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Four great things to do in Shaftesbury

Posted on 16th September 2015

Nestled in the north of Wiltshire, Shaftesbury is the quintessentially British town that everyone looks for during an English country cottage getaway. If you’re planning to discover this great town during a visit to the region, here are four things you won’t want to miss.

Walk the Gold Hill

Undoubtedly the aspect that the town is most famous for, Gold Hill is one of those iconic sights that is recognised by people across the country. A delightful cobbled hill with picture-postcard cottages lining the edge, the hill was made famous after it featured in a Hovis advert back in 1973, an advert which was directed by the great Sir Ridley Scott. The hill remains very much the same since the advert was first aired, although one addition is the charming monument of a Hovis loaf of bread.

Gold Hill

Image Credit: shrikin’violet (flickr.com)

Not only does walking up this famous hill provide a chance to walk the steps featured in the advert, but also from the summit you can admire stunning views across the Blackmore Vale. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Gold Hill Museum to learn more about this famous street.

Explore Shaftesbury Abbey

Another great feature of Shaftesbury is the town’s Abbey Museum & Gardens, an attraction which tells the story of what was once the wealthiest Benedictine nunnery in all of England. Founded in 888AD, the Abbey was a key part of Shaftesbury until being demolished in 1539 during the English Reformation while under the rule of Henry VIII.

The Museum is where you can see the excavated foundations of where this grand Abbey once stood, and is also home to a host of Saxon carvings, medieval floor tiles and other ancient manuscripts. A visit to the museum and gardens will cost no more than £3 per person, meaning it’s a very cost-effective day out for the whole family during your cottage getaway in Wiltshire.

Shaftesbury Abbey Remains

Image credit: Bell and Jeff (flickr.com)

Stop off for a traditional pub lunch

After exploring Gold Hill and the Abbey Museum, it’s likely that you will have worked up quite an appetite and what better way to settle that than with a traditional pub lunch? Fortunately for you, Shaftesbury has some of the best pubs in the region and there’s sure to be something on the menu to please the palates of all visitors. Among the best establishments we can recommend include the Bennett Arms, The Fontmell, The Forester and The Grove Arms. 

Sausage Sandwich

Image credit: Jeremy Keith (Flickr.com) 

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride

With Wiltshire offering miles and miles of lush green hills, what better way to view them than with a trip up high in a hot air balloon? That’s exactly what you can experience through Virgin Balloon Flights. Whether you want a romantic daytime flight, or perhaps the chance to view this stunning scenery at sunrise, it’s an experience that’s sure to make your holiday unforgettable.

Hot Air Balloon

Image credit: traveljunction (Flickr.com)