It was only with the forced cancellation of my poetry and walking tours during the pandemic that I was able to fully understand how integral a part of my life they had been. The combination of intellectual and imaginative stimulation in the mornings, the solace and mercy of the poetry itself, the companionship with others it engenders on the long walks in the afternoons, the physical sense of emboldenment and beauty that comes through those selfsame walks, and the appetite it gives for good food, good drink and good conversation makes for a powerful constellation of forces that bolster and lift a human life, often forging, in parallel, friendships for a life time.
I am very happy to be able to offer them again, and look forward to your joining me.
David Whyte’s walking tours combine his poetry and philosophy with breathtaking walks, superb meals and an opportunity to meet extraordinary people deeply committed to their place in the world - on any given day, you may be introduced to a poet, a farmer, a group of world-class musicians, a passionate scholar or a larger-than-life, Dante-reciting chef. No matter the location, you are invited into a circle of friendship that takes you deep into the local culture.
Each morning, after breakfast, David sets the tone for the day with a talk and poetry. This gathering is followed by the day’s activities, including a few beautiful walks or hikes, and delicious, local food.
We don’t provide an itinerary, preferring to give participants an experience of awakening into each new day with openness to what may unfold. (That said, we let you know when you might need a rain jacket or sturdy shoes.)
Although the landscape and culture are unique to each location, all walking tours are extraordinary, moveable feasts for mind, body and spirit.
May 6 - 13, 2023.
Join David and 35 eclectic travelers for a celebration of Ireland's celtic culture, both traditional and emerging, set on Galway Bay in County Clare. The trip is an unforgettable pilgrimage over ancient limestone and windblown shores, gathering at places of special inherited significance in both Irish history and the Irish religious imagination.
David introduces you not only to the place and culture, but also to some of his closest friends - people deeply connected to the landscape, and firmly occupying their unique place in the world. You will have the opportunity to hear world-class musicians and experience why County Clare is renowned for carrying the soul of traditional Irish music.
June 30th - July 7th, 2023.
Join David Whyte in the mountains and vales of his youth, while taking time to understand the next necessary steps of your own life. Hike with David over the peaks of the English Lake District, where Wordsworth, Coleridge and many others found inspiration among mountains, valleys, spectacular lakes, stone villages and hedgerows. Our accommodations are near Coniston Lake, not too far from the village of Coniston itself - the site, by the way, of David’s very favorite brewery.
The cottages and farmstead themselves are steeped in literary history, having been the setting for Arthur Ransome’s Swallows & Amazons. Our accommodations will provide not only characterful shelter but bicycles for a quick trip into the village and rowing boats for excursions on the lake.
The morning sessions with David will be a time to deepen your commitment to the direction of your professional or artistic life, or loose it toward a new direction. For further inspiration, we will spend every afternoon amid the mountains and lakes that surround us, hiking the hills and arriving at small pubs, hostelries, or our farmstead home for the evening meal.
The Farmhouse and cottages of Bank Ground Farm are set on over 60 acres of breathtaking Lake District countryside with private lake frontage and panoramic views over Coniston Water to Coniston Village. Bank Ground Farm is a working farm in the heart of the Lake District, rearing both cattle and sheep. Its farmhouse dates back to the 15th Century, with exposed oak beams and open log fires.
Each morning will begin with a talk by David, bringing poetry to bear on the insights he has gained through over twenty years of examining the necessities of work, career and relationship, providing food for thought for the day's hiking.
November 1st - 8th, 2023.
Join David Whyte and Gayle Karen Whyte on this mountain and forest trail through the ancient landscapes and villages of central Japan, walking in the footsteps of Japan's most famous poet: Basho. Our tour begins in Kyoto, we will then travel by train into the mountains. Once on the trail we will stay at traditional Ryokan Inns, many times bathing in their hot-springs by night and during the days, walking through the central Japanese countryside, past temples and shrines, remote forest paths and tiny hamlets.
David and Gayle walked this trail three years ago and found it an absolute delight, witnessing the daily life of rural Japan, fascinated by the history and not a little overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscapes. The Ryokan all provide a very traditional experience, with really marvelous food, from simple to luxurious depending on the inn.