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Holidaymakers searching for holiday rentals in Shaftesbury also enquired about cottages in Dorchester, cottages in Swanage and apartments in Bridport

Make a holiday cottage in Shaftesbury your home away from home

Shaftesbury is a small town dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. Located in Blackmore Vale, it is one of the oldest and highest towns in England and is known for its spectacular scenery, castles, and its role in the Hovis bread adverts. HomeAway offers holiday cottages in Shaftesbury with luxury views over the town and rural scenery while holiday apartments in Shaftesbury offer all the advantages of a market town setting. Being furnished and with all the amenities you would expect, holiday homes in Shaftesbury are perfect for couples looking for a quiet weekend, or a family wanting to stay in a tranquil home complete with reliable transport links to the attractions of the surrounding area.

Things to do in Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury holiday cottages sit in the rolling green hills of the Dorset countryside. With the town being only 20 miles away from the historical city of Salisbury and a short distance from Glastonbury Tor, there are lots of things do in and around the local area. This is an historical area of the country and there are plenty of interesting sights and attractions within a short radius of Shaftesbury running the gamut of the ages from Iron Age Hill Forts, Roman Villas, Stone Circles to sprawling country manor houses and gardens. And for those that just want to enjoy the great outdoors, the scenery is splendid and the holiday pursuits varied.

-Old Wardour Castle is a beautiful lakeside castle built by John Lord Lovel in the 14th century. Its light fortifications show it was originally designed to act as a luxury abode. Most unusually, it has a central courtyard with a hexagonal tower house. Visit and learn about the history of the castle through an audio tour which brings the past to life.

-Gold Hill Museum is an intriguing exhibition which once served the local community as a doss house for the jugglers, drovers, and traders which attended the town’s fairs and markets. Today, it’s a museum revealing the town’s past and which sits in beautiful gardens. Sit in the gardens and enjoy a view over Gold Hill, which was where the famous Hovis adverts of the 1970s and 1980s were filmed.

-Farmer Giles Farmstead is a working farm which offers an adventure playground for all ages. Within just a few miles of most Shaftesbury holiday homes, this farm lets visitors bottle-feed baby lambs, cuddle the donkeys, and meet an alpaca. Children can also enjoy riding in a full-size tractor. This is an all-weather venue, to be enjoyed by all ages.

-Wincanton Racecourse and Golf Course is a racecourse, and 9-hole golf course, just outside of Shaftesbury. Throughout the year, racing enthusiasts can expect quality jump racing and the best betting action around. The small but well formed 9-hole golf course, which can be played to 18 holes, is another facility offering challenging sport for experts and a place where beginners can try the game for themselves.

-Compton Abbas Airfield is 800ft above sea level and comes complete with working planes and a restaurant. Visitors can enjoy a selection of locally-sourced dishes for breakfast and afternoon tea. And there’s even the chance to gain control of a plane and take to the skies over the magnificent Dorset countryside and coastline.

Weather in Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is blessed with mild winters and reasonably warm summers. The average for the summer months is between 15 and 21°C. The North Atlantic Drift ensures winters rarely dip towards freezing point.

Travel to Shaftesbury

Getting to Shaftesbury by road is a decent drive as the main route from London the M3/A303 runs close to Salisbury, with the A30 being an alternative. Shaftesbury has no railway station but mainline services run from London and Exeter to Gillingham. National Express coaches serve the town directly and Shaftesbury holiday cottages are also with easy reach of Bournemouth airport.

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                                                              Recent Reviews

                                                              Comfy, warm, delightful.

                                                              4 of 5
                                                              We stayed in Barbers cottage over Easter, grandma, Grandad J J and 2 teenage grandsons. We had a wonderful break. The weather wasn't wonderful, but that didn't bother us. The cottage was really cosy and comfortable, very well equipped and ideally situated for the town (though a little noisy from revellers on the Friday night). I had no problems with the booking etc. Everything is just as stated. The bed is very comfortable. Thank you. Would certainly recommend.
                                                              • Review Submitted: 12-Apr-2016
                                                              • Date of Stay: Mar 2016

                                                              Spectacular home - 5 stars in every aspect!

                                                              5 of 5
                                                              We booked this beautiful country home for a 3-night stay over a weekend at the end of October 2015 to celebrate a family member's 80th birthday. It literally could not have been any better than it was in every way. Although large, the house feels very much like a home, because it is clearly very much that - retaining as it does much of the owning family's touch and style, for example the fascinating safari and especially Rhinocerous photography etc. Every necessary facility is included to do full-blown family catering for many (there were 13 of us from 80 down to 4 years old). There is an open fire with plenty of logs supplied, sumptuous and comfy beds, plenty of bathrooms, a large kitchen and particularly important - one large room in which we all could eat and celebrate together. You really do feel you are being hosted in a home. If that is not enough - there is spectacular countryside right on your doorstep. Stunningly clear crisp weather for the weekend assisted, but that is of course outside the owner's control! The picture on the website is exactly how it looked. We also did the usual annoying thing of leaving some bits at the house and Philip & Tanya have been helpful and cheerful in getting them back to us, not to mention the fact that they were prompt and helpful at every stage of the booking process and in the lead-up to our stay! The most important thing is that we now retain a memory of a very, very happy family weekend together - and every person present raved as to how the house fitted the occasion in every way. If we could give more than 5 stars we would!
                                                              • Review Submitted: 25-Feb-2016
                                                              • Date of Stay: Oct 2015

                                                              Beautifully comfortable cottage in tranquil surroundings close to local attractions.

                                                              5 of 5
                                                              We were very impressed from the moment we entered the cottage. The kitchen diner was extremely well equipped and perfect for cooking and chatting. We loved the decor of the cottage and both bedrooms were a good size and very comfortable. Loving the day bed on the upstairs landing for afternoon reading/snoozing! We had a rotten days weather on the Sunday we were there but somehow it didn't seem to matter. We lit the fire and watched a movie.....perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Shaftsbury and Sherborne are a short drive away and well worth a visit. We will certainly return to the area and would be delighted to stay at the cottage again. In summary, a fantastic cottage that I would recommend to anyone!! PS I should mention the books!! No need to take any reading material with you as there are thousands!!!
                                                              • Review Submitted: 23-Jan-2016
                                                              • Date of Stay: Jan 2016