I might have gone whizzing through the village of Coombe Bissett in Wiltshire last week had I not spotted an enticing sign for coffee at the local shop. I was on my way to Martin Down a few miles on, and I had a little spare time. So I stopped there, and I’m glad I did.
Coombe Bissett straddles the River Ebble, on the A354 Salisbury to Blandford Road, three miles south-west of Salisbury. It has an attractive partly-Norman church (but the original was probably Saxon) and a lovely green.
I headed for the village stores and a cup of coffee, only £1.50 and most welcome after my three-hour drive. The staff were cheerful and welcoming too.
The shop is also a community hub and stocks local food and has a wide range of facilities and long opening-hours. It’s an impressive set-up. The stores have a Facebook page.
I wandered round the corner and came to the parish notice-board. I was delighted to see that it was packed with information about public paths and access.
The map shows all the definitive routes and access land.
Here is the key.
And down the right-hand side is a list of all the definitive routes and where they go.
So even if you arrive without an Ordnance Survey map, you can find your way, and if you find path problems you can check the map for the path numbers before reporting them. It also demonstrates that the Coombe Bissett and Homington Parish Council takes a pride in its paths and access land, and the parish council minutes reinforce this.
All round, you get a warm welcome and the parish council and community are setting a fine example.