Shaftesbury offers an eclectic and stylish mix of independent shops, restaurants, museums and galleries. The town leads visitors and locals alike to feel a strong sense of living in a parallel world where cares and worries may be left for another day.
Shaftesbury can be reached easily by car from the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International hotel in London by car or by train. A car journey will take approximately 2h 18mins via the M3 and A303. Travelling by train will take slightly longer due to a short walk between stations. You can reach Shaftesbury by train via the Tube from Bayswater station to Victoria station and the from Victoria station on to your destination.
Here are some of the top things to do in Shaftesbury:
Gold Hill Museum
Shaftesbury and District local history museum has an award winning cottage garden and wonderful views over Thomas hardy’s Blackmore Vale. This modern museum is set in two historic buildings; one was originally the priest’s house and the other provided basic lodgings for traders at the market on Gold Hill.
The museum had 8 galleries that tell the story of rural and town life. Highlights of the collection include Dorset’s oldest fore engine dating from 1744; fine lacework and costumes, handmade Dorset buttons and a mummified Dorset cat.
Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden
The excavated foundations of this once important and influential Abbey lie in a peaceful walled garden, with an extensive herb garden and medieval orchard. The museum brings to life the story of Saxon England’s foremost Benedictine nunnery, founded by King Alfred in 888AD.
Compton Abbas Airfield
Based round the unparalleled thrill of flying a light aircraft over some of the most magnificent scenery in England, Compton Abass Airfield provides experiences suitable for everyone, from novice flyers to qualified pilots.
Compton Abbas is one of the most highly regarded airfields in England. It has an unrivalled set up that enables you to share the whole experience from watching the briefing, take-off and landing, as well as stunning views and food from the popular hilltop café.
Shaftesbury Super Sunday Market
Discover many talented people living in Dorset and the surrounding area every 3rd Sunday of the month with stalls stretching from one end of Shaftesbury High Street to the other. The stalls offer an eclectic mix of artisan producers, plenty of local food and drink, arts and crafts and much more.
Virgin Balloon Flights – Shaftesbury
Flying up and away on a hot air balloon ride is a truly unforgettable experience. Enjoy breath-taking views, landmarks and the wonder of nature from a new and unique perspective as you take to the skies in one of the iconic red Virgin hot air balloons.
No other experience offers this unique combination of exhilaration and serenity as you drift across the Shaftesbury landscape at anything up to 5,000 feet. Make memories to last a lifetime on your experience and once your flight is over and you sip Champagne after landing you will find yourself wanting to do it all over again.