Shaftesbury and Gold Hill is a 3.5 mile loop trail located near Shaftesbury, Dorset, England that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking.

Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 652 feet Route Type: Loop



partially paved


historic site

A 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.

washed out
3 months ago

This trail would have been a 4 star but the bridle ways were very muddy, so really not a winter walk. You need to be prepared for elevation change as the path leads you off the ridge via Gold Hill and back up at the end. A good portion was on lanes missing some of the footpaths that could have been used.

Tue Aug 04 2015

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.

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sat Apr 27 2019