Spring is almost here and all around, signs of life are emerging across our hilltop town of Shaftesbury. Visitors are flocking to see the impressive swathes of Snowdrops, which look to reach their crescendo between the 10th - 20th February this year. (Although this could be later due to the current cold snap!)


In the shop this Saturday we'd estimate 80% of folks were from out of town. To see so many visitors this early in the year is heartening, giving hope to all independent businesses during these traditionally quieter months. If Shaftesbury's also on your wish-list, we hope you'll find our updated list of recommendations helpful.

You'll spot Snowdrops planted all around the town, but the main event is slightly off the beaten path. Shaftesbury Holy Trinity Churchyard is a carpet of flowers, with paths cleverly left un-planted, allowing you to get in amongst them. Opposite Reeve The Bakers, in a narrow road between a solicitors and Barclays, is where you'll find the churchyard. 

Since we last wrote about Shaftesbury a couple of very good food spots have opened up. Nest offer Asian-inspired street food, as well as inventive takes on comfort-food classics. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Booking advisable and takeaway available too. 

Update from the 8th February: Two ladies came in to the shop raving about Nest's food today. They'd been for lunch and absolutely loved it!  



King Alfred's Kitchen is under new management with arguably the best artisan coffee in town, along with teetering piles of freshly made cakes. Find them near Ecco Gelato and the Town Hall. 

Park Walk is so easily missed but, in our humble opinion, is one of the nicest things about Shaftesbury. A long, wide promenade that's shadowed by beech and sycamore trees. Wonderfully wild and dramatic in the winter, with deep pools of shade in the summer. The view is unrivalled, dogs can socialise, and there's plenty of benches to enjoy lunch on your lap.


Going to miss the snowdrops? One completely free thing to do in Shaftesbury is to track down the blossoming magnolia trees in late spring. From around mid-April you can stand beneath their graceful boughs and catch the delicate scent, if you're lucky.

Find one just off Abbey Walk, which despite being set behind gates is a real beauty. You're just around the corner from an exquisite example on Bimport, which is a couple of minutes' walk from Castle Hill. A great spot to exercise a dog! 

The largest (and our favourite) is at the corner of Laundry Lane and Tanyard Lane. You'll also be just moments away from the idyllic Pump Yard (pictured above by Abbie Mellé), so make sure to seek it out. We'd recommend walking to the end of Park Walk and then carefully descending Stoney Path. You'll be able to spot it's blooming heights as the hill begins to flatten out.

If the cobbled climb isn't possible for you, use the postcode SP7 8HP to reach this magnificent tree by car.

For more suggestions on where to park, visit, sleep and eat check out our previous Shaftesbury guides here and here

Most shops in Shaftesbury are closed on a Sunday, so please keep this in mind when you're planning your visit. 


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