BBC show Escape to the Country seeks recommendations in Blandford

WHAT are the best and most interesting independent businesses in Blandford?

That was the question posed by a TV researcher for the popular Escape to the Country programme on social media this week.

The researcher, who works for Boundless Productions, which works on shows including The Apprentice, Grand Designs and more, posted on social media for information on “the best/most interesting independent businesses with an owner to match”.

They added: “The BBC show, Escape to the Country, might be visiting Blandford Forum in a few weeks and we are looking to visit the best businesses the town has to offer.

“Please let me know your suggestions in the comments.”

And resdents responded in kind.

One wrote: “Muddy Monkies Forest School. An outstanding early years Setting which works in the forest with the forest school ethos.

“Get those little minds outside is what we say.”

Another pointed them in the direction of Larmer Tree Gardens, which they said would be “something not to miss”.

While another wrote: “Conyers country shop with original frontage and signage and the building is still owned by the Conyer family.

“Bare floorboards and original glass display cases – a time capsule. Probably the only shop in town that (is) still as it was pre-WWI, a must see for the programme.”

Several recommended the Ginger Viking, while another raised the Blandform Forum Gymnastics Club.

“Helen Barnett-Moore has run the club for 26 years,” they said. “Currently 550 members and a non-profit organisation teaching many young people in Blandford. Also providing a lot of locals with job opportunities.”

Sweetpea florist, the Big Yellow Bus Project and Sophie’s Ceramics Pottery Cafe also received recommendations from townsfolk, alongside a number of others.

Escape to the Country runs on most weekdays at 3pm on BBC One.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.