Local Area

Useful Local Information

Gold HillAbbeyfield House is close to all the amenities of Shaftesbury, a town steeped in history with its famous Gold Hill and Saxon abbey ruins. A walk to the ruins will afford visitors the most beautiful view across the vale. King Alfred burnt his cakes, it is said, in a café to be found just a few steps away from the house.

Shaftesbury has several shops and cafés, a supermarket, delicatessens, churches, chemists, banks, a post office, pubs and a hotel in its High Street. There is also a market every Thursday and a farmers’ market once a month. Within walking distance of the house is a tourist information office packed full of interesting and helpful information.

Shaftesbury has its own community hospital, with a minor injuries clinic, X-ray department and small rehabilitation ward. Two dental practices are also within easy reach of the house.

When it comes to leisure activities, Shaftesbury has a swimming pool, a library, and a thriving arts centre with its own small theatre and cinema.

The annual Gold Hill Fair in early July is famous throughout the area, as is the August Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show held just outside the town.

Our local free magazines, The Blackmore Vale (out every Friday) and the Visitor (monthly), provide a wealth of local information, news and events, as well as listings of local suppliers for all manner of requirements. Another good source of local information is www.shaftesburytourism.co.uk.

Transport connections are good, with buses from the stop in the high street to take passengers to all major towns and cities within a good radius of Shaftesbury. The nearest train station is Gillingham,  just four miles away, with direct services to London and the South West. There are also a number of local taxi services.

Nearby Attractions

Shaftesbury, historically also known as Shaston, is a town in Dorset, England.

The town looks over the Blackmore Vale, part of the River Stour basin. From different viewpoints, it is possible to see at least as far as Glastonbury Tor to the northwest.

A particularly scenic road is Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street that film director Ridley Scott used as the setting for an iconic television advertisement for Hovis bread that was frequently broadcast in the 1970s and 1980s

The major industries in the 18th and 19th centuries were buttonmaking and weaving. The former became a victim of mechanisation, and this caused unemployment and emigration.

Shaftesbury has a successful small economy with many independently owned shops on the High Street.


Abbeyfield Blackmore Vale Society

Abbeyfield House, Bleke Street, Shaftesbury Dorset, SP7 8JZ