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Gold Hill and Shaftesbury, United Kingdom

cover photo by Timk2  

Location added by Timk2

Rank : 8.0 (average on 1 votes)

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Coordinates : 51.005635, -2.196684 (Open in Google Maps)

Subjects : Shaftesbury in Dorset, south west of England, is a picturesque small town located on top of quite a high ridge, with great views. Gold Hill, known world-wide is a classic 'vintage' old stone terrace of houses and cobbled street, that is very steep. It was made famous by one of the most popular UK TV adverts of all time, actually directed by now Hollywood super director Ridley Scott, for that so wholesome of products, traditional bread maker, Hovis.There is a small and interesting Museum at the top of the hill. Mega Pop Star Madonna had Shaftesbury as her local home town for a period when married to UK film director Guy Richie. Their old country estate was/is about ten km south east of the town. For someone who could afford to live anywhere in the world, it was quite an honour to have had Madonna's approval! She has said on TV chat shows that she loved the laid back traditional English lifestyle, especially when compared to LA and NYC. Further along (only a few hundred meters) are fabulous views out over the Blackoor Vale, overlooking traditional and unspoilt English countryside, with church towers, patchworks of fields and distant hills. There are also great views to the north not far away.There are also many other fine traditional old cottages, buildings and inns, all looking as if from movies.Shaftesbury is a great centre from which to walk. It is situated on the western end of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 'Cranborne Chase', often hilly, usually pretty and very rewarding.

Recommended equipment : Getting the classic view, looking down, Gold Hill itself is best taken with 35mm focal lengths between 35mm and 70mm, so any standard zoom lens. I use longer zooms to get the more distant views but nothing too specialist.

Best months : As anywhere popular and touristy in England, summer is best avoided as you'll just get people in your shots.I have found particular success late Autumn when the light is lower and more interesting.Winter is nice too, as you get a cosy feel and plenty of inns to warm up in afterwards!

How to get there : Shaftesbury is a two hour to half day stop off between Salisbury and the West Country, on the A30. The A350 that runs north/south nearby connects Poole on the south coast and the main A303, which runs past Stonehenge. Parking could be a problem in the summer.The nearest railway station is Gillingham (Dorset), - about 6km to the north, on the main London/Exeter line. However bus connections to Shaftesbury only run between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m, which are not best for photography. Taxis are usually available at the Gillingham end at most times, though.

Visits : Shaftesbury is quite an expensive town to stay in and to eat in. Gold Hill and the viewpoints are all free and the Museum is open from April to end of October. This is also free, but do leave a donation as it is mostly run by volunteers.

Notes :


Sunrise: 05:17, Sunset: 20:52

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Moon Phase

🌒 Waxing Crescent, Brightness: 10%

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Photos taken at Gold Hill and Shaftesbury

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Gold Hill, Late Autumn, Late Afternoon
by Timk2
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Gold Hill
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Shaftesbury the Golden Hill
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Dog Takes a Siesta!
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