Local Area

Shaftesbury

A charming, friendly and historic small town dating from the C9th, Shaftesbury was the inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s ‘Shaston’ and is one of Britain’s oldest towns.

Gold Hill was the scene of Ridley Scott’s 1973 Hovis advert and numerous films such as the 1967 version of Far From the Madding Crowd.

  • Shaftesbury stands 700 feet above sea level with views over the Blackmore Vale and three of the Wessex counties – Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire and is therefore one of Britain’s highest towns.
  • Accessible by car in less than:
    2 hours from London or Plymouth
    2.5 hours from Birmingham
    3 hours from Cambridge
  • Accessible by train in 2 hours from London Waterloo to Gillingham (Dorset not Kent!) which is only a 4 mile taxi ride.
  • Independent shops, cafés, restaurants, beauty and holistic salons, supermarkets, museums and galleries within a few minutes’ walk.
  • Many atmospheric wedding venues nearby such as Wardour Castle and Larmer Tree Gardens.

Heritage

Updown Cottage is perfectly placed for exploring the many National Trust & English Heritage properties and historic towns in the West Country of Britain.

  • Stonehenge
  • Salisbury Cathedral and Close
  • Sherborne Abbey
  • Wardour Castle
  • Stourhead House and Gardens
  • Longleat House
  • Larmer Tree Gardens
  • Bath
  • Athelhampton House
  • Kingston Lacey
  • The ruins of Shaftesbury Abbey
  • Corfe Castle

Leisure activities

  • Fishing at Todber Manor Fisheries
  • Golf at Rushmore Golf Club
  • Flying from Compton Abbas Airfield – the most picturesque in England
  • Horse racing at Wincanton
  • Fishing, clay shooting and archery at Gorcombe Farm
  • Swimming at Blandford Leisure Centre
  • Walking from the front door!
  • Attractions for all ages eg. Bush Farm Bison Centre, Longleat Safari Park and Monkey World
  • Music festivals from Sherborne Abbey to Larmer Tree
  • Gastronomic exploration of the wealth of wonderful food in Dorset, either bought straight from the producer or sampled from any of the talented chefs in the area
  • Fossil hunting at the Jurassic coast, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove
  • Shopping in Salisbury, Bath, Sherborne and any of the smaller shops locally
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