Ode to Autumn Walking Retreats - 2023!
'Yesterday was absolutely wonderful – quite literally full of wonder! Thank you so much for leading it with such sensitivity and openness and helping us to see so much we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.' Marianne
Fri Sept 22, Fri Sept 29, Sat Oct 14 [Sorry, full], Weds Oct 18 [Sorry, full] or Fri Oct 20 [Sorry, full]
12.45pm - 6.30pm, in Winchester, Hampshire.
Autumn is a uniquely evocative season - colourful, fruitful, soulful, bountiful! And that's why I love to get outside and get in to it, to feel its pull again, to breathe its air, to listen for all that it has to teach afresh.
In this half-day walking retreat in Hampshire, we use John Keats’ ode ‘To Autumn’ - written here in Winchester! – for poetic inspiration as we walk, share, pause, listen, and step into a richer kind of space together.
We gather by Winchester Cathedral for an afternoon’s walk (of about five miles) which takes in the water meadows where Keats once strolled, the steepish climb to St Catherine’s Hill and its lovely turf labyrinth, and then a gentle meander along the river Itchen.
As we go, we're as present as we can be (through contemplative practice) to the season, to our surroundings, and to God within it all. We consider the nature of our own journey, walk the labyrinth, make space for silence, stillness and personal reflection, and return for evensong at the cathedral (usually choral, though sometimes it's 'spoken').
Ode to Autumn is an essential part of the rhythm of my own year. Do join me for a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the turning of this particular season!
Please e-mail email@example.com to reserve your place for 2023.
First come, first served. I'll e-mail you back to confirm your booking.
The price, as ever, is £20. Payment instructions will be sent once you book.
Just Before You Book - A Few Extra Details
Please only book the Saturday if you cannot make a weekday, so that people who work in the week can come too!
While most of the walk is quite flat, the ascent of St Catherine's Hill, which is a mix of steps and a chalky path, is relatively steep and strenuous. You don't need to be an Olympian to scale it, but you'll need to be steady on your feet and physically healthy.
We're standing up for most of the afternoon, from 12.45 through to 5ish when we return for evensong at the cathedral. There aren't many benches en route so you might like to bring something to sit on, if you want to sit on the grass occasionally, like a light coat (or a shooting stick).
There are toilets close to our meeting point at the cathedral, but none after that until we return at 5pm.
While I fully understand if circumstances change suddenly or dramatically, please try not to drop out too casually, close to the day. Thanks!
There is no plan B if the weather isn't good. I have only ever had to cancel one autumn retreat in advance because of an extreme weather forecast. If the forecast is really bad, I'll be in touch about it. Otherwise, simply dress sensibly - it's usually wonderful to be outside whatever the weather!
The retreat flows from my contemplative Christian faith. I've found that people of many different backgrounds have enjoyed and benefited from my work, but please be aware that it will contain Christian reflection!
I'll send you further instructions upon booking, including how to pay, etc.
I hope you can join me!
And remember: please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place for 2023.