We'd headed up to Pepperbox Hill - at 157m high, it's positively mountainous for our area. It's owned by the National Trust, but access is a bit tricky off the busy A36 on a blind summit, so you have to be pretty brave to go there! It comprises a strip of chalk downland (currently being grazed by sheep and British White cattle) along a ridge, with a 17th century hexagonal folly. We walked along the old droveway on top of the ridge, which links up with the village of Dean eventually.
It was pretty muddy going, but the views were as always stunning. As mentioned, it was the low rays of the sunset casting a fiery glow across the extensive woodland in the distance that really caught our eyes. The woodland forms part of the West Tytherley woods, which includes Bentley Wood (see many previous posts!), and is well known for its small-leaved lime trees and rare butterflies such as the Duke of Burgundy.
Although it was a straightforward walk, on a weekend where winter seemed to have finally arrived, it was the views on the way back that made it particularly memorable - I will let the photos speak for themselves!