SHAFTESBURY has a very good collection of hotels, cottages and B&Bs. But as the town sits on a hilltop, there isn’t a great deal of room to innovate with glamping options. Happily, there is a great deal of space in The Blackmore Vale and Cranborne Chase surrounding Shaftesbury – and there has been a considerable amount of innovation in recent years.
From a list of 12 in summer 2017, we now have 24 glamping sites close to Shaftesbury which offer a range of options, from luxury safari tents and yurts to a converted double decker bus, eco pod and shepherd huts with hot pools. Last autumn, we also had six pop-up campsites open very close to Shaftesbury – read the article: Six new camping pop-up sites near Shaftesbury or check them out on the map (the yellow ones!)
Many sites spectacular views and settings, in oak woodlands, deer parks, kitchen gardens, equestrian centres and working farms. And they all add to the wealth of accommodation choices in North Dorset, alongside a number of AirBnB options. Come and stay in north Dorset for a short break, or a full family holiday: we’re halfway between London and Cornwall, just off the A303, and within easy reach of Dorset’s world famous Jurassic Coast.
SIX new campsites have opened very close to Shaftesbury in the past two summers as the demand for safe breaks in the open air continues to be in demand.
At least three sites have opened in the past month, taking advantage of relaxed planning rules which say temporary structures could be placed on land without planning permission for 56 days – previously it was 28. Farmers have jumped at the chance to open up more land to camping.
The rules on social distancing mean that new campsites are also granting more space for pitches, some up to 20m apart, making healthy budget holidays even more attractive. Three of the new sites listed below are on the foothills of Shaftesbury, making them within walking distance of the town – Holyrood Farm (pictured, above) is just a 10-minute walk from town.
The appeal is the relative smallness of the sites, with limited facilities – this is wild camping, by and large, with a small bill: £20 for up to six people on some sites. With five of the sites open into September (Woodfrys is open until the end of October), there’s time to book a late break. Come and explore.
24 glamping hotspots near Shaftesbury, Dorset
Camping – this summer’s hot holiday
Mayo Farm Camping
A mile from Shaftesbury, it’s a new site which opened in Melbury on Aug 6, with views up Melbury Hill from one of the two fields. Owners Barney and Ellie are keeping numbers low for the rest of this season as they trial the mix of campervans and tents. It’s an adult-only site, with no under-16s: dogs permitted, bar certain breeds/crossbreeds. Facilities are limited – two loos and cold water, but no showers or washing up facilities. “This is exactly what it says on the tin. A friendly wild camping field,” says one early review (which are all positive). Reycling and waste facilities, an outdoor shower and better footpath access around the farm are all on the to-do list. £20 a night for two, last booking Sep 21.
Tel: 01258 821019
Mobile: 07434 280963
From: £35.00 pppn
1 double bedroom
1 double (Kingsize)/twin
1 double & twin suitable for families
Private facilities available
Comfortable village house between Shaftesbury and Sherborne. Pretty courtyard and garden. Close to many local attractions.
Children and Dogs Welcome. Open all year
Simon & Jane Colston
12 Gold hill
Dorset SP7 8HB
Tel: 07710 307202
From £795 to £1395 per week
Updown Cottage is a C16th cottage where character and antiques blend with contemporary comfort. Perched halfway up Gold “Hovis” Hill, opposite the walls of King Alfred’s Abbey, it enjoys stunning views across Blackmore Vale. Cosy enough for a couple but spacious enough for 6 guests & a baby, there are 4 bedrooms, 3 batrooms, dining room, 2 sitting rooms (one with baby grand piano, one with a massive inglenook fireplace and a terraced hillside garden. Open all year.
Bittles Brook Farm
Bittles Green, Motcombe
Dorset SP7 9NX
Tel: 01747 590678
Mobile: 07772 444861
From: £275 to £1275
3 night minimum stay
Sleeps: 4 to 6
King 1, Single 2 + double cabin bed
3 Luxury safari tents sleeping 4 or 6 persons. Hot showers and flushing toilet in each tent. Fully equipped kitchen with gas hob and wood burning stove. Comfortable beds. Beautiful views in a peaceful farm location. Easy access to Shaftesbury. Open March – October
Mobile: 07855 760806
From £355 – £775 per week
1 King size double bed
1 Twin Beds
Boutique Cottage in the heart of the historic area of Shaftesbury with private parking. Furnished and presented to a high standard. TripAdvisor cert of Excellence. Patio seating areas back and front. Welcome pack. WiFi.
7 Angel Lane
Mobile: 07860 224 735
From £355 – £775 per week
Boutique Cottage in Shaftesbury’s conservation area. Private courtyard parking. Level walk to all attractions. Furnished to a high standard. TripAdvisor cert of Excellence. Central yet peaceful. Welcome pack. WiFi
6 Ivy Cross
Tel: 01747 858522
Mobile: 07790 610743
Rooms from £40.00 pppn inc. breakfast
1 Double Ensuite
1 Triple Ensuite
1 Twin Ensuite
1 Single Ensuite
Holbrook offers a warm and a friendly personal service. Excellent varied breakfast menu. All rooms tastefully refurbished to a high standard. Town centre within an easy ten minute walk. Free WIFI. Free off road parking.
36 Salisbury Street
Tel: 0208 542 3014
Mobile: 07957 571989
Rooms from £300 pw
1 Large Double
A refurbished listed cottage in the heart of Shaftesbury’s conservation area. Exposed internal stoneware, original beams, wood floors and lots of character and comfort. Sleeps up to 5.
Doug and Anne Giberson
Tel: 01747 853 945
Mobile: 07810 872 696
Rooms from £45.00 pppn inc. breakfast
1 Superking/Twin ensuite
1 Kingsize Double ensuite
1 Twin ensuite
A warm welcome awaits you at The Chalet. Luxuriously equipped ensuite bedrooms with bath and shower. Choice of delicious breakfasts, using local produce. (Eggs from our own hens) Secure parking. 5 mins walk to town centre. Discount for 3 or more nights. Children 10 + Free Wifi
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