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30 Minute Town Walk - Hilly

This walk of 30 minutes taking in key plantings of Shaftesbury Snowdrops, (highlighted on the map) treats walkers to highlights of the town’s slopes, history, stunning views, and offers glimpses of its surrounding countryside.

(1) Start the walk at the Angel Lane Car Park and walk up through the Library gardens turn left onto Bell Street passing the “Pop Up” Snowdrop Festival shop on the way. At the end of Bell Street turn left towards the High Street.
(Cross carefully) over to the other side of the road.

(2) Just after Barclay’s Bank turn right into Church Lane and go through the ungated entrance into Trinity Churchyard. Here over 100,000 snowdrop bulbs have been planted.
Go straight ahead. At the kissing gate at the far end, exit the churchyard, emerging onto Abbey Walk.

[3] Turn left down Abbey Walk towards the War Memorial on “Park Walk” Turn right, keeping the wall of hospital garden on your right. Take a short detour to the corner of the wall to look at a Plaque and Snowdrops planted by individuals to commemorate their loved ones with support from the Weldmar Hospital Trust

[4] Continue along Park Walk until you reach a forked signpost and go down the cobbled “Stony Path” Snowdrops have been planted on the slopes here
The “Hanging wood” is home to owls, woodpeckers and badgers. (Please take care going down the path and use the hand rail if necessary, it may be slippy when wet)

[5] At the T junction at the foot of Stony Path, go straight across and then turn left at the next junction onto St James’s Street. This was a medieval suburb which has many surviving cottages built by the “Grosvenor Estate” including the “Pump Yard” halfway along on the left. . Further along on the left, passed the foot of the park Snowdrops are planted under the trees bordering the road. (Note: there is no footpath on parts of the road)

[6] Keep straight ahead, past the foot of Gold Hill on the left, and continue forward onto Layton Lane. (Please note there is no footpath on this road) The road curves to right and shortly after go left up the tarmac path of Shooters Lane: Snowdrops are planted on the shady banks. (Fairly steep incline)
At the top, turn left into Salisbury Street and follow it into town. Note the ancient cast-iron mile-mark. on the opposite side of the road At the end of Salisbury street fork left into High St.

[7] There are numerous shops and cafes on the High Street. Take a detour right at “Swans Yard” where you can see Snowdrops in planters which lead you through the yard to the “Cygnet Art Gallery” Retrace your steps back to the High Street and , just passed the Town Hall , pause to admire the view from the top of “Gold Hill” Walk.

[8] From here, you could walk back onto Park Walk (Between “Costa” and “Oxfam” towards and through the gates of The Abbey to see the Heritage collection of Shaftsbury Snowdrops displayed during the festival each February. The Abbey ruins are a Scheduled Monument. Founded by King Alfred the Great, with his daughter as the first Abbess, it is the site where King Canute died, where Robert the Bruce’s wife was held hostage for a year, and where the remains of King Edward the Martyr were buried after his murder at Corfe Castle. Venerated by many generations until Henry the Eighth dissolved all the monasteries in the 16th Century.

[9] On leaving the Abbey turn left back along Park Walk Pause to admire the views over the Blackmore Vale .At the High Street either go straight on passed the Town Hall until you reach the three way junction and bear left back into Bell Street Car Park. Or, you could turn left by Barclay’s Bank” and then curve right onto Bell Street by the “Tourist Information Centre (Cross carefully at this three way junction) From there you could retrace your steps back to the Pop Up Shop on Bell St. for more information gifts, arts and crafts

There is a map for this walk in the downloadable PDF.

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