A Wiltshire model

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.

The church at Compton Bissett

The church at Coombe Bissett

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.

Compton Bissett shop

Coombe Bissett shop

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 parish notice-board

The parish notice-board










The map shows all the definitive routes and access land.

Extract from the parish map

Extract from the parish map










Here is the key.

Key to the parish map

Key to the parish map









And down the right-hand side is a list of all the definitive routes and where they go.

The list of public rights of way on the notice-board

The list of public rights of way on the notice-board

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.



About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Public paths, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Wiltshire model

  1. ossjay says:

    Well done, Coombe Bisset & Homington Council. Years ago, we used to have a hand-made copies of our definitive map for the local area in our village shop and village hall, but someone “decluttered” them and they are gone. Be careful who is given power in the community!

  2. Charles May says:

    Many thanks Kate for your kind words about my shop. I am sorry I missed you on the day but look forward to welcoming you or any of your members in the future.

    While we don’t have the definitive map we do sell OS Explorer maps of the local area and will always do our best to assist visitors with help and information or even with somewhere to go to the loo!

  3. Thank you Charles, I’d love to meet you and hope I can do so before long.

  4. Kate,
    For anyone who feels like walking in this wonderful area, the map you refer to is here http://www.coombebissett.com/local-walks.html, and there is also a detaled description of all the ocal rights of way. Happy walking!

  5. Keith Smith says:

    Hello Kate,
    Next time you are in Coombe Bissett, please visit the Fox and Goose.We have a 3.6 mile Pub Walk leaflet(can be found on our website foxandgoose-coombebissett.co.uk) which starts at the Pub and wanders through the village and up to the Nature Reserve and back in a circular walk to the Pub, where food and drinks are available.

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