The way to prehistoric Avebury and Silbury Hill is full of good intentions – as that is what separates a pilgrimage from a stroll
‘Both festivals mark the beginning of spring,” Dr Guy Hayward, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust, booms across East Kennett’s village church, a couple of miles from Avebury. It’s a welcome thought and apt, given that despite the bitter wind and squally sky, snowdrops and daffodils are peeking out of the sodden ground outside.
Two days shy of the festivals of Imbolc and Candlemas (1 and 2 February), Guy is explaining their significance. Celtic Imbolc is a celebration of fecundity and new beginnings (it translates as ewe’s milk); Christianity morphed it into Candlemas – which celebrates the coming of light. Battling with lingering winter lethargy, I’ll take either.