Category: Ancient Landscapes

Cartmel, anarchy and the perfect morning…

The Cumbrian village of Cartmel is most famous for its racecourse, but it is difficult to find any part of it that is not also beautiful or at least interesting. There are also examples here of innovative responses to hard times… Something we all need to take note of. Cartmel lies two miles northwest of Grange-over-Sands, on the northern edge of Morecambe Bay, just … Read More Cartmel, anarchy and the perfect morning…

When colour drains…

There are a few weeks of the year, in the early stages of autumn, when the combination of soft light, pale sun and changing foliage creates quite magical landscapes here in South Lakeland. This is particularly true of the small, quiet lanes on the southern outskirts of Kendal, home to the celebrated ‘basket of eggs’ landscape that marks the final stages of the glacial … Read More When colour drains…

Maple Quay

There’s a giant maple tree on the quayside at Waterhead on the northern shores of Lake Windermere. Waterhead is the most northerly ferry stop on this, England’s biggest lake. Boats from Waterhead link the town of Ambleside to Bowness and Lakeside at the southern tip of the lake. We call it ‘Maple Quay’ though it has no official name. In the autumn, the tree … Read More Maple Quay

Back lane to the river

It is said by local historians that if Kendal had not fallen prey to the soulless developments of the 1960s, the town would now rival York in the historical interest offered by its venerable streets – and its living links with long-disappeared ways of life… There are numerous alleys that lead from the town centre to the River Kent. It’s fascinating to walk these … Read More Back lane to the river

Set in Stone

The Silent Eye’s Landscape Weekends were born from a mad-cap day on Ilkley Moor and a number of subsequent events up there. Join us on Sue Vincent’s birthday (14th September) for lunch and a short walk to one of Ilkley Moor’s ancient monuments as we remember our former colleague and fellow director in the landscape she regarded as her home. Meet: Noon at The … Read More Set in Stone

In the gardens of Coughton Court…

Coughton Court in Warwickshire, fifteen miles from Stratford-on-Avon, is the ancestral home of the Throckmortons, one of the UK’s oldest catholic families and a place of great intrigue during the time of religious persecution. It still possesses some of the best concealed ‘priest holes’ in the country. It also boasts a beautiful walled garden, worth visiting in its own right… The name Coughton (pronounce … Read More In the gardens of Coughton Court…

Heroes in a Landscape (7) End of the Quest

Continued from Part Six… The final day of a weekend like ‘The Journey of the Hero’ has to serve many purposes. It has to reinforce what has been shared; it has to send people on their homeward journeys with a smile… and a desire to do it, again. In short, it needs to embrace the companions with a warm hug! It also needs to … Read More Heroes in a Landscape (7) End of the Quest

Heroes in a Landscape (6) Fellowship of the Shepherd

Continued from Part Five… There comes a moment in any weekend event when the carefully cultivated sense of order breaks down… no matter how good the plan. At that point one looks to ‘heaven’ knowing that the success is in the ‘laps of the Gods’. The man striding up the hill from Great Salkeld towards Long Meg Stone Circle possessed a brain whose capacity … Read More Heroes in a Landscape (6) Fellowship of the Shepherd

Heroes in a Landscape (5) River and Cave

It seemed we were learning anew, each day… The decision to abandon the walk along the long ridge path to Ashness Bridge had been forced upon us by time constraints. It would cost us the boat ride back to Keswick – something that had immense emotional appeal – but, instead, it had given us back… calmness. After a snack lunch by the lake shore … Read More Heroes in a Landscape (5) River and Cave

Heroes in a Landscape (4) Two faces of the Labyrinth

Each of our landscape weekends follows the same pattern: a socially-oriented Friday afternoon with a hint of what’s to come; a full Saturday which contains the main body of the ‘work’ and ends with an early evening pub meal out in the countryside; finally, a relaxed but meaningful Sunday morning, ending with an informal snack lunch and farewells. Saturday the 7th May dawned over … Read More Heroes in a Landscape (4) Two faces of the Labyrinth

Seven Splendours

The first week of our Scottish Highland trip is over. At the time of writing, I’m sitting in the back of the car, headed for Ullapool; the gateway to the Outer Hebrides. The ferry will take three hours to transport the four of us to Stornaway,, the capital town of the linked island of Lewis and Harris. I’m glad to be moving on. The … Read More Seven Splendours

Heroes in a Landscape (3) Learning from Nature

Continued from Part Two… My phone wasn’t dead – it looked perfectly bright against the dark landscape, but it wasn’t responding to any finger gestures. And it contained my copy of the script, now locked away by the storm. I reached into my ‘Fool’s’ kit bag, a sturdy old canvas friend that I’ve used for years. Often in the run up to workshops, I … Read More Heroes in a Landscape (3) Learning from Nature

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