Eating Out and Takeaways in Shaftesbury and Gillingham

Feeling peckish after a day of exploring?

As with many markets towns, Shaftesbury and Gillingham have a great mix of traditional pubs, bistros and cafés. Most of them are independently run with a small number being national chains such as Coffee#1 and Domino’s Pizza.

Whether you are looking for fine dining, scenic views or a Dorset cream tea, you’ll find it here. And with many of them opening up for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’re sure to find a tasty treat whatever time of day you visit.

You can also pick up some tempting, local produce at the monthly Farmers Market, great for a picnic or to stock up on treats to take home and savour.

Pubs and Inns

There are lots of fantastic choices when choosing somewhere to eat and drink in Shaftesbury and Gillingham. From traditional country pubs with roaring log fires and beer gardens to contemporary, stylish Inns offering extensive menus and wine lists, there is something for all seasons and budgets.

The Grosvenor Inn is located at the heart of Shaftesbury and is a historic coaching Inn. All parts of the Inn are dog and family friendly and you can choose to dine in the restaurant, bar or cobbled courtyard. 

Just 6 miles west of Shaftesbury and south of Gillingham, The Ship Inn is a traditional Coaching Inn offering a wide variety of quality dishes using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.

Great for people watching

Some of the cafés along the High Street have street-side seating where you experience a touch of European café culture. Great for a quick bite or a light lunch.

At the top of Gold Hill, you’ll find The Salt Cellar. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and cream teas, enjoy views of the famous cobbled street as well as the rolling hills of the Blackmore Vale beyond. You can choose to sit inside or outside.

Something a little different

A few minutes’ drive outside of Shaftesbury you’ll find Compton Abbas Airfield. They have their own café with inside and outside seating.

Aside from being able to see some vintage planes out the front of the café, you’ll also get some great views over the rolling fields beyond the airfield. And you might get to see planes landing or taking off or see other vintage planes on their special event dates.

Special occasions

If you’re looking for something really special, La Fleur de Lys is a country hotel and restaurant located at the heart of Shaftesbury.

Their extensive wine list and sumptuous lunch and dinner menus are perfect for food connoisseurs. The characterful building offers fine-dining at its best and is a great option for a treat or to round off your holiday in Dorset.

Pack up a picnic

There are some great viewpoints within a few minutes’ walk of Shaftesbury town centre where you can enjoy a picnic.

So why not grab a takeaway from one of the bakeries or the deli to create your own feast. You might also like to get some cakes or dessert from one of the many cafés in town.