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Cold Kitchen Hill, Bidcome Hill and Bushcombe Bottom, The Deverills

Updated: May 23, 2020

Bushcombe Bottom and Bidcombe Hill

Right in the South West corner of Wiltshire you will find The Deverills, a string of villages between Warminster and Mere with the word Deverill in their name. As you drive down the B3095 you pass through Longbridge Deverill, Hill Deverill, Brixton Deverill, Monkton Deverill and Kingston Deverill. This is area is quintessential Wiltshire, with rolling green hills of chalk grassland full of history evidenced by a multitude of Bronze Age bowl barrows, neolithic long barrows and Iron Age settlements.

If you get into the hill above these villages you are deep into Hidden Wiltshire territory as the paths are not well trodden by outsiders but the landscape is awe inspiring and the views across the valleys are worth the trek.

Hidden Wiltshire contributor Paul Timlett has written this piece about a spring time walk through the hills:

As we start to think about where we might find a display of blue bells in the coming Spring, I thought I would share this location. It's a place where I have walked and photographed on many occasions and I rarely see anybody there. I hope I don't spoil it with this blog but this place is only really accessible if you are reasonably fit.

Bidcombe Wood

I'm referring to the ridge and hills to the north of Kingston Deverill, and in particular Cold Kitchen Hill, Bidcombe Hill, and Bushcombe Bottom. Parking in the village is limited and the walk to the summit of the ridge is long and steep. But my is it worth it.

A few hundred metres to the west of Cold Kitchen Hill is the Jubilee Beacon which serves as a landmark visible from miles around. Walking along the ridge known as Whitecliff Down there are spectacular views west towards Little Knoll and Somerset beyond. Before long you come to the woods on Bidcombe Hill. This is where you will find great carpets of blue bells in the spring, and hear the plaintive cry of buzzards. Here I once disturbed a large male Fallow deer foraging in a dense thicket.

Jubilee Beacon

A pleasant walk is to then descend the ridge heading north, then turn east in the direction of Hill Deverill before climbing the ridge once again to the south to the summit of Brims Down. There are far reaching views here towards the hills above the Wylye Valley to the east.

From Brims Down head south west climbing to the summit of Cold Kitchen Hill itself. From here the West Country lies before you with Alfred's Tower visible in the distance near Stourhead to the west.

Bidcombe Wood (Film Noir)

But before you complete the circuit and descend to Kingston Deverill, head downhill 100 metres or so to the north in the direction of Bushcombe Bottom. Here you will find a Neolithic long barrow at grid reference ST846383. The Modern Antiquarian describes it as being 230 feet long, 72 feet wide and 12 feet in height, and ponders why it was built below the summit instead of on the summit itself. Who knows.

In all this is a glorious walk where you will find peace and solitude. As long as you don't tell anyone else about it.

Bushcombe Bottom from Cold Kitchen Hill

Brims Down

All Images are copyright of Paul Timlett


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