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Things to do inShaftesbury

Visitor information for Shaftesbury in Dorset

  • Shaftesbury
  • Shaftesbury
  • Shaftesbury
  • Shaftesbury

The hilltop town of Shaftesbury is a definite must-do if you are visiting Dorset. With stunning views over a patchwork of fields and hedgerows, together with a rural charm that is reminiscent of days gone by, Shaftesbury is, nevertheless, a town that has everything you could want for lovely day out.

Visit Gold Hill (made famous with the boy on a bike Hovis advert in 1978) a sight that never fails to enthral. With its cobbled pathway and pretty cottages that tumble down the hillside, there can surely be no finer picture postcard view in the country.

Shaftesbury’s award-winning Abbey Museum & Garden sits on the site of a Benedictine nunnery that was founded by King Alfred in 888AD. In 1539 Henry VIII ordered that the Abbey be dissolved. All that remains today are the massive ramparts on Gold Hill and the excavated foundations in a walled garden at the Abbey Museum.

One of the highlights of any visit to Shaftesbury is the extraordinary array of small specialist shops - with a surprisingly wide range of products not normally expected of a small market town - as well as many cafes, bars and restaurants offering visitors a very special experience.

Shaftesbury offers access to some of the best walking and cycling in the south of England, with routes through the beautiful Blackmore Vale, Cranborne Chase and the downlands of Win Green, Fontmell and Melbury.
Indeed, Shaftesbury sits at the hub of a circle that encompasses so many national attractions in all directions, making it the perfect base for a long-stay holiday.

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