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Pocket Guide: Shaftesbury

Visitors of a certain age may remember Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, as it was the incline climbed by the boy and his bicycle in the 1970s Hovis advert. However, there's much more to this town than bread-based fame: Shaftesbury can trace its roots back over 1100 years and has inspired artists and novelists throughout the centuries such as Thomas Hardy, and has been home to a number of notables, including the actor Robert Newton, and the architect Richard Upjohn. There's a variety of accommodation in Shaftesbury, ranging from boutique B&Bs and inns encrusted with character, to upmarket hotels and luxury guesthouses.

A Famous Hill in a Famous Town: Hotels in Shaftesbury

Although Shaftesbury may be a small town, it's packed with things to see and do, making ideal for families with children or for those who simply want to spend some relaxing downtime with a loved one. As the highest point in Dorset and offering spectacular views of the region for miles around, Gold Hill has become something of an attraction in itself. Make it to the top (with or without a loaf of bread), and you'll find the Gold Hill Museum, which gives a superb insight into the region's history. Due to Shaftesbury's size, most hotels are within walking distance of a local landmark or two: the Grosvenor Arms hotel is just a two-minute walk from the rugged ruins of Shaftesbury Abbey, which dates back to the 7th Century.

Markets and Shopping

As a market town, Shaftesbury has been selling its wares and goods at the Shaftesbury Market since Saxon Times. However, on the first Saturday of every month, you'll find the Shaftesbury Farmers' Market offering local produce in the Town Hall. In addition to the markets, there are some excellent, independent shops. With plenty of accommodation nearby, such as the La Fleur de Lys and the Old Chapel hotel are both within easy reach of the shops, making it much easier to get your new-found bargains back to base!

Shaftesbury is a superb destination, whether you're visiting for business or pleasure. With plenty of hotels and B&Bs to suit every budget, booking a room in accommodation in Shaftesbury is the best way to make the most of your time here.