Hawkwood Woodland Sanctuary, Stroud
Tucked away in the enchanting woodland surrounding Hawkwood sits the iconic structure of the Woodland Sanctuary, a tranquil space for quiet contemplation in the spirit of silence. It is the culmination of an 8 year-long project originally conceived by Lawrence Hart and Girish Patel, whose aim was to create a place of refuge and inner stillness. Volunteers worked hard over several years to realise this creative vision and the project was funded entirely by donation. Members of The School of Meditation in London were particularly generous and supported the initiative in memory of Lawrence who sadly died in 2005.
Hawkwood was established in 1948 as a centre for promoting the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. Over the years the expression of this original impulse has moved with the times to become a vibrant centre for future thinking and creative exploration. The 42 acres of sustainably managed land include an organic farm, outdoor classroom, 10 acres of woodland, a walled garden, natural spring, ponds and wetlands, beehives and labyrinth. From the house forecourt there are far-reaching views to the Southwest including the Forest of Dean and South Wales.
Standard opening times: A small group meditates regularly 8.30 am 9 am on Wednesdays. The Woodland Sanctuary is unlocked and available at any time and the general public and Hawkwood guests are welcome to use it just visit Reception to let them know you are there. (Reception hours are 9 am 5.30 pm, and at other times instructions on how to find the duty manager are displayed at Reception.)
Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7QW, United Kingdom
Grid ref: 51°45'26.5"N 2°12'33.2"W
(please contact them if you need more detailed instructions)
By car: From the west and north, take Exit 13 off the M5 and follow signs to Stroud centre. From the east, take Exit 15 off the M4 and follow the A419 past Cirencester to Stroud. If coming from the Oxford area, follow the A429 or B4425 off the A40 to Cirencester. Follow the A419 from Cirencester as above. From Stroud centre, follow the A46, then the Painswick Old Road (which is signposted to Wick St.').
By public transport: By train or bus - take a taxi from the Stroud train or bus station (approx. 2 miles). By Plane - the closest airports are Bristol, Birmingham and Heathrow. Take a bus/train from Bristol, Birmingham or Heathrow to Stroud.
On foot: Walking from Stroud centre takes approximately half an hour. There are footpaths as an alternative to the lane. Please consult ordnance survey map. Hawkwood is not far from The Cotswold Way and The Wysis Way.
Facilities: Regrettably, this is not accessible for wheelchair users, unless with help as the woodland paths are undulating and with uneven surface. There are toilet facilities in the house or converted stables - please ask Reception for directions. There is a compost toilet in the woodland near the walled garden.
There are ornamental gardens around the house and a half-walled garden and orchard which is accessible to some degree, but as it is sited on a hill wheelchair users would need help to access the garden.
Hot drinks (by donation) are available in the dining room, depending on time of day. Natural spring water in the lower garden. Accommodation can be arranged (email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01453 759034) and quiet days for individuals or group can be arranged. The hospitaller is available Tuesday Friday 9-5 pm. (or contact the duty manager).
Painswick Old Road
Tel: 01453 779834