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|Shaftesbury and Gold Hill|
|Author: Claire, Published: 13 Jun 2012||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A four mile circular walk from the beautiful Dorset town of Shaftesbury, near the Wiltshire border. The walk gives you chance to enjoy the lovely mix of thatched and stone properties in the town, follows stretches of quiet country lanes towards the downs in the south and also visits the two main view points in the town where you’ll enjoy views stretching northwest to Glastonbury Tor and south to Melbury Hill and beyond. Of course, no walk through Shaftesbury would be complete without a stroll down Gold Hill, the cobbled hill made famous in many photographs and, most memorably, in the 1973 Hovis TV Advert. |
Shaftesbury sits high above sea level on a chalk ridge. The walk follows the streets and lanes heading south into the chalk downlands meaning there are several steady slopes and one steep section both climbing and descending. The route follows a mix of pavements, quiet country lanes with no pavements and a few field paths which can get muddy after wet weather. There are a couple of gates plus one stile, which is quite tall and has just a small gap under the gate alongside for dogs. You may come across cattle in one of the fields. Approximate time 2 hours.
The walk starts from outside the Tourist Information Centre on Bell Street in the centre of Shaftesbury. Behind the centre there are both long stay and short stay pay and display car parks. Public toilets (coin operated) are available in the car park. Approximate post code SP7 8AR.
|Bell Street to Gold Hill|
Start point: 51.0066 lat, -2.1975 long
With your back to the Tourist Information Centre on Bell Street, turn left along Bell Street. Go past the arts centre on the right and then the Bell Street United Church on the left.
|Gold Hill to Wilderness|
Start point: 51.0055 lat, -2.197 long
The view from the top of Gold Hill will probably look instantly familiar and for good reason. The well worn cobbled street winds down the hill passing old stone cottages with views over the roofs to the Blackmore Vale. The hill is thought to capture the quintessential image of rural England and it has been used on everything from book covers and calendars to chocolate boxes.
|Wilderness to Three Ways|
Start point: 51.0025 lat, -2.1915 long
Turn right through this kissing gate and follow the grass footpath straight ahead with the downs sloping away to the right. (Note: this field is part of Hawksdene Farm, so please keep to the path and keep dogs under close control). At the end of this field, pass through the five bar gate (or use the stile alongside if it is locked) into the next field (which may be holding cattle). Turn immediately right along the field edge for just a few paces and then go over the stile ahead to reach a tarmac lane.
|Three Ways to Post Box|
Start point: 50.9913 lat, -2.1938 long
Turn right here to follow this small tarmac road. Ignore the turning to the left (to Gears Mill) and continue on the lane heading gradually uphill. Follow the lane for some distance and you will come to a staggered junction with French Mill Lane. Continue straight on here.
|Post Box to Top of Stoney Path|
Start point: 51.0028 lat, -2.1932 long
Turn left onto the narrow grass footpath heading steeply downhill with tall hedgerows each side. As the path opens out continue to the right onto the broader grass track. Keep straight ahead as the track becomes a narrow tarmac lane, climbing steeply uphill with properties each side.
|Top of Stoney Path to Castle Hill|
Start point: 51.004 lat, -2.2006 long
Continue along for just a few paces and then turn left along to the tarmac path to pass through a kissing gate set into the stone wall. Turn left along Love Lane and then, immediately after Number 6, turn right onto the wide tarmac path between houses.
|Castle Hill to End|
Start point: 51.0056 lat, -2.2022 long
When you have finished enjoying the views, retrace your steps to the road, and turn left. After just a short distance turn right down Abbey Walk. On the right you’ll pass the Westminster Memorial Hospital built in 1871. At the end you will come to the war memorial.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Lovely walk. looking down "Hovis Hill" was the highlight, the views are amazing. The rest of the walk allows you to take a ramble around the local countryside taking in Shaftesbury from a variety of stunning angles.
|By DebbieK on 20 Jun 2012|
Our guests will love this walk! Especially being able to join it straight from the cottage door on 'Hovis Hill'!
|By Updown on 25 May 2013|
A well directed walk with a large degree of variety and a truly steep steep bit. On a sunny warm day this walk was perfect.
|By colart on 04 Aug 2015|
Lovely walk. Fantastic views. Amazing steep bits to keep you fit and earn your lunch!
|By 1442emma on 08 May 2016|
Fantastic route description - really easy to follow. A real wow all the way round. Just one tricky stile if you have a large dog. Lots of eating / drinking choices at journey's end.
|By AndySymonds on 02 Jan 2017|
A lovely walk but with an active dog there was too much road walking for us I'm afraid.
|By spaxton on 06 Apr 2017|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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