Another early (ish) start this morning with a 4.30am alarm call. The reason? A location I hadn't visited for over a year which was mentioned in a conversation yesterday. I am truly spoilt living within a stones through of the South Downs National Park and sometimes it takes a passing comment to never stop exploring this varied and inspiring part of the world.
Bury Hill is just to the north of Arundel. Best known for the little cafe on the roundabout that attract motorcyclists from far and wide looking to enjoy the rolling hills and challenging bends of the A29. In fact a quick search on Google failed to reveal anything special about the location with the exception of a cricket match between The Duke of Richmond's XI and Sir William Gage's XI back in 1725.
No bikers or cricketers though as I arrived just after 5 am. Instead as my eyes adjusted to the darkness I was greeted by the scene I had hoped for, a veil of mist covering the valley floor, the smooth white carpet occasionally interrupted by the top of defiant tree reaching for the last remaining stars.
Having had a quick wander and found an initial vantage point it was just a matter of waiting for the sun to slowly rise in the east.
Within 10 minutes the decision to set the alarm the night before was vindicated as I was treated to an amazing sunrise. Reds, oranges and ambers contrasted spectacularly with the cool blue hues of the meandering mist. Sussex was beginning to wake. The best advice I was ever given by a fellow photographer was : ' Always look behind you'.
In the opposite direction the light lost it's fiery depth and instead gently lit the clouds passing effortlessly over the English Channel. Even the offshore wind farm no longer looked out of place.
If these images have inspired you to get out into the South Downs National Park and do some exploring yourself then I would suggest parking at the Bury Hill Cafe (the car park is just off the roundabout on the A29 - search for Whiteways Lodge and you'll be in the right area). From here there are a number of circular walks that will take you out across the South Downs. Most of the images in this post were taken from the South Downs Way just south of where it crosses the A29.
A word of warning. There are very limited footpaths on the A29 and it's a busy thoroughfare. Be careful (or get there at 5am).
All of the images contained in this post are available as fine art prints. Click here to find out more.