The beautiful market town frozen in time 2 hours from London where you can buy a stunning home for £300,000

It goes without saying that living in London has its advantages, but when it comes to buying your forever home, it’s not the most realistic place to settle down. For decades, those working in London have looked farther afield when buying property, aiming to find a location that is both reasonably priced and has a commute to the capital.

South West London is a great direction to take if you are looking for a new residence – with picturesque, traditional landscapes Properties and historic villages, you will not be disappointed. One such town is Shaftesbury, a market town in Dorset, 20 miles west of Salisbury.

Shaftesbury is a unique town with a rich and fascinating history – for starters, the town is the only major hilltop settlement in Dorset and sits around 215 meters above sea level, on a hill on the edge of Cranborne Chase.

READ MORE: The historic market town 2 hours from the capital where Londoners flock to buy period properties for £225,000

Gold Hill in Shaftesbury is one of the most Instagrammed streets in the UK

Perhaps the city’s most famous is the residence from Gold Hill (made famous by the Hovis advert) and offers great views of Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale. It is often considered the gateway to the South West, from where you can tour the Stonehenge area east to Bath and Bristol to the north, and the Jurassic Coast to the south.

According to Shaftesbury Tourism: ‘Shaftesbury is perched on a hill above Dorset’s gentle Blackmore Vale and has one of the most beautiful and imposing settings of any market town in England, with a charm and the story it is incomparable. Founded over 1100 years ago as the site of King Alfred’s Citadel Benedictine Abbey, and today largely unchanged from the 18th century, the town is a treasure trove for all.

“Located on ancient trade routes, Shaftesbury has been a market center for centuries, and today there is still a charter market on Thursdays. Regular farmers markets, book fairs, flea markets and the monthly Sunday markets add to the wonderful bustling atmosphere of the town.

Shaftesbury has been described as ‘frozen in time’ – and with good reason

“Shaftesbury has a wide selection of quality cafes, pubs and restaurants and proudly has a high street filled with independent shops offering everything from gifts to clothing, residence furniture with local products.

Given the town’s historical credentials, it is often referred to as “frozen in time” due to its abundance of period properties and intact streets, dating back to centuries . This iconic landmark is also home to the joyful Gold Hill Cheese Race, which takes place once a year in May. This quirky event is a tribute to millennia of cheese making in the Blackmore Valley, with participants climbing the hill with the locally made cheeses (which measure 35cm in diameter!)

There are a number of great properties up for grabs in Shaftesbury at extremely reasonable prices. In fact, according to RightMove, properties in Shaftesbury had an overall average price of £306,366 over the past year.

A view of the tower of Holy Trinity Church from the surrounding grounds, in the Dorset town of Shaftesbury

The majority of sales in Shaftesbury over the past year have been for individual properties, selling for an average price of £454,873. Semi-detached Properties sold for an average of £244,850, with semi-detached properties for £269,776. Overall, sales prices at Shaftesbury over the past year were similar to the previous year and up 20% from the 2018 peak of £254,995.

Plus, this idyllic Dorset town is easily accessible from the capital. You can reach Shaftesbury by car from central London in less than two hours and 30 minutes via the M3 and A303. The city can also be reached from many major train stations in less than three hours.

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