Blandford Parkrun Guide

Introduction

Blandford parkrun is another run made possible by the prolific provider of public trails, Dr Beeching. That’s a joke, which is probably only funny (and maybe not even then) if you’re British and of a certain age. Dr Beeching was a politician responsible for closing down 6000 miles of railway tracks in Britain during the 1960s. Amongst the aforementioned closures was the Somerset and Dorset Railway line. The old railway line closed down in 1966 and now 14 miles of the disused line forms the North Dorset Trailway.

Blandford Parkrun
Blandford Parkrun

Orientation

Blandord Parkrun takes place on the North Dorset Trailway, starting under Jubilee Way bridge in Blandford Forum. Access to the trailway is via a flight of steps adjacent to Blandford Hospital. The X8 bus stops outside the hospital.

Parking

Free Parking is available on Jubilee Way and the surrounding roads.

Facilities

The Whistlestop Cafe is located on the trailway close to the start/finish line. Note that this is a serving hatch, not a sit-in cafe, so if it’s cold and wet, you will be too.

Toilets

There are toilets at Blandford Leisure Centre about a 5 minute walk from the start. The hospital is closer, but it feels wrong using a hospital toilet if you’re not actually going to the hospital. Like the NHS doesn’t have already enough to deal with. So I used the Leisure Centre instead.

Course

The course is a straightforward out and back route along the trailway.

Blandford Parkrun Strava Segment
Blandford Parkrun Strava Segment

Terrain

The route consists of a mixture of tarmac paths and hard packed paths.

Start of Blandford Parkrun

Shoes

Weather dependent. We ran in winter, so I wore trail shoes. It is, after all, a trail.

Difficulty

Run Britain rankings for UK parkruns places Blandford as 77th fastest out of 706. It has a total elevation of 52 metres.

Fun Factor

This is a scenic trail passing through the Dorset countryside. The trail is fairly smooth and easy to run on. Being a disused train line, the trail is very straight and apart from a slight lump near the start/finish, it is quite flat. What’s not to love? Good old Dr Beeching…

Blandford Parkrun

Author: Jane's Midlife Journey

Stopped work, started travelling. Sometimes I run - combining the two with some parkrun tourism.

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