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best places to live Shaftesbury Dorset

Top places to live in Dorset Shaftesbury

Sleepy hilltop town nestled within the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset, with indie shops, cafes and restaurants and one of the UK's most iconic views at Gold Hill. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.


Sleepy hill top town nestled within the glorious Blackmore Vale in North Dorset, with indie shops, cafes and restaurants and one of the UK’s most iconic views at Gold Hill (cue New World Symphony and reaches for a slice of Hovis).


Georgian coaching inn The Grosvenor Arms is the place to go to eat and stay in the centre of town. The Fontmell, in nearby Fontmell Magna and The Forester, in Donhead St Andrew are both Michelin-listed.


Wide range of stores on the high street, some chains. The Shaftesbury Deli. The Botanical Candle Co gift shop. Waitrose in nearby Gillingham. Thurs market. Traditional drapers Hine & Parsons. Coconut and Cotton plastic-free store. The Udder Farm Shop in East Stour is excellent. Big shopping in Salisbury (40 mins).


You’re in the Blackmore Vale and on the edge of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Chocks away at the Compton Abbas airfield. The fantastical spectacle that is the Great Dorset Steam Fair.


£227,796 in 2019. Terraced £217,448, flats £178,555 and detached £299,925. Estate agents include Lodestone Property, Chaffers and Jackson Stops.



State schools Shaftesbury School and nearby Gillingham School are both ‘good’. Nearby independents include Port Regis. Clayesmore, Bryanston and Sherborne School.


Alfred the Great founded the Abbey.


Gillingham (5 miles) or Tisbury (9.5 miles) to London Waterloo from just over 2 hours.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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