An Afternoon in Shaftesbury, Dorset
There's nothing like spending a warm Bank Holiday Monday somewhere pretty. And Shaftesbury is just the place. The main attraction is Gold Hill, a rather stunningly steep cobbled hill with gorgeous views and even more gorgeous cottages dotted along it. To some it is known as Hovis Hill as it was used in an Hovis Advert that has amazingly been voted as Britain's favourite TV advert. Fun fact for you this Wednesday morning. The tops of the houses also appeared on JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy. Thank you internet for that one.
Anyway back to the warm bank holiday. Shaftesbury has been on the places to visit list for a while and taking advantage of the long hot days we decided to set our sights for Dorset. Luckily this isn't very far, about an hour and half drive so nothing major. We arrived around lunchtime and quickly sniffed out the local pub. We found a sunny spot in The Mitre's Garden and ordered a cold, cold glass of blush Rosé and a Ploughman's Platter to share. Delicious all round.
Suitably satiated we sought out the famous hill. And my oh my is it beautiful. It was a fairly misty sunny day but that didn't ruin the view. The row of cottages alone is a pretty sight, each house a step lower than the next until the gorgeous thatch towards the end breaks the rule. One of the cottages had the most fabulously overgrown jungle of a front door - adding to the charm of the hill. For someone who is in to houses in a big way, this vista is pure heaven. The lush green surrounding landscape with the cobbles and chimneys makes my heart happy.
Another lovely sight is the people dotted along the hill, almost daring each other as to how far down to go. Mum and I walked down to the bottom and hiked back to the top - I was totally out of breath after the hike! It really is steep, there was some mad man cycling up and down it. Rather him than me. I'm sure living on this hill would keep you fit. Imagine if you forgot something and you were already at the bottom!
After photo taking and hiking back up we had a wander around the rest of Shaftesbury. As it was the Bank Holiday most of the shops were closed so it was window shopping, however the Oxfam shop is totally dedicated to books and I spotted many a beautiful editions of classics. So highly recommend popping your head in. We then walked along Park Walk next to the Abbey. Park Walk has the most wonderful view across Shaftesbury and the surrounding countryside. I thoroughly recommend taking a pew on the many benches to take it all in. Theres also a lovely woody walk which we pottered along as there was a Geocache at the end that Mums wanted to get.
Shaftesbury is just such a gorgeous place and wonderfully peaceful. If you are in search of somewhere to while away an afternoon then this should be on your list.