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Living in Shaftesbury, Dorset

  • Amelia Townsend
  • 21st September 2023
  • 10:06am
Living in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Living in Shaftesbury, Dorset: A Beautiful Town with Rich History

If you’re looking for a charming and picturesque place to call home in Dorset, look no further than Shaftesbury. Nestled in the heart of the stunning Blackmore Vale, this historic town offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich heritage, and a strong sense of community. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful and idyllic lifestyle, Shaftesbury has something for everyone.

A Brief Overview of the Town

Situated on a hilltop, Shaftesbury offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The town centre boasts a delightful mix of independent shops, cafes, and traditional pubs, adding to its quintessential British charm. With its cobbled streets, medieval buildings, and well-preserved architecture, Shaftesbury offers a step back in time, allowing residents to experience the enchantment of a bygone era.

Historical and Cultural Background

Shaftesbury has a fascinating history that dates back over a thousand years. It was founded in the Saxon era and played a significant role in medieval times as a market town. The town’s most iconic landmark, Gold Hill, gained international fame after being featured in a popular Hovis bread advert, showcasing its picturesque beauty to the world. Shaftesbury also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with a variety of events, festivals, and exhibitions throughout the year, celebrating its historical significance and vibrant arts scene.

Popularity Among Renters

Shaftesbury’s unique charm and strong community spirit make it an attractive place to live, not only for homeowners but also for renters. The town offers a range of rental properties, from quaint cottages to modern apartments, providing options to suit different needs and preferences. With its excellent transport links, including regular bus services and proximity to major road networks, Shaftesbury is an ideal location for those who desire a peaceful retreat while still having easy access to nearby towns and cities.

Types of properties available

Shaftesbury, Dorset offers a variety of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. The town primarily consists of traditional houses and cottages, which add to its charm. However, there are also several modern developments that offer contemporary flats and apartments.

Average rent prices

The average rent prices in Shaftesbury, Dorset vary depending on the type and size of the property. As of [current year], the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat is around £600-£700, while a two-bedroom house can range from £800 to £1,000 per month.

Popular neighbourhoods for renters

Shaftesbury has several neighbourhoods that are popular among renters. The town centre offers a vibrant atmosphere with easy access to shops, restaurants, and amenities. The surrounding areas such as Coppice Street and Greenhill provide a quieter and more residential environment.

For those seeking a more rural setting, the nearby villages of Motcombe and Fontmell Magna offer picturesque countryside living with a range of properties available for rent.

Living in Shaftesbury offers a range of housing options, from traditional houses to modern flats. With average rent prices that are relatively affordable, it is an attractive location for renters looking for a vibrant town centre or a peaceful village setting. Read on to find out about transportation and connectivity in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Public Transport Options

Living in Shaftesbury, Dorset provides residents with a variety of public transport options. The town is served by a reliable bus network, with regular services connecting Shaftesbury to nearby towns and villages. The local buses are operated by several companies, including First Bus and Damory, ensuring convenient and accessible travel for residents.

Additionally, Shaftesbury has its own railway station, offering direct train services to major cities such as London, Bristol, and Exeter. This provides residents with the opportunity to easily explore other parts of the country for work or leisure.

Accessibility to Nearby Cities and Towns

Shaftesbury’s central location in Dorset makes it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas. The town is well-connected to nearby cities and towns, including Bournemouth, Salisbury, and Yeovil. These cities offer a wide range of amenities, shopping centres, and cultural attractions.

For those who prefer driving, the A350 and A30 roads provide easy access to other parts of Dorset and beyond. Shaftesbury’s proximity to the A303 also allows for convenient travel to destinations such as Stonehenge and the West Country.

Average Commute Times

Commuting from Shaftesbury is generally hassle-free, with relatively short average commute times. Many residents find that commuting within the town itself can be done on foot or by bike due to its compact size. For those who need to travel further, the average commute time to nearby cities and towns is typically around 30 minutes by car or train.

Living in Shaftesbury provides the perfect balance between a peaceful countryside lifestyle and easy access to urban areas, making it an ideal location for those who value both tranquillity and convenience.

Read on to find out more about the local amenities in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Shopping Centres and High Streets

Living in Shaftesbury, you’ll have access to a variety of shopping options. The town boasts a charming high street lined with independent boutiques, local shops, and quaint cafes. You can find everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and artisanal products. Additionally, there is a selection of supermarkets and convenience stores for your everyday needs.

Parks and Recreational Areas

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Shaftesbury has several parks and recreational areas to explore. The picturesque Gold Hill Park offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is perfect for picnics and leisurely walks. Nearby, you’ll find Castle Hill Gardens, a tranquil spot with beautiful flowers and a historic castle ruin.

Healthcare Facilities

When it comes to healthcare, Shaftesbury has you covered. The town is home to the Shaftesbury Community Hospital, which provides a range of medical services. Additionally, there are local clinics and pharmacies to cater to your healthcare needs.

Educational Institutions

For families with children, Shaftesbury offers a variety of educational institutions. The town has several primary schools known for their high standards of education and nurturing environments. There are also secondary schools and colleges in the surrounding areas, ensuring a seamless transition for students.

If you’re interested in leisure and entertainment options in Shaftesbury, Dorset, keep reading to discover the vibrant cultural scene and exciting activities available in this charming town.

Pubs, Restaurants, and Cafes

Living in Shaftesbury means you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to dining out or enjoying a drink with friends. The town is home to a range of pubs, restaurants, and cafes that cater to different tastes and budgets. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional British pub food, international cuisine, or a cozy coffee shop, you’ll find it all in Shaftesbury.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Shaftesbury has a rich history and is filled with cultural and historical attractions. The iconic Gold Hill, known for its appearance in the famous Hovis bread advert, is a must-visit spot for both locals and tourists. You can also explore Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the town’s medieval past.

Sports and Fitness Facilities

If you enjoy staying active, Shaftesbury has a range of sports and fitness facilities to keep you in shape. There are local gyms and fitness centers where you can work out, as well as opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling in the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Local Events and Festivals

Living in Shaftesbury means you can look forward to a calendar filled with exciting local events and festivals. From the Shaftesbury Carnival, a colorful parade that takes place annually, to the Shaftesbury Fringe, a vibrant performing arts festival, there’s always something happening in this lively town.

If you want to discover more about the community and what Shaftesbury has to offer, keep reading our blog. We’ll be sharing insights into the local amenities, schools, and much more. So stay tuned!

Community and Lifestyle in Shaftesbury, Dorset

A. Demographics and Diversity

Shaftesbury, located in beautiful Dorset, is a charming market town known for its strong sense of community. With a population of around 7,500 people, this town offers a close-knit and friendly atmosphere. The residents of Shaftesbury come from various backgrounds, creating a diverse and inclusive community. Whether you are a young professional, a growing family, or a retiree, you will find a warm welcome in Shaftesbury.

B. Safety and Crime Rates

Living in Shaftesbury, you can enjoy a safe and secure environment. The town has low crime rates, making it an ideal place to raise a family or retire. The local police force is dedicated to maintaining law and order, ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents. You can feel at ease walking the streets of Shaftesbury, knowing that you are in a secure community.

C. Social Clubs and Networking Opportunities

Shaftesbury boasts a vibrant social scene with numerous clubs and organizations catering to different interests. Whether you are interested in sports, arts, history, or gardening, you will find a club that suits your passion. These social clubs not only provide opportunities to pursue your hobbies but also offer excellent networking opportunities, allowing you to meet like-minded individuals and expand your social circle.

If you are considering living in Shaftesbury, Dorset, you’ll want to stay tuned to learn about the pros and cons of this charming town. Read on to discover more about the local amenities, housing options, and the natural beauty that surrounds Shaftesbury.

Advantages of Renting in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Living in Shaftesbury, Dorset offers numerous advantages for renters. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Scenic Location:

Shaftesbury is nestled in the heart of the picturesque Blackmore Vale, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Renters can enjoy the beauty of nature right on their doorstep, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling.

2. Historic Charm:

Shaftesbury is a town steeped in history, with its origins dating back to the Saxon times. Renters can explore the cobbled streets lined with historic buildings, such as Gold Hill, famous for its appearance in the Hovis bread advert. The town’s rich heritage adds a unique charm to everyday life.

3. Community Spirit:

Shaftesbury has a strong sense of community, with numerous local events and activities that bring residents together. Renters can easily integrate into the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy to form connections and build a support network.

Potential Drawbacks or Challenges

While living in Shaftesbury has its advantages, there are a few potential drawbacks that renters should consider:

1. Limited Job Opportunities:

Shaftesbury is a small town, and as such, job opportunities may be limited compared to larger urban areas. Renters may need to commute to nearby towns or cities for employment.

2. Limited Amenities:

Although Shaftesbury has essential amenities like shops, schools, and healthcare facilities, it may not offer the same range of options as larger towns or cities. Renters who crave a wider variety of shopping, dining, or entertainment options may find themselves wanting more.

Comparison with Other Towns in the UK

When comparing Shaftesbury with other towns in the UK, it’s important to consider the unique features and advantages it offers:

1. Tranquility:

Shaftesbury’s rural location provides a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, which may be appealing to renters seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

2. Affordability:

Compared to larger towns or cities, Shaftesbury may offer more affordable rental options. Renters on a tight budget could find better value for money in terms of rental properties.

3. Access to Nature:

Shaftesbury’s proximity to the countryside allows for easy access to beautiful natural landscapes. Renters who enjoy outdoor activities or simply appreciate the beauty of nature will find it an ideal location.

Overall, while Shaftesbury may have some limitations, its scenic beauty, historic charm, and sense of community make it a desirable place to live for those seeking a quieter and more nature-oriented lifestyle.


In conclusion, Shaftesbury, Dorset is a picturesque and charming town that offers a high quality of life for renters. With its stunning views, rich history, and vibrant community, it is an ideal place to call home. Whether you are a young professional, a family, or a retiree, Shaftesbury has something to offer everyone.

Key Points Recap

  • Shaftesbury is known for its stunning views of the surrounding countryside
  • The town has a rich history and a range of historical landmarks
  • There are plenty of amenities and services available to residents
  • Shaftesbury offers a strong sense of community and a range of activities and events
  • There is a wide variety of rental properties available to suit different needs and budgets

Personal Recommendation

If you are considering renting in Shaftesbury, Dorset, I highly recommend it. The town’s natural beauty, friendly residents, and strong community spirit make it a fantastic place to live. Whether you prefer a cosy cottage or a modern apartment, there is a rental property to suit your needs.

Explore Right Rent’s Property Listings

To find your perfect home in Shaftesbury, I invite you to explore Right Rent’s property listings. With our extensive selection of rental properties, you’ll be sure to find a home you’ll love. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the wonderful lifestyle that living in Shaftesbury has to offer.


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