Beyond the gate

sunset hills behind gate

There is a path I often walk along in West Sussex which has a view of the hills beyond a gate I pass. The range of hills in the farthest distance is the South Downs along the south-eastern coast of Sussex. Last week the sun was setting as I made this journey with my children.  I took this photo just where there is a brick pillar which, instead of a sundial, has a round metal plate giving the distances to landmarks across this landscape before the South Downs.

The view to me is such a quintessentially English landscape. With the glowing light from the descending sun it made be think of William Blake’s poem And did those feet in Ancient Time, now known as the lyrics in the hymn Jerusalem.

“And did those feet in ancient time, Walk upon England’s mountains green…

And did the Countenance Divine, Shine forth upon our clouded hills?”…

When I was writing this post I looked up the poem to make sure I wrote down the lines correctly. What did I find?! It’s believed that Blake was inspired by the South Downs when he wrote this poem as part of the preface to his epic poem Milton. He was based in West Sussex at the time. Needless to say I was taken aback…but pleasantly so.

Directions South Downs

church spire distance

landscape south downs

The gate leads down some steps to a small country road. Straight across it is a wooden stile in a break in the hedgerow leading onto another public footpath.

wooden stile

But we stayed by the gate and watched the sky change.

sunset tree landscape sussex

And in this final photo of the hills beyond the gate, you can just see the tiny silhouette (in the right hand bottom corner) of my son gazing at this amazing English landscape. Soon I’m going to head across these hills, valleys and pastures green – by car – and take my two for a walk in the South Downs.

In my previous post you can see a black and white version of the gate.


20 thoughts on “Beyond the gate”

  1. Holy moly these are amazingly beautiful shots.
    Such a gorgeous part of the world, and so wonderfully captured.
    Magazine and frame worthy!

  2. Love this Kriss, what a beautiful location to walk and photograph. Your shots make me feel like I’m there with you. I love that sky too, dreamy. Jerusalem is one of my faves, happy memories of singing it in school assemblies.
    Thanks for joining in and sharing Kriss, we’ll have to arrange a meet up again soon x

  3. Beautiful set of pictures. The light in them is just lovely, and so indicative of this time of year. I just drove my little one back from nursery in similar light and wished I had my camera with me to stop somewhere and capture it!!

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