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The Fontmell
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Gastropub with stream running between bar and restaurant. Seasonal and local produce can be expected. Good selection of ales.
One of the best Indian restaurants we know. Excellent food and atmosphere and well worth the drive over to Shaftesbury from North Lodge. Booking recommended, especially for popular times. From Blandford take the Higher Shaftesbury Road for stunning views on the way. Could be combined with visiting Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.
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Chutney's
28 Salisbury St
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One of the best Indian restaurants we know. Excellent food and atmosphere and well worth the drive over to Shaftesbury from North Lodge. Booking recommended, especially for popular times. From Blandford take the Higher Shaftesbury Road for stunning views on the way. Could be combined with visiting Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.
If you like good coffee, delicious home-cooked food, and home-baked cakes, you'll love the Yellow Bicycle. They are a National Breakfast Award winner and won South West England Tourism Awards Cafe of the Year Gold 2019/20. The staff are friendly, welcoming and informative. There are plenty of gluten free options amid an always imaginative and tasty menu. The produce is local, and the food freshly made. Family-friendly atmosphere where children are always made welcome. Open for breakfast and throughout the day.
The Yellow Bicycle Cafe
30a Salisbury St
If you like good coffee, delicious home-cooked food, and home-baked cakes, you'll love the Yellow Bicycle. They are a National Breakfast Award winner and won South West England Tourism Awards Cafe of the Year Gold 2019/20. The staff are friendly, welcoming and informative. There are plenty of gluten free options amid an always imaginative and tasty menu. The produce is local, and the food freshly made. Family-friendly atmosphere where children are always made welcome. Open for breakfast and throughout the day.
Cafe and deli during the day. Cocktail bar upstairs in the evening. Very friendly and great atmosphere. Good coffee with excellent cakes and food. Extensive selection of locally produced deli items. Top quality mixologist for evening cocktails. Cocktail masterclass parties available. At 28 East Street, Blandford.
Ginger Viking Cocktails
28 East St
Cafe and deli during the day. Cocktail bar upstairs in the evening. Very friendly and great atmosphere. Good coffee with excellent cakes and food. Extensive selection of locally produced deli items. Top quality mixologist for evening cocktails. Cocktail masterclass parties available. At 28 East Street, Blandford.
Countryside and coastal walks
Iconic iron age hill forts and Dorset countryside walking
Iron age hill fort, a bit less steep and not as high as Hambledon Hill up the road. Nevertheless fabulous views from the top. Small amount of parking at the bottom of the hill.
Hod Hill
Iron age hill fort, a bit less steep and not as high as Hambledon Hill up the road. Nevertheless fabulous views from the top. Small amount of parking at the bottom of the hill.
Iron Age Hill Fort, with truly spectacular views from the top (on a clear day). A fairly steep climb up but worth it.
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Hambledon Hill
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Iron Age Hill Fort, with truly spectacular views from the top (on a clear day). A fairly steep climb up but worth it.
The road (narrow, so proceed with care) winds up to the top of Bulbarrow and then down again the other side. Exceptionally exposed and cold in winter. Offers stunning views for many miles over the Blackmore Vale - Thomas Hardy's 'Vale of the Little Dairies'.
Bulbarrow Hill
The road (narrow, so proceed with care) winds up to the top of Bulbarrow and then down again the other side. Exceptionally exposed and cold in winter. Offers stunning views for many miles over the Blackmore Vale - Thomas Hardy's 'Vale of the Little Dairies'.
Truly spectacular views across the sea to Portland and beyond from the National Trust car park at the clifftop, swimming (no lifeguard) and small shop at the beach below. Follow signs to NT car park or beach accordingly. Parking charge at beach in the season. The further east you walk along the beach, the more likely you will find bathers without suits. From the NT car park there is a fabulous walk down the cliffs to the beach. Walk to the end of the car park and follow the path as it winds down; look for the smaller steeper path to go down to the eastern (and less populous) end of the beach. Beach is shingly/sandy (if you get the idea). Wild Dorset at its very best.
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Ringstead Bay
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Truly spectacular views across the sea to Portland and beyond from the National Trust car park at the clifftop, swimming (no lifeguard) and small shop at the beach below. Follow signs to NT car park or beach accordingly. Parking charge at beach in the season. The further east you walk along the beach, the more likely you will find bathers without suits. From the NT car park there is a fabulous walk down the cliffs to the beach. Walk to the end of the car park and follow the path as it winds down; look for the smaller steeper path to go down to the eastern (and less populous) end of the beach. Beach is shingly/sandy (if you get the idea). Wild Dorset at its very best.
A wonderful circular walk that offers stunning views across the Blackmore Vale, the landscape at the heart of Thomas Hardy country. Walking along the open expanse of downland here, you can also find many species of butterflies and wildflowers; in early spring, for example, the slopes are carpeted in yellow cowslips. Getting there: from Blandford take the B3081 to Shaftesbury. Start: Spread Eagle Hill car park, grid ref: ST886187. Close to Compton Abbas airfield and its café, where you can also watch the planes taking off and landing.
Fontmell Down Nature Reserve
A wonderful circular walk that offers stunning views across the Blackmore Vale, the landscape at the heart of Thomas Hardy country. Walking along the open expanse of downland here, you can also find many species of butterflies and wildflowers; in early spring, for example, the slopes are carpeted in yellow cowslips. Getting there: from Blandford take the B3081 to Shaftesbury. Start: Spread Eagle Hill car park, grid ref: ST886187. Close to Compton Abbas airfield and its café, where you can also watch the planes taking off and landing.
Drinks & Nightlife
Great interior in a 1920s speakeasy style and 130 different gins to choose from. What could go wrong...? Great atmosphere.
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Church St Gin House
9 Church St
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Great interior in a 1920s speakeasy style and 130 different gins to choose from. What could go wrong...? Great atmosphere.
Great ever-changing selection of real ales on tap from barrels lined up behind the bar. Busy with a good atmosphere. Well worth a visit if you like a good beer. The Gin House's older brother (and next door).
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The Taphouse Wimborne
11 West Borough
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Great ever-changing selection of real ales on tap from barrels lined up behind the bar. Busy with a good atmosphere. Well worth a visit if you like a good beer. The Gin House's older brother (and next door).
After recent refurb often quite lively. Probably the best option at the moment for a drink in Blandford. Serves the locally produced Badger ales from Hall & Woodhouse Blandford Brewery. Also has a restaurant and serves bar food. Good outside seating area.
Crown Hotel
After recent refurb often quite lively. Probably the best option at the moment for a drink in Blandford. Serves the locally produced Badger ales from Hall & Woodhouse Blandford Brewery. Also has a restaurant and serves bar food. Good outside seating area.
Has been brewing beer since 1777 and now offers brewery tours and has a brewery tap on site - essentially a pub and restaurant, generally open from breakfast onwards for coffee, brunch etc. Serves pub style food, for example steak and ale pie, and has special events fairly regularly - see their website for details or the board on the roadside. As for the beer, actually quite good. Fursty Ferret is a good, classic ale. Tanglefoot if you like your beer stronger.
Hall and Woodhouse Brewery
Has been brewing beer since 1777 and now offers brewery tours and has a brewery tap on site - essentially a pub and restaurant, generally open from breakfast onwards for coffee, brunch etc. Serves pub style food, for example steak and ale pie, and has special events fairly regularly - see their website for details or the board on the roadside. As for the beer, actually quite good. Fursty Ferret is a good, classic ale. Tanglefoot if you like your beer stronger.
Great choice and quality of craft beer with fourteen taps and huge range in cans and bottles for takeaway. Excellent music and very friendly and attentive staff who are knowledgeable and always willing to talk you through the various choices.
The Butcher's Dog Bar & Bottleshop Wimborne
6 East St
Great choice and quality of craft beer with fourteen taps and huge range in cans and bottles for takeaway. Excellent music and very friendly and attentive staff who are knowledgeable and always willing to talk you through the various choices.
Cafe and deli during the day. Cocktail bar upstairs in the evening. Very friendly and great atmosphere. Good coffee with excellent cakes and food. Extensive selection of locally produced deli items. Top quality mixologist for evening cocktails. Cocktail masterclass parties available. At 28 East Street, Blandford.
Ginger Viking Cocktails
28 East St
Cafe and deli during the day. Cocktail bar upstairs in the evening. Very friendly and great atmosphere. Good coffee with excellent cakes and food. Extensive selection of locally produced deli items. Top quality mixologist for evening cocktails. Cocktail masterclass parties available. At 28 East Street, Blandford.
Sightseeing
Bere Regis Church features the Turberville window in the south aisle, inspiration for Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'UrberviIles.' After the death of the ne'er-do-well father, Tess's mother leads the ragged family to 'Kingsbere' (Bere Regis) and Tess sets up her family's bed under the Turberville window in the south wall of the church; inside the church are the tombs of the Turbervilles. Also of interest, the exceptional painted oak ceiling.
Bere Regis
Bere Regis Church features the Turberville window in the south aisle, inspiration for Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'UrberviIles.' After the death of the ne'er-do-well father, Tess's mother leads the ragged family to 'Kingsbere' (Bere Regis) and Tess sets up her family's bed under the Turberville window in the south wall of the church; inside the church are the tombs of the Turbervilles. Also of interest, the exceptional painted oak ceiling.
In 'The Observer' Anthony Barnett called the Cerne Giant 'Britain's most famous phallus' and, whether or not the case, the Giant can hardly be accused of hiding his light under a bushel. A must-see, or the postcard's enough? An ancient hill carving, or a 17th century political satire? A potent fertility symbol or... not. I leave these questions for you to ponder - if your mind isn't elsewhere. The best view is from the "Giant's View" lay-by and car park off the A352.
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Cerne Abbas Giant
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In 'The Observer' Anthony Barnett called the Cerne Giant 'Britain's most famous phallus' and, whether or not the case, the Giant can hardly be accused of hiding his light under a bushel. A must-see, or the postcard's enough? An ancient hill carving, or a 17th century political satire? A potent fertility symbol or... not. I leave these questions for you to ponder - if your mind isn't elsewhere. The best view is from the "Giant's View" lay-by and car park off the A352.
The hill top town of Shaftesbury, 'Shaston' in Thomas Hardy's novels, is home to the famous Gold Hill, the steeply winding cobbled street made famous by the Hovis ads of the '70s, and offers spectacular views over the Blackmore Vale and surrounding countryside stretching as far as Glastonbury in the north and Purbeck in the south - head to Castle Hill and Park Walk. It is not open to the public but (identified by a plaque) the Ox House in Bimport, behind Shaftesbury's Abbey, was the schoolmaster's house in 'Jude the Obscure'.
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Shaftesbury
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The hill top town of Shaftesbury, 'Shaston' in Thomas Hardy's novels, is home to the famous Gold Hill, the steeply winding cobbled street made famous by the Hovis ads of the '70s, and offers spectacular views over the Blackmore Vale and surrounding countryside stretching as far as Glastonbury in the north and Purbeck in the south - head to Castle Hill and Park Walk. It is not open to the public but (identified by a plaque) the Ox House in Bimport, behind Shaftesbury's Abbey, was the schoolmaster's house in 'Jude the Obscure'.
Ancient hill fort and a stunning drive through a long avenue of beech trees on the B3082, the main route between Wimborne and Blandford. The beeches were planted by William John Bankes who in 1835 inherited the family estate of Kingston Lacy. The trees lined what was then the route from Badbury Rings to an entrance to the Estate - now a National Trust property - and were a birthday gift to his mother, Frances: 365 trees lining one side of the road, for each day of the year, and 366 on the other, for a leap year.
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Badbury Rings
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Ancient hill fort and a stunning drive through a long avenue of beech trees on the B3082, the main route between Wimborne and Blandford. The beeches were planted by William John Bankes who in 1835 inherited the family estate of Kingston Lacy. The trees lined what was then the route from Badbury Rings to an entrance to the Estate - now a National Trust property - and were a birthday gift to his mother, Frances: 365 trees lining one side of the road, for each day of the year, and 366 on the other, for a leap year.
The tiny cottage in Dorset where T E Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia as he had become known, sought to escape from the intense scrutiny of celebrity. It is well preserved and looked after by the National Trust and you find the house almost as Lawrence left it, closing the door behind him for the short journey to Bovingtom Camp on his Brough Superior motorcycle. Totally unique and individual, "Give me the luxuries & I will do without the essentials." (T E Lawrence, 21 Dec 1933). Exceptional. There is also a Lawrence walking trail nearby and in the village of Moreton the cemetery where Lawrence is buried.
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Clouds Hill
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The tiny cottage in Dorset where T E Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia as he had become known, sought to escape from the intense scrutiny of celebrity. It is well preserved and looked after by the National Trust and you find the house almost as Lawrence left it, closing the door behind him for the short journey to Bovingtom Camp on his Brough Superior motorcycle. Totally unique and individual, "Give me the luxuries & I will do without the essentials." (T E Lawrence, 21 Dec 1933). Exceptional. There is also a Lawrence walking trail nearby and in the village of Moreton the cemetery where Lawrence is buried.
Very interesting church, with stunning engraved glass windows (1955-85) by Sir Laurence Whistler. These were created as part of the refurbishment of the church following the war during which it had been extensively damaged by bombing. There is also a marvellous tiled floor. A further point of interest is that T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), who died in 1935, is buried in the separate churchyard just across the road. Sir Winston Churchill attended his funeral at the church, which is close to Clouds Hill (Lawrence's Dorset retreat). Moreton Tearooms, close by the church, offers excellent home-cooked food and is highly recommended.
St Nicolas' Church
Very interesting church, with stunning engraved glass windows (1955-85) by Sir Laurence Whistler. These were created as part of the refurbishment of the church following the war during which it had been extensively damaged by bombing. There is also a marvellous tiled floor. A further point of interest is that T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), who died in 1935, is buried in the separate churchyard just across the road. Sir Winston Churchill attended his funeral at the church, which is close to Clouds Hill (Lawrence's Dorset retreat). Moreton Tearooms, close by the church, offers excellent home-cooked food and is highly recommended.
One of the very finest examples of early English gothic architecture. Construction began in 1220, and the cathedral was completed in just 38 years. The 404-ft spire remains the tallest in Britain and, when completed in 1315, was one of the world’s tallest structures. It is the inspiration for William Golding’s novel ‘The Spire.’ A tower tour is available. The octagonal Chapter House has one of the four surviving original texts of Magna Carta, signed by the very unpopular King John at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. Salisbury Cathedral has been pained by two of the greatest British painters, John Constable and JMW Turner.
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Salisbury Cathedral
6 The Close
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One of the very finest examples of early English gothic architecture. Construction began in 1220, and the cathedral was completed in just 38 years. The 404-ft spire remains the tallest in Britain and, when completed in 1315, was one of the world’s tallest structures. It is the inspiration for William Golding’s novel ‘The Spire.’ A tower tour is available. The octagonal Chapter House has one of the four surviving original texts of Magna Carta, signed by the very unpopular King John at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. Salisbury Cathedral has been pained by two of the greatest British painters, John Constable and JMW Turner.
One of a series of ancient flour mills built on the River Stour, Still in good working order, the Mill offers an opportunity to journey back to an earlier age. Informal guided tours available with one of the mill supervisors, who will explain how stone ground flour was produced. Or roam the mill on your own. There is a shop selling local souvenirs, gifts, toys, coffee and cold drinks. You can walk along the river through the meadows to Colber bridge, celebrated by Thomas Hardy in the poem ‘On Sturminster Foot-Bridge’. From 1876 to 1878 Hardy lived at Riverside Villa, overlooking the river here.
Sturminster Newton Mill
One of a series of ancient flour mills built on the River Stour, Still in good working order, the Mill offers an opportunity to journey back to an earlier age. Informal guided tours available with one of the mill supervisors, who will explain how stone ground flour was produced. Or roam the mill on your own. There is a shop selling local souvenirs, gifts, toys, coffee and cold drinks. You can walk along the river through the meadows to Colber bridge, celebrated by Thomas Hardy in the poem ‘On Sturminster Foot-Bridge’. From 1876 to 1878 Hardy lived at Riverside Villa, overlooking the river here.
Very nice countryside walk to the small, secluded Church of St Mary in Tarrant Crawford, not far from Blandford. The church dates from the 12th century, and is no longer in use for worship. Simple, peaceful and rather beautiful. Of particular note are the wall paintings, faded but still very impressive, dating from the early 14th century. Getting to the church is not obvious - Google first or ask us - but this is close to Keyneston Mill (Parterre fragrances, with café, and highly recommended) and combining the two can make for an enjoyable and rather special time.
Tarrant Crawford
Very nice countryside walk to the small, secluded Church of St Mary in Tarrant Crawford, not far from Blandford. The church dates from the 12th century, and is no longer in use for worship. Simple, peaceful and rather beautiful. Of particular note are the wall paintings, faded but still very impressive, dating from the early 14th century. Getting to the church is not obvious - Google first or ask us - but this is close to Keyneston Mill (Parterre fragrances, with café, and highly recommended) and combining the two can make for an enjoyable and rather special time.
Stourhead, one of the great gardens of England, offers fantastic walks with a magnificent centrepiece lake and follies at strategic points. The gardens especially come alive with the burnished colours of the autumn, but are impressive at any time of year. There are family-focussed events at this National Trust property throughout the year, in the gardens as well as the grand Palladian house. Christmas events, which start towards the end of November, include festive decorations across the whole property, gifts in the shop and festive food in the restaurant, as well as visits from Father Christmas.
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Stourhead
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Stourhead, one of the great gardens of England, offers fantastic walks with a magnificent centrepiece lake and follies at strategic points. The gardens especially come alive with the burnished colours of the autumn, but are impressive at any time of year. There are family-focussed events at this National Trust property throughout the year, in the gardens as well as the grand Palladian house. Christmas events, which start towards the end of November, include festive decorations across the whole property, gifts in the shop and festive food in the restaurant, as well as visits from Father Christmas.
Essentials
Tesco supermarket, between the bypass and the town, with car park and petrol station. 'Every little helps' - in this case, Tesco is the closest shop, and you probably passed it on the way to the cottage. Plenty of parking available. Tesco will also deliver groceries to North Lodge.
Tesco Superstore
Tesco supermarket, between the bypass and the town, with car park and petrol station. 'Every little helps' - in this case, Tesco is the closest shop, and you probably passed it on the way to the cottage. Plenty of parking available. Tesco will also deliver groceries to North Lodge.
M&S food shop - of course, not just any food, but M&S food. On the eastern edge of the town. Easiest way to find it is to enter town on the Wimborne Road (B3082) and take a left just before you enter the town one way system.
M&S Blandford Forum Foodhall
M&S food shop - of course, not just any food, but M&S food. On the eastern edge of the town. Easiest way to find it is to enter town on the Wimborne Road (B3082) and take a left just before you enter the town one way system.
Their sourdough loaf is (we think!) the best bread in Blandford. Also good for cakes and other treats. And is also a coffee shop.
Reeve the Baker
15 Market Pl
Their sourdough loaf is (we think!) the best bread in Blandford. Also good for cakes and other treats. And is also a coffee shop.
Lidl supermarket is now open in Blandford, just off the bypass at the northern end of town (Shaftesbury turn off), with its famous weekly offers in the centre aisles - the 'middle of Lidl' - and characteristic approach to cut price groceries.
Lidl
Lidl supermarket is now open in Blandford, just off the bypass at the northern end of town (Shaftesbury turn off), with its famous weekly offers in the centre aisles - the 'middle of Lidl' - and characteristic approach to cut price groceries.
Supermarket in town. Parking in the adjacent Marsh and Ham car park.
Morrisons
31 West Street
Supermarket in town. Parking in the adjacent Marsh and Ham car park.
Arts & Culture
Thomas Hardy's birthplace and where he wrote early works including 'Under The Greenwood Tree' and 'Far From The Madding Crowd.' Evocative & interesting experience, even if you don't like Hardy. The small cob cottage is situated on the edge of Thorncombe Wood, which offers good walks (and mountain biking), and is part of 'Egdon Heath' in 'The Return of the Native.' Also close by is Stinsford Church, where 'lies the heart of Thomas Hardy.' (Note: cottage is only open April to Oct).
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Hardys Cottage
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Thomas Hardy's birthplace and where he wrote early works including 'Under The Greenwood Tree' and 'Far From The Madding Crowd.' Evocative & interesting experience, even if you don't like Hardy. The small cob cottage is situated on the edge of Thorncombe Wood, which offers good walks (and mountain biking), and is part of 'Egdon Heath' in 'The Return of the Native.' Also close by is Stinsford Church, where 'lies the heart of Thomas Hardy.' (Note: cottage is only open April to Oct).
There's always interesting work at the Art Stable, which specialises in Contemporary and 20th Century British paintings, prints and ceramics by established and emerging artists. Open Wed - Sat 10am - 3pm generally, but check on website. 'The style of this gallery and the artists it shows.....would not be out of place in the West End of London'. Nicholas Usherwood, editor of Galleries Magazine. He's right. (ps excellent organic veg shop & cafe next door)
The Art Stable
There's always interesting work at the Art Stable, which specialises in Contemporary and 20th Century British paintings, prints and ceramics by established and emerging artists. Open Wed - Sat 10am - 3pm generally, but check on website. 'The style of this gallery and the artists it shows.....would not be out of place in the West End of London'. Nicholas Usherwood, editor of Galleries Magazine. He's right. (ps excellent organic veg shop & cafe next door)
The Shillingstone Railway Project aims to restore and enhance the station (closed in the sixties in the Beeching cuts) and available surrounding area to how it was in the early 1950s and 1960s. Enter Shillingstone Station and you will be transported back to a bygone era. Shelves stacked with rows of railway books, tee-shirts with railway motifs and postcards, HO gauge Bachmann models and other memorabilia. The station has a restored Mk 1 carriage and a café. Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am - 4pm
North Dorset Railway Trust
The Shillingstone Railway Project aims to restore and enhance the station (closed in the sixties in the Beeching cuts) and available surrounding area to how it was in the early 1950s and 1960s. Enter Shillingstone Station and you will be transported back to a bygone era. Shelves stacked with rows of railway books, tee-shirts with railway motifs and postcards, HO gauge Bachmann models and other memorabilia. The station has a restored Mk 1 carriage and a café. Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am - 4pm
Blandford Museum houses and displays artefacts from Blandford Forum and the surrounding villages, from Prehistoric times to the present day. Exhibits include a large working model railway based on the former Blandford Forum station, a Victorian child's playroom, WWI and WWII memorabilia, the cobbler shop, the forge, and musical instruments The museum particularly traces 400 years of Blandford history from the 17th century onwards, and the story of the great fire of 1731 and the rebuilding of the town led by the bastard brothers. The Museum shop offers souvenirs, local crafts and local produce. Open every Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 16:00 from 1st April until the end of October. Free.
The Blandford Town Museum
Blandford Museum houses and displays artefacts from Blandford Forum and the surrounding villages, from Prehistoric times to the present day. Exhibits include a large working model railway based on the former Blandford Forum station, a Victorian child's playroom, WWI and WWII memorabilia, the cobbler shop, the forge, and musical instruments The museum particularly traces 400 years of Blandford history from the 17th century onwards, and the story of the great fire of 1731 and the rebuilding of the town led by the bastard brothers. The Museum shop offers souvenirs, local crafts and local produce. Open every Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 16:00 from 1st April until the end of October. Free.
A quaint, highly individual museum in a quiet corner of Dorset, near Owermoigne (Nethermoynton in Thomas Hardy, where he based the story of the Distracted Preacher). Could include it as part of a visit to Ringstead or Dorchester (or Wool - Lawrence of Arabia, Bovington Tank Museum, Monkey World). The Cider Museum features massive heritage equipment for making cider and videos on cider making in the 18th and 19th centuries. Also has a Dorset Collection of Clocks, including Longcase (grandfather) clocks and a French turret clock. The shop sells cider, cider brandy & other local produce. There is also a large plant nursery. More info: www.millhousecider.com.
Mill House Cider Museum
A quaint, highly individual museum in a quiet corner of Dorset, near Owermoigne (Nethermoynton in Thomas Hardy, where he based the story of the Distracted Preacher). Could include it as part of a visit to Ringstead or Dorchester (or Wool - Lawrence of Arabia, Bovington Tank Museum, Monkey World). The Cider Museum features massive heritage equipment for making cider and videos on cider making in the 18th and 19th centuries. Also has a Dorset Collection of Clocks, including Longcase (grandfather) clocks and a French turret clock. The shop sells cider, cider brandy & other local produce. There is also a large plant nursery. More info: www.millhousecider.com.
Parterre at Keyneston Mill is a 50-acre estate dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants. Located a few miles outside Blandford. Excellent food and pastries at the Scented Botanist Patisserie Café with seating indoors and outside. Includes perfumery and shop. Walk in the art-inspired gardens where unusual and exotic species are being cultivated for inclusion in Parterre perfumes. Garden tours every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. An ongoing programme of events in the distillery, the Dome and gardens. Highly recommended. https://www.parterreatkeynestonmill.com/
Keyneston Mill - Home of Parterre Fragrances
Parterre at Keyneston Mill is a 50-acre estate dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants. Located a few miles outside Blandford. Excellent food and pastries at the Scented Botanist Patisserie Café with seating indoors and outside. Includes perfumery and shop. Walk in the art-inspired gardens where unusual and exotic species are being cultivated for inclusion in Parterre perfumes. Garden tours every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. An ongoing programme of events in the distillery, the Dome and gardens. Highly recommended. https://www.parterreatkeynestonmill.com/
Shopping
Characterful shop on the right hand side at top of Salisbury Street (just beyond OffCamber bike shop). Two floors of stylish stuff, including women's and children's clothes, toys, glass, china, soap and body products, table linen and quilts.
Hambledon Gallery Ltd
40-44 Salisbury St
Characterful shop on the right hand side at top of Salisbury Street (just beyond OffCamber bike shop). Two floors of stylish stuff, including women's and children's clothes, toys, glass, china, soap and body products, table linen and quilts.
One of the best bike shops in the area for sales and servicing. Knowledgeable and friendly staff, renowned for good service. They also organise mountain bike and other events. If you like bikes, you'll like Offcamber.
Offcamber
38 Salisbury St
One of the best bike shops in the area for sales and servicing. Knowledgeable and friendly staff, renowned for good service. They also organise mountain bike and other events. If you like bikes, you'll like Offcamber.
A good selection of gifts, clothing (ladies) and more
Papyrus
8 Salisbury St
A good selection of gifts, clothing (ladies) and more
Exceptional independent florist offering unique and beautiful bouquets, gifts and floral arrangements. Located in the Market Square (next to Smiths).
Sweetpea Florist
Exceptional independent florist offering unique and beautiful bouquets, gifts and floral arrangements. Located in the Market Square (next to Smiths).
Classic country independent bookshop with extensive selection of secondhand books.
The Dorset Bookshop
69 East Street
Classic country independent bookshop with extensive selection of secondhand books.