Let's move to... Ferndown in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 18:24 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 20 February 2013

Let’s move to... Ferndown in Dorset

Let’s move to... Ferndown in Dorset

Edward Griffiths explores this east Dorset town with its vibrant range of clubs and beautiful ancient heathland

Lets move to... Ferndown

Edward Griffiths explores this east Dorset town with its vibrant range of clubs and beautiful ancient heathland

Over recent years Ferndown, near the Dorset/ Hampshire border, has expanded into one of Dorsets largest towns, with a population of over 20,000. Though much of East Dorsets ancient heathland has disappeared under housing, a few pockets remain including Ferndown Common and Parley Common. Ferndown has good transport connections, fine outdoor sport and leisure facilities and plenty of independent shops, making it popular with both retirees and families. Between them, Ferndown and Uddens Industrial Estates form the largest industrial area in east Dorset, with a wide range of businesses providing good employment prospects, ranging from the aerospace industry to a firm that makes paint for the National Trust.

The First, Middle and Upper Schools of Ferndown are all within convenient hailing distance of each other; Ferndown First School (ages 4-9) in Church Road (01202 873747, fernfirst.dorset.sch.uk), Ferndown Middle School (ages 9-13) in Peter Grant Way (01202 876556, fernmid.dorset.sch.uk) and Ferndown Upper School (ages 13-18) in Cherry Grove (01202 871243, fernup.dorset.sch.uk). Further First Schools in outer areas include Oakhurst Community First School in Shaftesbury Road, West Moors (01202 871577, oakhurst.dorset.sch.uk); Parley First School in Glenmoor Road, Ferndown (01202 874400, parley.dorset.sch.uk) and St Marys C of E VC First School in Station Road, West Moors (01202 874838, stmaryswestmoors.dorset.sch.uk).

Shopping and Eating Out
Ferndown is well served with a wide selection of high street names and superstores, while in Ferndown centre youll find independent shops such as a butcher, greengrocer and bakery.
As well as coffee shops like Raffles at the Barrington Centre, which also plays host to various shows and entertainments, and The Merchant of Venice caf and deli in Ringwood Road, there are several restaurants and hostelries within a mile or two of Ferndowns shopping centre. Towards Longham, The Angel is always busy and The White Hart is very popular for Carols Cracking Pies. On the Wimborne Road, The Old Thatch is a delightful black-and-white thatched pub.

Join the club...
Ferndown is rich in club life, ranging from the Art Society (01202 875464) and Bridge Club (01202 533408) to the Horticultural Society (01202 876572) and Pennys Patchwork Quilting Group (01202 873133). The local library in Pennys Walk has more details of these and other clubs (01202 874542).

For the sporty...
Ferndown Leisure Centre in Cherry Grove has two heated pools, a sports hall, gym, squash courts, rifle range and an extensive range of pitches (01202 877468, ferndownleisure@dorsetcc.gov.uk). For keen swimmers, Ferndown Otters is a small, friendly competitive swimming club (age 5 upwards) with an impressive track record that includes Olympic, Commonwealth and International Youth swimmers (ferndown.otters.co.uk). There are several local golf courses including Ferndown Golf Club in Golf Links Road (01202 653950) and Ferndown Forest Golf Club which has a covered, floodlit driving range (01202 876096). Nearby Longham Lakes offers anglers the chance to catch a big one. Day or season tickets can be bought from the Bailiffs office at Longham Lakes or contact Adrian Hobbs 07824 897154.

For lovers of the great outdoors...
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, set in 700 acres of pine forest and partially cultivated heathland, has a wide range of recreational and play facilities including cycleways, guided lake and forest walks and a tree-top trail. For more information 01425 470721, moors-valley.co.uk.

For walkers and riders...
Ferndown has footpaths and bridleways criss-crossing its wild heathland and open spaces, with various access points off Ferndowns residential roads. Parley Common Nature Reserve is a delightful SSSI where you can see green woodpeckers, nightjars and kestrels. For serious walkers the Stour Valley Way is easily accessible as it passes through Longham from Christchurch and crosses the Stour meadows towards Wimborne and on to Stourhead.

Local Information
Ferndown is on the Ringwood to Poole road, reaching the A31 between Ringwood and Wimborne. The A31 connects to the M27 and M3 to Winchester, Southampton and London or via the A34 to Newbury and the M4. Bournemouth and Pooles railway stations are 7 miles away and Bournemouth Airport is 4 miles away.

Latest from the Dorset