BLANDFORD’s magical walking tours are back this summer, leading locals and visitors on a unique exploration of this beautiful Georgian town.
Baffling Blandford is the brainchild of poet, broadcaster and magician Paul Hyland and his wife Jana Bundy, who is also a professional magician.
The couple launched their eccentric introduction to Blandford’s historic and hidden attractions last year, at the Free Expression Arts Festival in May. The response was so good that they decided to continue this year, with walks every Sunday until 10th September.
The tour is designed for an adult audience, though families with children aged six and over will enjoy it too.
Paul says: “When we started Baffling Blandford last year we had no idea how terrific the response would be, but we’ve been thrilled at the reaction from tourists and locals. The town council and the civic society have given us the thumbs-up and the Crown Hotel has sponsored us by encouraging us to start and finish our walks in the hotel garden.”
This year the walk starts every Sunday at 4pm and lasts about 90 minutes. “It’s only half an hour of walking,” says Jana, “but we stop at a dozen hotspots around the heart of the town and perform illusions which illustrate the quirky character of Blandford Forum.”
Paul is a Dorset-born poet, author and professional magician who has performed for celebrities in the UK, Venice and the US. He is a member of the renowned Magic Circle while Jana belongs to the Wessex Magical Association. She is an American translator and wordsmith who has performed magic and mentalism since she was a child in Arkansas.
Jana and Paul’s styles of performance are very different, but they developed a joint act for their wedding, “Tying the Knot”, and have put some of that into Baffling Blandford to express their love of the town and its history and their shared passion for the art of magic.
• Baffling Blandford leaves from the Crown Hotel at 4pm every Sunday until 10th September. Tickets are available from the Crown Hotel reception, Blandford TIC or hosts Paul and Jana on the night. For more information visit www.artoftheimpossible/magic