Shaftesbury a small market town in the north of Dorset
Shaftesbury is steeped in history. It has stunning views across the Blackmore Vale (bearing in mind it is one of the highest towns in England) and one of its claims to fame is the famous Hovis Bread advert, which was filmed on Gold Hill with its cobbles and quaint cottages.
The day of the Food Feastival – clever play on words here – Shaftesbury’s Park Walk was filled with stall holders showcasing their local food and drink. Delicious smells wafted in the wind, from the hog roast (which by the time I arrived was almost down to bare bones) to cheese and wine sourced locally from farms and vineyards.
The local Gillingham brass band were playing a variety of well known tunes from the High Street, enticing me to continue further along the street to discover yet more stall holders and crafts to wander around or participate in; a cow, a stage, a maypole and all under the shadow of Shaftesbury Town Hall – which bears a startling resemblance to Trumpton …
This mix of continuous entertainment held throughout the day together with the sunshine, fine food and fun atmosphere was a relaxing and gentle way to pass a few hours. I especially enjoyed Steps in Time – maypole dancing which was clearly a real crowd pleaser.
Walking a little further along the High Street I came across The Swans Yard, (complete with sculpture of a swan) and more stall holders. These stalls are often found as part of The Anonymous Travelling Market. Local crafts, together with The Creative Showcase can also be found here daily at The Cygnet Swans Yard, a brilliant place to browse or maybe find a small gift, and then just a few steps further a bite to eat at Cafe Elodie!