Into the woods, it's time to go, I hate to leave, I have to go. Into the woods, it's time, and so I must begin my journey.
I live near the ancient Abbey Woods. Site of the derelict Lesnes Abbey, full of flowers, trees, and eternal mysteries. A tattered parchment map fluttered into my hand promising adventure and enlightenment deep in the heart of the woods.
And so, shortly before sunset, a dozen of us gathered at the entrance and began our traipse through the mulch to see what we would find.
It was magical. There's no other word to describe it. Each of us had headphones and listened to specially commissioned music and poetry designed to harmonise with the surroundings.
We went on an artist guided tour, but you can download the audio tracks and take a wander at your own pace.
I recommend using open-ear headphones which allow you to hear the screaming of the birds. Are all the noises you hear diegetic? Are the whispers in your ears still there when the music pauses?
Halfway through our journey, we wandered into the Old Chalk Pit, where we found Nick Hart waiting for us.
Old English folk songs sung in an old English pit, the tang of fresh smoke and the scent of wild-flowers. Accompanied by the cacophony of crows and parrots waging their regular evening warfare.
Last night I went for a magical audio storywalk in @lesnes_abbey woods created by @sophiejanesays @betterussell for @estuaryfestival . I have always meant to visit & #loreofthewild was a wonderful way to explore. It’s easy to download. Wearing horns is optional. pic.twitter.com/cuPQf9wkQG
— Nikki Spencer (@NikkiS49) June 7, 2021
It reminded me of the London SubtleMod I attended a decade ago. A group of strangers wandering through a landscape listening to - and becoming - art.
— ellie kurttz (@elliekurttz) May 30, 2021
If you can get to the woods - and CrossRail will opening soon! - I recommend bringing a pair of headphones and following the guided trail. It's a gentle walk - although not suitable for wheelchair users - and a wonderful way to experience the environment.