OK..so I have to take it back about autumn. GK and I finally found it this afternoon, as we panted our way up Coopers Hill.
The sun shone, the dogs were in ecstasty, and we scuffed and jumped our way through a carpet of leaves to our hearts' content.
I grew up in East Sussex, not far from Rudyard Kipling's home at Bateman's, and it was his "Way through the Woods" that was a silent soundtrack to the afternoon for me.
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods . . . .
But there is no road through the woods.