MAGDALEN + ANCIENT ENGLAND
July 20th - 25th
Our tour holds so much… ancient stone circle megaliths, mysterious burial mounds and caverns, the ancient Tor, the land of Avalon, The Magdalen, The Holy Grail, The Lady of the Lake, King Arthur, Merlin, the rugged coast at Cornwall, the ruins of the Castle Tintangel and of Glastonbury Abbey, The Chalice Well, Ancient Oaks, and more.
We will be housed on our own estate, with plenty of room for whatever we might want to cook and conjure!
Our group will meet at London’s Heathrow Airport at 12:00 PM on July20th. The exact meeting place is not yet set. From the airport, we will drive west for 1 ½ hours to the town of Marlborough in Wiltshire county for lunch. We will want to get on the road and out of London, so please be aware that we will be having a late lunch at 1:45. After lunch, we continue west for another 1 ½ to our accommodations near Glastonbury.
We begin our journey together at Avebury Henge, the stone circle which is one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, the henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch, encircling an area that includes part of Avebury Village.
We will break for lunch at The Red Lion pub located at the center of the stone circle. The tavern is reputed to be one of the top ten most haunted pubs in England.
In the afternoon, we will walk the winding 1 1/2 mile ceremonial path of West Kennet Avenue. This ancient highway is a beautiful meditative journey originally containing around 100 pairs of prehistoric standing stones.
This walk takes us to West Kennet Long Barrow one of the largest, most impressive Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain. Built in around 3650 BC, it was used as a group burial chamber. Inside we will light candles and call in those of the spirit realm who wish to guide and join us for our journey into these druidic and Celtic lands.
Later in the afternoon we move on to the near-by Silbury Hill, the largest artificial mound in Europe, probably completed in around 2400 BC. The “hill” compares in height and volume to the Egyptian pyramids.
July 22nd is Mary Magdalen Day. A very special day in Glastonbury! This is due to the legend of Joseph of Arimathea who accompanied Magdalen across the Mediterranean fleeing Palestina after the crucifixion of Yeshua. Legend also says that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury, the ancient site of Avalon. We will pay homage to The Magdalen in the tiny Magdalen Chapel. We will also visit and meditate at St John’s Church, established in 950AD and added onto over the next 400 years.
Later in the day we will ascend the 20 minute climb up to the holy and sacred Tor. The Tor is a man made structure, and the construction under it's grassy earth is in keeping with pyramids around the world. At the summit is St Michael’s Tower built is the 1360’s. It is a perfect place to contemplate the stunning views and to meditate atop this ancient ritual site.
Next we will visit the ‘Oaks of Avalon’ - Gog and Magog, the two trees said to be a traditional point of entry onto the island of Avalon. The trees were part of a ceremonial druidic avenue of oak trees running towards the Tor and beyond.
The Chalice Well, also known as The Red Spring, is one of Britain's most ancient wells, nestling in the Vale of Avalon between the famous Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Hill. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards it is a living sanctuary. For over two thousand years this has been a place where people have gathered to drink the waters and find solace, peace, and inspiration.
We will then visit The White Spring, the lesser known sister of the Red Spring. The fact that these two springs arise within a few feet of each other from the caverns beneath Glastonbury Tor is one of the greatest mysteries of the Isle of Avalon. Both springs have mysterious healing properties in their flow.
After lunch, we will tour the remains of Glastonbury Abbey. Since medieval times the abbey has held legendary status as the earliest Christian foundation in Britain, linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the burial place of King Arthur. At the Abbey we will spend time amongst the ruins of the Lady Chapel, powerful sanctuary to the sacred feminine.
Set high on Cornwall's rugged north coast the myth of Camelot, the birthplace of King Arthur, comes alive at the blackened ruins of the Castle of Tintagel.
We will park in Tintagel Village and then walk a half mile to Tintagel Head where there is a steep climb up steps to reach the castle. Across the bridge on Tintagel Island there are also the earlier ruins of a Celtic Monastery.
At low tide we will visit Merlin’s Cave where legend tells that Merlin still walks and that his voice can sometimes be heard. The cave and castle gained fame following the publication of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, telling the legend of King Arthur and the tale of the infant Arthur being washed ashore at Merlin’s feet:
“They found a naked child upon the sands
Of dark Tintagil by the Cornish sea;
And that was Arthur; and they fostered him
Till he by miracle was approven King”
Tintagel Village is a lively Cornish town with fun shops. We will have time for lunch and strolling before driving to Exeter on the River Exe for dinner. Exeter dates back to the Roman era. The Exeter City Walls surround its center and the Gothic Exeter Cathedral.
For dinner we’ll explore alfresco dining on the Exeter Quay.
A note on why Stone Henge is not on the itinerary -
The site of Stone Henge is not closely accessible due to The English Heritage‘s (most likely wise decision) to cordon off close contact by thousands of people with the ancient stones. To this end, a roped-off boardwalk has been built to usher people around the site at quite a distance. Our tour will take us into the equally old and intimate site of the Avebury Henge where we can closely commune with the ancient stone megaliths.
Departure - July 25th
An early departure time gets us to London Heathrow for the next leg of our journey. Some of you may be traveling on to Germany to participate in Thomas Hübl’s Celebrate Life Festival. Others of you are welcome to join me as I fly to Paris. I'll spend one evening in Paris and depart the next day on a high speed train to the South of France for the Mary Magdalen and Black Madonna Tour.
For information about rates + accommodation click here
For information about transportation click here
For information on traveling with me through Paris to the South of France click here
For information on the South of France Tour click here