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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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.

Book a Holiday in Dorset

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View our latest Holiday Brochure, with everything you need to know about our parks, accommodation, facilities and holidays in Dorset!

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Our Awards & Accreditations

Our parks have been recognised as some of the best in Dorset and the South West. 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 - there is more information on the pages for each park.

dorset tourism awards gold 2021/222021 travelers choice tripadvisor awarddavid bellamy blooming marvellous pledge for nature 2022david bellamy conservation gold award 2020/21taste of the west south west england award 2022david bellmay conservation award honey bee friendly park awardgolden cap holiday park commended south westthe queens green canopy platinum jubilee logoplastic free champion surfers against sewage

What our guests say

  • The Most Magical Campsite

    We have just come back from the most magical few days staying at Highlands End. In fact, it was so good we extended our stay by a few days whilst on park. We are new to campsites and this was beyond my expectations

    Mr Scott - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Happy second visit

    Perfectly clean, ample space, lovely views, close to everything, what more could be asked for?

    Dan Pipper - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Well maintained and quiet

    Lovely clean and tidy site. well maintained and quiet in walking distance to Hive Beach and West Bay only a couple of miles away over the coastal walk.

    Linda S - Google Reviews
    Graston Copse

  • Friendliest park on the Dorset coast

    Possibly the friendliest park on the Dorset coast. Staff are exceptional, very helpful and keep the place spotless. The views are fantastic. Showers and toilets are very modern and extremely clean.

    Mr Leck - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic

    This is a lovely quiet, friendly, well maintained site with very friendly, helpful staff who are knowledgeable about the local area and more than happy to pass on useful information to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

    Nigel White - Tripadvisor

  • Wonderful three night stay

    Our pitch was spacious and quiet. The facilities were clean and a generous number of showers etc whatever time we needed them. A very picturesque site and plenty to do straight from the van without the need to drive

    Rachel L - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • Beautiful weekend away

    This park is in a wonderful location. The local village is beautiful and only a 15 min walk along the river. The beach is then another 15 minutes along - again a beautiful walk. We were blessed with amazing weather so we spent the afternoon on Hive Beach.

    Clairey16 - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Ideal base for exploring

    Ideal base for exploring Dorset , everywhere we wanted to visit was within easy reach . Site itself was very good, nice and quite and clean and staff very friendly.

    James S - Tripadvisor