silvan & spring

nature rambles | artistic expression | explorations of place | reflection | pampering

April 26th to May 2nd, 2018


Join us as we explore and share two magical places in England for a beautiful and nourishing seven-day/six-night retreat in the Cotswolds and Bath. We will explore the forests and landscapes of the Cotswolds and enjoy the sacred waters in Bath as we create art, write, and explore our surroundings. We’ll celebrate the ancient Gaelic festival of Beltane together as we mark the transition between spring and summer, and learn about the history and traditions of this important annual celebration. You will have plenty of time for relaxation and conversation as you explore these inspiring places with our small and intimate group. Both Gretchen and Laurie have traveled to England many times and will serve as your tour guides as they show you the best parts of this enchanted country.


We’ll start and end in London, taking the train through the English countryside west towards the Cotswolds where we will spend three nights and three days in one of its charming villages. We will enjoy the cobblestone streets, thatched roof houses, and access to walking paths that weave through woodlands, along ancient hedgerows, and cross sheep-filled fields. Then we will take the train south to Bath and stay for three days and three nights near the heart of the town’s ancient Roman spring-fed baths, within steps of Pulteney Bridge and its artisan-owned shops. This is the same town filled with the Georgian architecture that inspired Jane Austen. We will return to London by train. We have a lot of fun things planned including: natural plant dyeing, watercolour studies, tarot and oracle card explorations, journaling practice, guided plant walks, sketching, DIY herbal facials, and more.


In the Cotswolds we will provide options for B & B's or Inns located in the center of the village. In Bath, we have located a charming B&B on a quiet courtyard in the heart of the town that is framed by the branches of a London plane tree, within earshot of the cathedral’s bells, and steps away from the Roman baths. Laurie knows from personal experience what a lovely place it is.

We will have suggestions for places to stay in London to start and end your journey in an area of town that is convenient for exploring the city and getting to and from Heathrow airport via public transportation. Speaking of that, we will provide recommendations for getting around easily and ideas for exploring London on your own should you choose to extend your trip.

Additional Estimated Costs

Lodging: Upon registration, you will receive a detailed list of recommended lodging options (inclusive of breakfast) for London, the Cotswolds and Bath. There will be a range of options to accommodate your budget. Please plan to spend between approximately $110-$180 per night ($1,200 total) for accommodations. Estimates are based on single occupancy. Sharing a room, which we can help arrange, will reduce lodging costs significantly.

Meals: Breakfast is included at all of the lodging options provided upon registration. Please estimate an additional $50/day ($350 total) for meals and incidentals.

Note: All estimates are based on current USD to GBP exchange rates which could fluctuate between now and April/May 2018.

Getting There

We recommend flying into London’s Heathrow Airport, but are happy to provide recommendations for other airports and ways to get to England. Laurie has navigated through London many times and can provide advice that will help you make the best choice for you. We will designate a meeting point on Thursday at Paddington Station in London where we will provide you with your train ticket and start the journey to the Cotswolds.

Additional Estimated Costs

Airfare: Airfares vary greatly. Round trip flights to/from London from the U.S. are approximately $675-$950. Note: All estimates are based on current USD to GBP exchange rates which could fluctuate between now and April/May 2018.

What's Included

  • Insider itinerary with guided tours, group activities, and artistic explorations
  • Train tickets to/from London and between the Cotswolds and Bath
  • Instruction and supplies for all group activities
  • Guided walks through Bath and the Cotswolds
  • Entry fees at all sites
  • Group Beltane Celebration
  • Assistance arranging travel to/from London
  • Assistance arranging accommodations in the Cotswolds and Bath (you call ahead to secure and pay for your own room)
  • Airfare, lodging fees, and meals not included.


If you are interested in learning more and receiving email updates please sign up here. If you have any questions, please email us at


$850 - Regular Registration
$425 - Deposit (1/2 tuition)

Reserve your space by clicking the button below.
Registration balance is due by April 1st.

* Registration costs do not include airfare, lodging, or meals.

Who We Are

Gretchen is a community herbalist, historian, and founder of Senses of Place, a project that highlights the importance of sensory experience in framing personal perception of place. She combines her loves of history, nature, and folk herbalism to create learning events, stories and herbal self-care products featuring special locations, ingredients and traditions. Gretchen lived in England for several months during graduate school and studied the country’s incredible hedgerows, estates, and gardens.

Laurie is a landscape historian and artist who gains inspiration and strength from the spirit of the landscape. She uses both contemporary and ancient methods to capture the spirit of place to increase creative expression and understanding of the world around her and her own path in life. She has traveled around England extensively and is currently completing research for a book on historic landscapes in England that are connected to four female ancestors from the Tudor era.

© Silvan and Spring 2017-2018