WALKING TOURS WITH DAVID WHYTE

A unique experience of poetry, friendship, and culture

2021 - 2022 TOUR INFORMATION

It is hard to contemplate another year without the fresh Atlantic breeze in my hair, without hearing the pipes wending their unstoppable way through the sea air of County Clare; I thirst most thirstily for a pint of Guinness in Margaret's Bar in Ballyvaughan, I long to return to forest temples of Japan, and I pine for the back roads of Tuscany calling me to their pilgrim ways.

But most of all, I am interested to see what this person, who has enjoyed staying at home so much, makes of the wide world once he is let loose again! And I look forward most heartily to whoever joins me. All the refund policies are very generous, taking into account the possibilities for an extended bout of Covid.

___

The road in the end
taking the path the sun had taken,
into the western sea,
and the moon rising behind you
as you stood where ground turned to ocean:
no way to your future now
but the way your shadow could take,
walking before you across water, going where shadows go, no way to make sense of a world
that wouldn't let you pass
except to call an end to the way you had come
...
from "Finisterre"
in PILGRIM


WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A WALKING TOUR

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.

WEST OF IRELAND

Poetry, Myth and Music for the soul

POETRY, MYTH & MUSIC FOR THE SOUL

This trip has been rescheduled for April 30th - May 7th, 2022

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.

We will open this trip to applications in Autumn 2021. To be notified when applications become available, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of this page.

ENGLISH LAKE DISTRICT

COMPASS POINTS: SETTING DIRECTION FOR A FUTURE LIFE

COMPASS POINTS: SETTING DIRECTION FOR A FUTURE LIFE

June 24 - July 1, 2022

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.

We will open this trip to applications in Autumn 2021. To be notified when applications become available, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of this page. 

THE HILLS OF TUSCANY

HARVEST & PILGRIMAGE

HARVEST & PILGRIMAGE

This trip has been rescheduled to May 14 - 21, 2022

From the first evening standing on the threshold of an ancient Etruscan tomb with the light slanting across the stone, imagining centuries of mothers, fathers and children making their lives amongst the olive groves, to the closing night’s celebration under the stars, the week in Italy is a moveable feast both literally and imaginatively; a true celebration of the senses; a shaping of the mind and the body through walking, seeing, listening and tasting.

Whether being introduced by Lori De Mori to the almost reverential relationship to food that runs throughout the Tuscan hills, listening to Dante in the original by an original as dusk settles on the rooftops of Panzano, or partaking of a moonlit meal prepared with loving care, you will be invited deep into the local culture, setting one foot after another through the countryside accompanied by David’s poetry and thought, and by food, wine and good company.

We will open this trip to applications in Autumn 2021. To be notified when applications become available, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of this page.

JAPAN

Walking the invisible way

WALKING THE INVISIBLE WAY

This trip has been postponed to 2022. To be notified when the dates are set and applications become available, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of this page.

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.

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