Your visit

We hope you enjoy your visit to Shaftesbury. Why not take some time to explore the town and surroundings?

Shaftesbury Tree Walks

Walk 1

An easy and Level-ish walk around the hill top through trees and views. Most, except cobbles and steep parts (in italics) which can be avoided, is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Much of the walk is away from cars and you will meet dog walkers. You could easily walk it in 30 minutes.

Walk 2

This walk may take one and a half to two hours: it depends on how many gates you lean upon and muse. It begins and ends with steep hills and in part follows roads, some without pavements. We circuit the base of the greensand spur on which Shaftesbury’s medieval centre stands, more than 100ft/30m above.

Even at the bottom of the hill there are long views outwards to Melbury Hill, Duncliffe Woods and across the hedged fields to the rim of chalk hills that contain the Blackmore Vale. Glimpses up the slopes reveal steep woodland cover, some planted – the pines and beech, some spontaneous growth – birch, ash, sycamore, field maple and more.

Snowdrop Walks

Enjoy hundreds of thousands of snowdrops planted in and around the historic hilltop town of Shaftesbury, Dorset. The snowdrops bloom from late January to mid-March and include examples of rare and unusual Galanthus species and cultivars. More information on the snowdrop walks.

Melbury Beacon

Melbury Down was bought in memory of English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, to protect the landscape in which his novels of the Blackmore Vale are set. On this longer walk you will discover an open expanse of flowery downland, excellent butterfly populations and magnificent views. More details and map.