The market town of Blandford in Dorset may have an evil resident in the biting ‘Blandford Fly’, but don’t let that put you off visiting this part of North Dorset. The town of Blandford sits on the River Stour, and has a good road connection to Wimbourne Minster, along with bus links to Poole, Bournemouth and Sailsbury.
Some of the earliest records on Blandford date back to Anglo-Saxon times when the town was an important Fording, or river crossing point. It made the headlines later in 1731 when much of the town was destroyed by fire, and then rebuilt by notable architects The Bastard Family.
Blandford is an ideal place to visit if you’re looking for an unspoilt Georgian town with a number of interesting attractions. There are several museums in the town, The Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Military Base, which is dedicated to the history of army communications, and the local Town Museum. This has a number of events and talks throughout the year, and permanent exhibits, including World War memorabilia and a Victorian child’s playroom.
Also worth a visit is Chettle House, a Queen Anne Manor House which is a popular filming location and wedding venue. On various dates of the year visitors are invited to tour the house and grounds, or attend events such as the Craft and Garden Fair held in August.
Blandford is also home to one of the biggest and most traditionally English events in the Dorset calendar, The Great Dorset Steam Fair. This five day event is held in a village called Tarrant Hinton near Blandford, and is great for all the family. There are classic cars, steam engines, a steam driven funfair, and music stages, all on a site, which organisers claim, is the size of a small town!
With traditional tea rooms, a mix of shops and leisure facilities, and charming rural accommodation, Blandford Forum can be an ideal place for a day trip, or as a base to explore the rest of Dorset.