Travel bites: overnight in Blandford Forum
Another wonderful stop over discovery
I had not heard of Blandford Forum before but, much like for Bruton in our way to Cornwall, I searched maps to see where would roughly be the half way point on our way back to London. After an initial idea of stopping in Devon, we decided to progress further and picked Dorset for our overnight stop.
And again, the criteria for picking a place were the same: dog friendly, child friendly and pretty with decent food. And I am so glad we discovered Blandford Forum!
The area is gorgeous: rolling green hills, pretty historic villages and the weather was perfect. We put the top down and our old lady XK8 took us through winding country roads from the west counties to Dorset.
On our way, we stopped to see the chalk giant of Cerne Abbas which is always a pleasant view and leg stretching opportunity, the nearby hamlet of the same name is gorgeous too with some tatched roof houses and Tudor dwellings.
We also stopped in Sherborne , where I had hope to see the old castle but sadly it has just closed for the day, nevertheless, the small town looked stunning, with regency houses, a small medieval Norman church and an attractive town square. I made a mental note to visit at some point and we finally reached Blandford Forum as the sun was setting.
Home for one night
We had booked the Crown hotel and I am so glad we did. Located at the entrance to the small town, it has private parking and a really pretty front courtyard where food and drinks are served.
The building is old and full of history and our room was fantastic. I loved the decor between vintage and modern. Oil has his own room too, which was a a plus and he was very excited at the idea of being all grown up
The hotel is full of period details; the staircase sports ‘candle steps’, where in Victorian times, candles would be lit and placed on each so that guests could pick one up upon retiring for the night and lit their walking.
We had a pretty decent dinner in the garden and the following morning a delightful breakfast with great coffee in the bar area. The dining room proper is beautiful and very elegant but dogs are not allowed in so we were happy with the bar area.
We had time to explore the town, and I actually enjoyed two walks with Amber, one on riverside and one in town, taking in the attractive high street and architecture which boats some fine buildings and shops.
We also discovered a spectacular second hand book store called the Dorset Book Shop, where we bought a vintage Tin Tin book for old. Housed in an ancient building the gentleman that mans the store was super friendly and told us how the whole store is unchanged since last century and showed us around, through the quirky wonky staircase and hidden treasures
I really hope to come back in the area in the near future as there is way too much left to explore!