Forcing yourself out for some fresh air each day is more essential than ever in the winter months, when it’s all too easy to choose curling up in the warm instead of pulling your wellies on. This particular walk is a regular favourite of ours – it’s much shorter than our usual hikes, and perfect for short midwinter days.
The first time we walked it was an unforgettable joy – we headed out on the afternoon of New Years Eve and we took it oh-so-slow.
The light was glorious, the air was crisp, the shadows long, and we simply breathed in the dying embers of the year, making plans for better days ahead.
We’ve been asked for some shorter routes, and at just over four miles on wide easy tracks, this one’s for almost everybody. You will not be disappointed – though we can’t guarantee you the spectacular frozen landscape oir glorious sunset!
Starting on the Ox Drove, there is always ample space to park under the trees. Then it’s a simple saunter along the drovers track, enjoying the views and the forest, until a short right cuts diagonally across to the Roman road on Vernditch Chase (we always cut this corner during the winter as the Roman road gets horribly sloppy – in the summer do square the corner along the edge of Knighton Wood).
Then it’s a simple bridleway all the way back up to the road, and a short uphill back to the car – keep an eye out for the white deer.
As the sun finally starts to set we find ourselves back at the start at Cow Down Hill – thankfully we’re smart and there’s a flask in the car, and we have time for a hot chocolate while we watch the last of the winter sun before heading home.