The Westcountry’s hidden gem
The Blackdown Hills in Somerset form a tranquil, beautiful, and relatively isolated landscape on the Devon and Somerset border. Steep ridges, high plateau, valleys and springs create a charming mosaic of countryside dotted with farms, villages and ancient features. This special place is home to wildlife and people, with valuable habitats existing alongside living, working communities. Unique geology creates an exceptional environment where rare plant, insect and invertebrate species can flourish.
The Blackdown Hills have been protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1991. The Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership brings together over 80 organisations to protect this precious landscape. This information (and more) can be found on the Blackdown Hills website.
What is the extent of the Blackdown Hills?
If you’ve ever been down to Cornwall on the A303, you will have driven through part of the Blackdown Hills and probably not realised how extensive they are! You can see the area they cover on this map from the www.blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk website. In addition, the Blackdown Hills are covered by the Explorer series 115, 116 and 128 or by the Landranger series 193 and 192. To look at Ordnance Survey maps of the area online, go to the OS website. (Click image for full map)
Where is Dimpsey based?
We’re based near Combe St Nicholas on the Somerset/Devon border, about half a mile from the A303. We have the advantage of being down a beautiful country lane and easy to find once you know where we are. The small farm that the hut is based on is around 30 acres, was listed in the Doomsday book and is home to Dexter Cattle, Jacobs sheep and Tamworth pigs – so lots of animals and tractors to see. The Dimpsey Hut is located in Hither Orchard, so named as it has been replanted on the same spot as the orchard which served the farm for hundreds of years previously. We are very privileged to be in such a beautiful and historic landscape and it inspires many of the pieces we design ourselves.
What is there in the immediate area?
The nearest small towns are Chard and Ilminster, with Taunton (20 minutes) and Exeter (35 minutes) being the larger towns in the vicinity. The country lanes are perfect for walking and biking and the nearby Neroche woods offers access to a long walking, riding and cycle path. In addition, this particular area of the Blackdown presents some stunning skies and opportunities for stargazing. There’s a telescope in the Dimpsey Hut and a star map.