Blackmore Vale, Dorset travel guide and Blandford Forum information

Photo of Blackmore Vale in Blackmore Vale (Dorset region)

Blackmore Vale Hotels

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The Blackmore Vale is situated in the northern part of Dorset, and also partly in Wiltshire and Somerset.

A broad stretch of gently rolling countryside, the Blackmore Vale falls between the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural beauty to the east and the chalk Dorset Downs to the south, with the River Stour flowing along the valley.

The picturesque scenery mostly consists of open fields (often used for dairy farming) separated by hedgerows, with some small hills and areas of woodland, with various villages and towns to discover in between - very typical 'English countryside'.

Some of the best views across the countryside can be seen from Hambledon Hill, next to Child Okeford and just north of Blandford Forum, and visible from many places within the Blackmore Vale. Another popular scenic highlight is the picturesque setting of the old watermill near Sturminster Newton.

Among towns and villages, Blandford Forum is the most important, and has some attractive examples of Georgian architecture. Sturminster Newton, with an attractive mix of architectural styles in the town centre, and Gillingham (Dorset not Kent!) are also in the region while smaller towns and villages include Fifehead Magdalen and Fifehead St Quintin, Henstridge, Kington Magna, Shillingstone, Stalbridge, Child Okeford and Okeford Fitzpaine.

One place of interest to literary enthusiasts is the village of Marnhull, which was the village referred to as Marlott in 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' by Thomas Hardy.

Note, the popular towns of Shaftesbury and Sherborne fall slightly outside the Blackmore Vale.

See also:

Map of Blackmore Vale and places to visit

Blackmore Vale places to visit

See more places nearby in the Dorset guide