Sitting in Bianca, our Bongo campervan, I studied the OS map for nearby footpaths hoping to put together our first walk for the New Year, when I noticed a village on the map with no name.
Our campsite, Brades Acre in Tilshead, Wiltshire, seemed to be surrounded by Byways and permissive paths. Tilshead is only ten kilometres in a straight line from Stonehenge and has five Neolithic Long Barrows within walking distance, albeit in different directions from the village.
It didn't take long to plot a short route to take us to White Barrow and then to the nameless village, and so off we went to explore!
We approached the village from the East, and our first view of the village, which was reminiscent of a World World II film set, confirmed our suspicions that this was a military training facility of some kind.
It is known locally as "German Village", but the Ministry of Defence called it Copehill Down FIBUA Village - 'FIBUA' stands for Fighting In Built-Up Areas. The MoD built this mock village in 1987 during the Cold War to resemble a typical Bavarian village in Germany. It even has a Church, Graveyard and a small railway goods yard.
I found a British Army video on YouTube which shows soldiers training at Copehill Down which I will link at the bottom of this page.
Village with no name on Salisbury Plain
White Barrow Neolithic long barrow on Salisbury Plain
Salisbury mud is almost as sticky as Kent mud!
CCTV, Fence and a Tank - I guess you are not allowed in the village!
Looking down the German Village High Street
Typical Bavarian houses?
I spy with my little eye something beginning with TANK!
Looking through the barricades
Looking back at the German Village from Copehill Down
Very large brick water tower
Distance : 5 Miles
We were staying at the Brades Acre Camp Site and so started our walk from there but there is plenty of free parking available in the village of Tilshead.
On the day that we walked, there were lots of 4x4 vehicles using the byways which made them extremely muddy which meant we had to walk a few feet to the side of the tracks.