The Local Area of Blandford Forum
The History of Blandford Forum
Blandford Forum, a historic market town nestled alongside the picturesque banks of the River Stour, boasts an array of splendid Georgian architecture. The town underwent a significant transformation during the 18th century following a devastating fire in 1731, resulting in a remarkable consistency in architectural style. To this day, Blandford Forum remains a vibrant hub for commerce, hosting a lively outdoor market twice a week, on both Thursdays and Saturdays.
Initially, Blandford Forum emerged as a Saxon settlement situated by the River Stour. The name “Stour” is believed to have Saxon origins, meaning “strong” or “mighty.” In the Domesday Book of 1086, the town was referred to as “Blaneford,” though the exact origin of the “Blane” part remains uncertain. It’s speculated to be derived from “Blay Ford,” potentially associated with the presence of blay, a type of small fish. The addition of “Forum,” the Latin term for a marketplace, occurred as the town evolved into a bustling market hub. The inception of markets in Blandford Forum dates back to an era preceding the 13th century when they began to thrive. Concurrently, annual fairs were also established, marking the town’s prosperous commercial history.
The Best Things to Do, to See and to Stay in Blandford
Ranmoor Estate is a small award winning, luxury, family run holiday site, set in over eleven secluded acres, located in Blandford Forum, in the stunning rural county of Dorset.
We offer 10 exclusive properties each with its own unique style, individual private hot tubs, and barbeque. 9 of our properties are child friendly, 7 of our properties are dog friendly, one is fully wheelchair accessible, including the hot tub via fixed hoist.
Our site is tranquil with stunning views of the rolling Dorset Countryside, which are second to none and can be enjoyed from each of the accommodations.
Hall & Woodhouse Brewery
The Brewery Visitor Centre tells the story of Hall & Woodhouse and its Badger Ales through the ages. Located at the Brewery in Blandford St Mary your trip can include a brewery tour, a visit to our shop and lunch in The Brewery Tap. We also offer conference facilities and the The Brewery Tap can be hired out for private events or parties. Brewery Tour: You can partake in a full guided tour of the brewery where you can discover the true art of brewing! You can soak up the atmosphere, taste the malt and smell the hops as you see our new brewery in action. Tours are run daily from Monday to Saturday at 11am (excluding Wednesdays) lasting approximately 2 hours and includes beer tasting! Evening tours can also be arranged on request. Booking is essential. The Brewery Shop: You can browse and purchase our full range of bottled ales along with tasteful branded merchandise such as glassware, beer tankards and polo shirts. Opening times 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. The Brewery Tap: You can also relax and enjoy a beer or a coffee with a light lunch in our relaxed casual dining environment, with free Wifi access. Food service times: 9.30am to 2.30pm Monday – Saturday.
Visit Website - Book a Tour
Visit Website - The Brewery Tap
St Leonards Farmhouse
St Leonards Farmhouse is an 18th Century former farmhouse with spacious rooms and comfortable beds. It is a beautifully appointed 225-year-old listed building which has retained much of its original character, charm and features. We are 15m back from the B3082 which runs through Blandford. 5 minute walk from the Blandford town centre, which offers many shops and restaurants, we are well situated to allow you to explore the lovely county of Dorset.
We offer two beautiful en suite king size bedrooms on the first floor. The Sett and The Den. The Drey is our single room also on the first floor and has a private luxury shower room opposite. The Holt is an en suite twin room on the ground floor overlooking the back garden. There is a beautiful garden and comfortable summer house in the garden to the rear of the property with plenty of seating for morning coffee or afternoon tea. An excellent Dorset breakfast is served in our relaxing dining room using locally sourced free range or organic produce where possible. We offer a variety of breakfast choices and cater for special dietary requirements. Please advise us on booking.
Prices are per room, based on a maximum of two people sharing, including breakfast, Wi-Fi & parking. During popular events such as RSA (Royal Signals Association) weekend and The Great Dorset Steam Fair, full payment is required in advance to secure your booking and bookings require 14 days cancellation. (Please call for prices during these events.) We are unable to accommodate children under 12 or pets.
Royal Signals Museum
The museum has set up captivating exhibits showcasing various aspects, including the evolution of the modern, technologically advanced signaller. These displays vividly portray the extensive contributions of the Corps, both in battlefield scenarios and in broader contexts. These exhibits are meticulously curated and designed by active-duty soldiers from diverse units, offering a unique perspective on their roles and duties.
The Blandford Fashion Museum
Their facility boasts 13 exhibit areas spread across two floors, featuring a dynamic schedule of rotating exhibitions. These showcases enlighten visitors on historical attire, textiles, and the intricate interplay between fashion and societal evolution. Beyond exhibitions, they offer specialized amenities such as a Resources Room catering to students pursuing studies in fashion and textiles, along with a dedicated Lecture Room for comprehensive study sessions.
Blandford Town Museum
The Blandford Town Museum narrates the tale of Blandford Forum and the neighboring villages by showcasing exhibitions, displays, and local artifacts. Their collection includes archives that assist individuals in exploring their family or local history, encompassing topics such as militaria and railways. Managed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, the museum offers free admission.
Blandford Indoor Market
Step into Blandford Indoor Market and immerse yourself in a hub of local wonders. Nestled in the heart of Blandford Forum, their indoor market is a vibrant showcase of the very best that the community and surrounding areas have to offer.