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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.

Things to do in Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury Places of Interest

Places to Go

Find places to go and things to do in Shaftesbury using the options below.

You can also explore all of the venues on our Shaftesbury Map.

Shaftesbury Events

26 Jul 2024 to 28 Jul 2024
Shaftesbury Fringe
14 Aug 2024 to 15 Aug 2024
Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show

Latest Shaftesbury Features

23 Jan 2024
Half-term Fun in Dorset So, it’s the half term and you may be wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained! Well don’t worry, whether you are local resident or are staying in Dorset on a break, there’s lots to do throughout the seasons. Our Resort family has children of different ages and here are some of the things we plan to enjoy; perhaps you will too! Fossil Hunting – Will you be the next person to find a Sea Rex? Who knows you may just discover the next ... Read more...
23 Jul 2019
Holidays in Dorset - 10 Must-Visit Places Dorset is well-known for many reasons, and you’re probably visiting because you’ve heard many great things about the beautiful county (we’re guessing the 95-mile stretch of the Jurassic Coast has something to do with it). But, have you planned what you’re going to get up to during your stay? Holidays in Dorset just aren’t complete without visiting these places. They’ll make your trip extra special… Durdle Door Let’s get ... Read more...
11 Jun 2019
Unusual Things to do in Dorset In Dorset, things can get a bit quirky, but quirky often means a fun, unforgettable experience. With a wealth of history, attractions and even animals, the county offers an eclectic mix you’d struggle to find anywhere else. The rural culture that blesses the South West, along with a striking coastline, creates many unique opportunities, meaning you’ve got plenty of choices when looking for unusual things to do in Dorset. From visiting a ‘ghost village’ to ... Read more...
26 Mar 2018
Resort Dorset Magazine 2018 The popular Resort Dorset magazine for 2018 is out today. Our free title offers visitors the chance to discover all the best things to see and do across the county. Resort is packed with great attractions, activities, food and drink, shopping, events and more ideas for great days out. You'll also find lots of money-saving vouchers! Keep an eye out for the bright yellow dispensers and pick up your copy soon - they'll be found in many hotels, holiday parks, shops, ... Read more...
12 Feb 2018
Dorset Countryside Escape to the Dorset countryside and breathe in the fresh air as you gaze over a landscape that looks untouched by time; you can just imagine days gone by, when horses pulled the plough and milk churns were left at the farm gate awaiting collection. Rural Dorset sits to the north and east of the county and is made up of rolling hills, chalk downlands, flower meadows, heathlands, and fertile farmland that produces a variety of crops. The Dorset Wildlife Trust has a number of ... Read more...

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