Shaftesbury is a small and historic town close to the North Dorset and Wiltshire border. The famous cobbled Gold Hill is the town’s iconic landmark and there are truly panoramic views over the surrounding countryside from the old town’s unique hilltop position.
There’s a cluster of independent shops, cafés, parks and convenient town centre parking at the heart of the old town. A short distance from the centre you’ll find supermarkets and service stations, schools and leisure facilities. It’s a historic place to visit and a lovely place to live.
Shaftesbury is also the crossing point for two of the main cross-country routes in this area, the A30 and the A350, so you’ll feel well-connected if you need to travel further afield for work and close to the slower pace of the countryside at the same time.
Getting your bearings
Shaftesbury is due south of the A303. It takes about 18 minutes to join this major trunk road. Salisbury is just over 20 miles to the east and Sherborne is 16 miles to the west. For travel by train, Gillingham station is 5 miles away and Tisbury is 9 miles away. Salisbury is the main railway hub for the area with regular trains up to London Waterloo.
Local facilities and services
This pretty town has a good range of local shops as well as some high street brands, a weekly market and for that big shop there’s a Tesco superstore. With plenty of visitors from out of town, there are cafés and gift shops too. All in all, Shaftesbury has managed a balance of historic charm and modern convenience. A short drive takes you to East Stour where there’s an excellent farm shop.
Things to do
Once you have tackled Gold Hill a few times, had a picnic on Castle Hill and in the Park Walk gardens, you can head up the dramatic Zig Zag Hill and into the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Salisbury is a great centre for entertainment, shopping and leisure. It’s got a cinema, arts centre and an excellent market.