Shaftesbury in Dorset

Shaftesbury & Gold Hill

Idyllic market town with a wonderful history. Famed for 'Gold Hill' and beautiful views over Blackmore Vale.

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44.5 miles from Highlands End
46.6 miles from Golden Cap
42.4 miles from Graston Copse
29.9 miles from Sandyholme

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  • Shaftesbury in Dorset
  • Shaftesbury in Dorset
  • Shaftesbury in Dorset
  • Shaftesbury in Dorset

Shaftesbury is a Saxon market town situated in North Dorset. It is perhaps best known for Gold Hill, a cobbled street with idyllic thatched cottages that once appeared in a famous Hovis bread advert. Gold Hill boasts far reaching views over the Blackmore Vale from its elevated position. On a clear day you can see much of Dorset, which enabled early settlers to prepare for invasion.

In one of the cottages at the top of Gold Hill you will find the Shaftesbury Town Museum. This small volunteer ran project is free to enter and gives visitors an insight into local history. The collections showcase interesting artefacts including buttons and bonnets, which were a mainstay at the time. St Peters church is located on the main street and has undergone recent restoration works. It is thought to be the oldest church in Shaftesbury and is open to the public. It was built in medieval times for pilgrims coming to the town and boasts wonderful architecture.

Little has changed in Shaftesbury over the years and much of the town is reminiscent of bygone era. Small independent shops line the streets along with a traditional butchers, bakers and greengrocers. Its quaint and charming streets lay largely untouched by modernisation, which has made it a popular destination for visitors.

Shaftesbury Abbey

Shaftesbury Abbey was founded by King Alfred and was a popular location for monks on pilgrimage. Following the dissolution of the monastery during the reign of King Henry VIII, the Abbey was laid to ruin. The remains of this once prosperous site have been excavated and now lay within the grounds of the walled gardens. Here you can walk through the orchard and herb garden and enjoy the peace and serenity of this historic site. Interactive displays allow visitors to learn more about the Abbey. There are also activities for children to enjoy as well as trail to follow.

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Thorncombe Beacon

Thorncombe Beacon, near Highlands End Holiday Park, is one of the highest clifftops on the Dorset Coast, offering amazing views
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Holidays in Dorset

At West Dorset Leisure Holidays, we have a great choice of accommodation and facilities across 4 family-run holiday parks on or near the Jurassic Coast - Highlands End, Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, as well as Caravan and Lodge Holiday Homes for sale.

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Our Awards & Accreditations

Our parks have been recognised as some of the best in Dorset. We're extremely proud of the awards and it's easy to see why our guests return year on year. You can be safe in the knowledge that you're staying at one of the best parks in the county! Please note awards vary by Park.

What our guests say

  • Very peaceful Park

    The wildlife is stunning, we were visited by the ducks on a regular basis which was lovely. Our visit was very enjoyable and we will definitely be back in the future!

    Sarah W - Pitch Up

  • 5 out of 5 isn't enough!

    This is simply our favorite touring park along the south coast. The location couldn't be better with views to die for and an abundance of fresh sea air. The park is spic and span and extremely well kept with very friendly staff.

    Big Caravan Adventures - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Best holiday ever!

    This is by far the best Holiday Park I have been to. The views are breath taking with easy access to the beach and nice coastal walks to West Bay. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday in a stunning location, then this is the place to come.

    Alison D - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic holiday once again

    We have been coming here now every year for about 10 years. Its our favourite place and the Park has everything we need.

    Andy M - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • A little bit of heaven!

    Golden Cap is a little bit of heaven. The views are awesome, right next to the sea. It's all relaxed and low key just how we like it.

    Esther Woodhouse - Facebook
    Golden Cap

  • Idyllic setting

    Quiet site in a beautiful setting with exceptionally clean toilets and showers

    Anthony M - Pitch Up
    Graston Copse

  • Would definitely recommend

    Close to beach, a nice local pub, dog friendly and a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Dan M - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • A tour of Dorset!

    An excellent Park as a base to visit the Dorset coast, Jurassic Coast, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, to name a few.

    Arthur D - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Fantastic Park

    10 out of 10 is not enough for this Holiday Park. We have been here 3 times and we love it more and more every time. The park has all you need, with some pitches overlooking the sea and a great restaurant.

    Shirley Thompson - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • A hidden gem

    The location is amazing, right on the beach and all the facilities are good. It's a hidden gem this one, one of the best parks in the country

    Mark Tee - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Lovely tranquil campsite

    The location was great as we could easily walk to the village or local beaches through the beautiful countryside. I would recommend this campsite to families for a peaceful and safe stay.

    Sarah - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse