Local to Old Down Cottage

Recommended Visitor Attractions

Enjoy riverside walks along the River Stour as it runs through Blandford Forum.

Local Markets

Wimborne Farmers Market – 3rd saturday each month
Verwood Farmers Market – 4th saturday each month.
Blandford Farmers Market – every Thursday morning & second friday of the month.
Ringwood Town Market – every wednesday. Farmers Market every saturday -in winter only 3rd saturday of month.
Ringwood Decorative Arts Fair – Main car park 2nd saturday of the Month.

Special Days Out

Corfe castle
Lyme Regis
Brownsea Island
Lulworth cove and castle
Stourhead – 18th C landscape garden & Palladian mansion NT 01747 841152

Dorset's famous coastline includes Lulworth Cove, another great day trip from the cottage.

Houses and Gardens of Interest

Kingston Lacy NT House & Garden
Cranborne Manor – Manor not open to public.
Edmondsham House – Garden only
Priests House Museum & Garden (Wimborne) – 01202 882533 – very interesting tells story of East Dorset using archeology & costume- check priest-house.co.uk
Athelhampton House – 15thC Manor House & Grounds.DT2 7LG 01305 848682 House & Garden Mar-Oct Sun-Thurs 10:30-5pm, closed Fri/Sat, Nov-Feb sundays only 10:30-dusk.
Exbury Gardens – Rhododendrons & Camellias 023 8089 1203
Beaulieu Motor Museum Nr Hythe Hants 01590 612345
Heale Garden – 01722 782504
Wilton House – 01722 746720
Salisbury Cathedral
Mompesson House NT The Close Salisbury – feautured in Sense & Sensibility – 01722420980
Larmer Tree Gardens – 01725 516228
Upton Country Park – 01202 672625
Abbotsbury Swannery – 01305 871130
Blandford Fashion Museum – DT11 7AA 01258 453006 open Mon,Thurs,Fri& Sat – depending on season

The National Trust's Kingston Lacy house and gardens are a beautiful place to visit nearby.
Gold Hill Shaftesbury (featured in the Hovis Ad)

Historic Sites

Gold Hill Shaftesbury (featured in the Hovis Ad)
Higher Bockhampton & Max Gate – Thomas Hardy – nr Dorchester
Badbury Rings – Iron Age Hill Fort
Salisbury Cathedral – 01722 555 113

Salisbury Cathedral and green make a really good day trip.

Local Events

MAY – Blandford Georgian Fair
JUNE – Wimborne Folk Festival
Dorset Art Weeks (2 weeks!)
end AUGUST / beginning SEPTEMBER– Great Dorset Steam Fair

Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument and World Heritage Site is a 40 minute drive away (photograph copyright English Heritage).

Recreational Facilities

The New Forest, famous for the free-range ponies, is idyllic for walks and cycle rides.

Cycle Hire

Moors Valley Country Park – way marked cycle routes – large fleet of bikes & also tag-a-longs & trailers for kids. Open from 9:30 daily xc Xmas Day.Last hire 3-4pm depending on season. 01425 470721 BH24 2ET -just down the road!!
Forest Sports & Cycles – Ringwood – 07878466924
Samways & Son – Wimborne – 01202882960
On Yer Bike – Bournemouth M-Sat 9-5pm Sunday 10-3.30pm 01202 315855 -phone to check availability in peak months.
Forest Leisure Cycling-01425 403584 based in Burley, New Forest-picturesque village – BH24 4AB
Riding Schools – CAVEAT I am not a rider & when searching the internet it is difficult to get reliable information about them-these are some local ones but please check them out for yourselves.

Eastmoors Riding School & Livery -8-5pm 7 days 07904902188
Rushall Park Riding Stables Corfe Mullen- 01202691988 Holt Wood Stables 01258 840293
Bramble Equine – Edmonsham 01202 822837
Deer Park Riding Stables – Blandford 01258453283

Nearest Beach with Easy Child-friendly Access

Poole – Sandbanks – good amenities
Bournemouth – Alum Chine – good amenities
Hengistbury Head- Noddy Train down from the car park-kids love or can cycle or walk.
Also Christchurch, Highcliffe, Mudeford, Isle of Purbeck with Studland etc

Nearest Swimming Pool

Queen Elizabeth’s Leisure Centre, Wimborne – 01202 888208
Blandford Leisure Centre, Blandford school – 01258 455566
Splashdown Water Park, Tower Park, Poole – 01202 716123
Ringwood Health & Leisure Centre – BH24 1PX open M-F 6:30am-10pm,Sat 7-7, sunday 8:30 till 6pm 02380285531

Nearest Cinema

Tivoli in Wimborne (small local cinema refurbished Art Deco – great!!!) – 01202 848014 – Some good acts come through eg Michael McIntyre & Eddie Izzard. 01202 848104.
Cineworld Tower Park – Poole BH12 4QA – 08 714714 714.
Odeon Bournemouth – BH25AU (iSense) 03330067777
Regent Centre Christchurch BH231AS 01202 499199
Dorchester Odeon DT11GA- old brewery complex with great restaurants- county town so plenty else to see nearby.
Southampton IMAX SO15 1RE

Footpaths of Interest

Badbury Rings Hillfort – Wimborne
Ashmore-highest village in Dorset with pretty duck pond. Long Crichel
Wimborne St Giles – country seat of Lord Shaftesbury of Factory Act
Eyebridge-Pamphill/Cowgrove-outskirts of Wimborne near Kingston Lacy (NT)

Favourite Walks Nearby

Cranborne-Estate Walk


Moors Valley Country Park 01425 480811
Avon Heath Country Park, St Leonards 01425 478470



Poole Harbour
Spinnaker Yacht Club – gravel pits near Ringwood


Gold Oak Fishery – Cranborne—coarse fishing 01725 517275 BH21 5QT
Clump Hill Farm Fishery – 07764 535211, BH21 7JT coarse fishing.
Rockbourne Trout Fishery – SP6 1QG 01725 518603 Trout Fishing 8-8pm 7 days a week.


Moors Valley Country Park – 01425 470721 BH24 2ET pay & play.
Crane Valley Golf Club – (second nearest) 01202 814088 BH31 7LH-pay & play.
Rushmoor Estate Golf Club – 01725 516326 SP5 5QB Pay & play-stunning views.
Remedy Oak – open championship qualifying golf course (nearest) 01202 812070 BH21 8ND.
Many others not much further away – please ask if required.

Boat Trips

Poole Harbour – incl Brownsea Island home of Boy Scouting Movement, from Poole Quay.
Dreamboats Wimborne – row down river Stour- BH21 1QU 07761 816796 open everyday from 1st July to 31st August (incl summer half term) 11-5pm, 30th April to 30th June & 1st Sept til 30th September only at weekends.


Horton Village Church, Witchampton, Chalbury, Hinton Martell – same benefice so rotation of services.
Wimborne St Giles – C of E but high church.
Methodist – Woodlands or Holtwood.
Catholic – Wimborne or Blandford.
United Reformed – Blandford.

Thrill Seekers

Go Ape – high ropes course at Moors Valley Country Park – 01425 480811
Wessex Raceway – Go Karting – Virtual Warfare Laser Combat & Laser Maze 01725 519010 SP5 5RL
Gorcombe Extreme Sports – Gorcombe Farm Blandford – 01258 452219 / 0845 6441198 – DT11 9AG – Paintballing, quad biking, dirt buggies, archery etc.

Family Activities

The Pottery Cafe – Bournemouth-paint your own pottery 01202 558030 M-F9:30-5:30,Sat 9:30-6pm, Sun 11-5pm BH2 6DT -disabled parking outside the shop.
Adventure Wonderland – 01202 483444 – BH23 6BA 10-6pm -last entry 5pm (4pm rides)
Honeybrook Farm & Country Park – 01202 881120 – BH21 4JD-just down the road.Learn “wild skills”.
Dorset Heavy Horse Centre, Edmonsham Nr Verwood – BH21 5RJ 01202 824040
Tank Museum Bovington – 01929 405096
Wimborne Minster Model Town – 01202 881924
Monkey World – 01929 462537
Priests House Museum – Wimborne -01202 882533