'The light, full and smooth, lay like a gold rind over the turf, the furze and yew bushes, the few wind-stunted thorn trees. From the ridge, the light seemed to cover all the slope below, drowsy and still. But down in the grass itself, between the bushes, in that thick forest trodden by the beetle, the spider and the hunting shrew, the moving light was like a wind that danced among them and set them to scurrying and weaving. The red rays flickered in and out of the grass stems, flashing minutely on membranous wings, casting long shadows behind the thinnest of filamentary legs, breaking each patch of bare soil into a myriad individual grains. The insects buzzed, whined, hummed, stridulated, and droned as the air grew warmer in the sunset. Louder yet calmer than they, among the trees, sounded the yellowhammer, the linnet and greenfinch. The larks went up, twittering in the scented air above the down. From the summit, the apparent immobility of the vast blue distance was broken, here and there, by wisps of smoke and tiny, momentary flashes of glass. Far below lay the fields green with wheat, the flat pastures grazed by horses, the darker greens of the woods. They too, like the hillside jungle, were tumultuous with evening, but from the remote height turned to stillness, their fierceness tempered by the air that lay between
From the top of Watership Down you can
see Newbury and even the Lambourne Downs.
On foggy days you can barely see the grass in front of you. Yes, it really does seem as though
you can see the whole world from up here,
but just the world to the north. You can’t
see a thing to the south. For that you need to
be up in the air: the downs are popular
with your hang- and para-gliderings.
You are standing in front of a wide gallop used to train racehorses, if you cross it and look behind you, you will see the hanger:
This shows the broad expanse of open grassland that forms the top of Watership Down, which is quite typical of most other downs too. There are now more fences and the down is less open. The hanger, and the honeycomb warren site, is to the left.