Shaftesbury is a charming market town with the famous Gold Hill road and is situated in North Dorset not far from the Wiltshire border. Right in the heart of the romantic Dorset countryside – fondly known as Hardy’s Wessex country this town has much to offer the visitor as well as being an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.
The town has a variety of delightful craft shops, boutiques and galleries. Each year Shaftesbury hosts the Gold Hill Fair which raises lots of money for local charities and is the largest free event held in Dorset attracting thousands of visitors.
For that perfect country walk head to Duncliffe Wood which is one of the largest woods in North Dorset and originally was a site of ancient woodland. Nearby visitor attractions just over the border into Wiltshire include Stourhead which is a fine example of an English country mansion with a beautiful heritage garden and lake.
Alternatively for something a bit different take a trip to Bush Farm Bison Centre where you can see bison, elk and red deer. There are a range of good places to eat in Shaftesbury from organic cafes like The Green Rock to the famous La Fleur de Lys restaurant. For that perfect cream tea visit the King Alfred’s tearooms in the centre of Shaftesbury.
Shaftesbury has a rich history dating back to the Saxon times – you will find the area dotted with medieval relicts and Victorian splendour. The Abbey Museum and Town Museum are well worth a visit to learn more about the colourful history of this town including the walled garden with the Abbey remains.
Gold Hill is a renowned street in Shaftesbury with its cobbled street running beside the walls of King Alfred’s Abbey and stunning views over the 700ft highland. It is no surprise that this picturesque street is featured on numerous calendars and boxes of chocolates!