|Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/HilfieldFriary/|
Having recently returned from a stay at Hilfield Friary in Dorset, I am now going to let you into a few more secrets, just in case you were thinking about visiting a religious order. Granted, friary life isn't for everyone but here are the positives and negatives.
Let's start with the Positives:
- Peace and quiet. With no television and poor mobile phone reception it was blissfully quiet and totally relaxing.
|Total peace and quiet|
- Hilfield is in a beautiful part of Dorset surrounded by stunning views and great walks and it's OK in a place like this to just stop and let the views take your breath away.
- No light pollution. Yes that does mean it's very dark but it also means that the skies are amazingly starry.
- Change of pace. Life is so frantic and busy in the cities, it really is a chance to get away from it all and visit historic villages like Cerne Abbas and its famous chalk giant.
|Cerne Abbas Giant as seen on the walk from Hilfield to Cerne Abbas|
- Not an expensive option. At Hilfield they suggest £25 per person per night for self catering and £40 for full board but they will never turn any traveller away who can't afford that much.
- Praying is not essential, although you are more than welcome to join them in any of their services.
- Strangers become friends. How often have you said 'hello' to a stranger in the city? I bet you could count the number of times on one hand. Volunteering with the community at Hilfield, even for a few hours, will reward you with new friends.
|Helping out with dismantling the marque|
OK. Now for the negatives.
Well I couldn't actually find any but if you don't like peace and quiet, rural settings or the dark, then it's probably not the place for you.
Have you ever stayed at a monastery? What did you like and dislike about it?