Monday, 3 August 2015

Labyrinth love

I do love a good labyrinth, and summer provides the opportunity to visit two of our favourites. 

Seaton Labyrinth in Devon - image from

Often confused with a maze (which has lots of opportunities for wrong turnings and retracing your steps) a labyrinth has a single path which winds its way back and forth to the centre. At times you feel that you are on a path that surely leads in the opposite direction from your goal. 

It takes patience to follow the path assiduously without cheating. In fact, what is the point - why take twenty minutes to walk around in circles? Well, aside from being a place within which to keep a minotaur, labyrinths have often been used for contemplation and quieting the mind, and even as part of worship. Surprisingly, in our 'have it now' world that values short cuts and quick fixes, labyrinths have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years (I think both of our labyrinths are millennial). Maybe they really do speak to something deeper within us.

Son inside the willow labyrinth at Bradford-on-Avon -
harder to cut corners on this one because you can't see the centre.


  1. Our church recently built a labyrinth out of pavement and stones. I don't how many have used it, but it's seems very small for contemplation. But then again, I am easily distracted. I have seen it used mostly by children who make up all kinds of interesting games with it. I don't think that was the original intention, but not a bad result all the same.

    1. Both of the labyrinths above are about a mile long I think, if you walk them properly. I agree - imaginative game playing sounds a good result!

  2. Now I know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth! Where's the labyrinth in Bradford on Avon?

  3. Walk along the south side of the river out to the west from the Tythe Barn, in a field.

  4. Out past the Tythe Barn along the river path in a field