Path to paradise brings serene meanderings to Whitby Abbey
Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June 2013
It is believed that St Hild chose the clifftop at Whitby for her new abbey because of its isolation, and visitors over the half term holiday will be able to revisit Whitby Abbey as a place of contemplation when the site opens The Path to Paradise – an unusual labyrinth experience.
The Path to Paradise is designed as a contemplative walk around a pattern mown out of the lawns at Whitby, created to encourage quiet thought and understanding of the environment, taking inspiration from a design at Chartres Cathedral in France.
“This is a long way away from the labyrinths of ancient mythology; there are no stone walls and certainly no minotaur, in fact, you can see the end-point of the labyrinth from the start, as the pattern is cut out of grass that is only a few inches high,” explains English Heritage’s event manager, Jon Hogan. “However, the idea is that walking the route opens your mind to ponder some of the great questions in life. A labyrinth in an abbey such as Whitby would have been used almost as a meditation tool for the residents, to help them focus their thoughts on matters spiritual whilst gaining some exercise within a relatively confined space.
Visitors today can share this sense of peace – discovering the labyrinth for themselves and following the path to enlightenment – meeting some interesting characters along the way!”
Indeed, actors from North Country Theatre will help visitors on their journey through the labyrinth with stories and gems of wisdom for anyone following the path. “For the 21st century visitor, the labyrinth can be whatever they want it to be, whether our younger visitors want to see how quickly they can race from the start to the end, or whether it is a relaxing meander around the paths with regular stops to enjoy the fresh air and the view – the route to enlightenment is whatever you want it to be!” adds Jon.
The Path to Paradise runs daily at Whitby Abbey from 10.00am to 6.00pm, with the actors from North Country Theatre taking up their positions from 11.00am to 4.00pm each day. Admission prices are £6.40 for adults, £5.80 for concessions and £3.80 for children. A family ticket (two adults and up to three children) is priced at £16.60.
For more information, please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/whitby or call 01947 603568.
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