“ One of the oldest and highest towns in England „
Whilst holidaying down in Dorset recently I was looking for places to visit. I was searching through a local tourism brochure and it came up with a market town called Shaftesbury. It is situated between Dorchester and Salisbury, not too far away from Stonehenge. As we were staying close to the coast it was going to be quite a journey but it looked so idyllic in the photos, and it was only about 45 minutes drive. It was also the town used in the original advert for Hovis, you know the one where the boy pushes his bike up the hill, then free wheels it back down.
After we typed the postcode into the Sat Nav, we set going. The day was bright and the sun was quite low. We travelled through the windy roads of Dorset, envying the fantastic views and thatched cottages as we went by. Upon arriving at Shaftesbury I was really surprised at its size. It was quite big. A lot bigger than I thought. All your main shops and banks were there. Ladbrokes, HSBC, Barclays, Natwest, Somerfield...........I could go on and on. As we were looking for a parking place we saw a large Hovis Loaf near to the church. It wasn't real but a 3ft (or larger) plastic imitation. We parked up in the carpark at Somerfield, and paid a small parking fee (I think it was £1).
We immediately had our photos taken by the Hovis Loaf, and then set about finding Gold Hill, which is were the Hovis advert was set. It was only a very short distance away and it looks as nice in real life, as it does on the tv. I would suggest that those of you who aren't old enough to remember the original Hovis Advert, initially aired in 1973, to check out Youtube. We all walked down the cobbled hill, admiring the thatched cottages, and other building along the way. We all commented just how small the cottages were.
The children then took some time in the large play park at the bottom, before we carried on walking out of the town, and back up a large hill. The view was absolutely fantastic. It really made you appreciate the lovely countryside that England offers. At the top there was Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Gardens but we never went in. The children were too hungry by then, and to be honest we were all a bit tired after the long walk up the hills.
We walked the small distance past Costa into the town centre and sat on the benches outside a very old pub. I think it was 12/13th Century. I went over to the bakers across the road and bought some pasties and cakes, and then basked in the sun, enjoying every moment.
Our time at Shaftesbury was to stop there. We had been to see it. Had spent a few hours there and had other places we wanted to see. I would highly recommend a visit here.As I say we only spent a few hours here, but if you were to go to the museum etc., you could easily have a nice day out. Allowing for drinks and food, parking etc., money spent was less than £20, so good value.
The hovis advert can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mq59ykPnAE
Copyright stebiz 2010. Also on other sites on the net such as Ciao.