Where is Shaftesbury?Shaftesbury is perched high on a chalky hill some 200m above sea level and overlooks the beautiful Blackmore Vale in the southern County of Dorset. It was my home for a period of six months during my back-packing time of the late ’80s. I stopped there for a short visit but ended up staying and getting a job to earn some more travel money. My first position was as a groom to the Assistant Huntsman looking after his four hunting horses and I had the pleasure of exercising them within the vicinity of the stunning Stourhead Gardens. The second position was to assist a family renovate their collection of historic buildings at nearby Melbury Abbas, Sturminster Newton and Blandford Forum.
Shaftesbury is most well known for the historic, cobblestone street that climbs up the hill and is lined with old, thatch roofed cottages. The street is ‘Gold Hill’ and remembered fondly in the TV advertisement for Hovis bread during the 1970s and ’80s. On the other side of the hill there is another road that climbs up the steep incline and is called Zigzag Hill. It’s narrow, steep and windy and best avoided when black ice is about or you could find yourself skidding straight for a truck – yes, that was my experience!
Love Shaftesbury as much as I do? Framed Art Poster Print by Jon Arnold
One Great Reason to Visit Shaftesbury
One great reason to visit Shaftesbury is to marvel at the views from the historic ‘Gold Hill’.