Place

The Wild Women Summer Retreat 2018 will be held at the Springhead Trust, Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Springhead is a rural centre for creative and sustainable living. It is situated on a beautiful seven-acre estate, offering formal, semi-formal and wild gardens lying at the foot of spectacular downland. The downs, at the north-eastern edge of the Cranborne Chase, command outstanding views over the Blackmore Vale and Hardy’s Wessex.

At Springhead’s entrance a range of thatched cottages and an 18th century mill form a courtyard with a small pool at the centre, which is fed by running water which cascades beneath the mill building to become a gentle stream flowing into the River Stour. There are roses on the cottages and shrubs line the borders of the mill.

The lakeside gardens to the rear of the buildings nestle in a horseshoe of chalk down land cleft by deep combes. At the head of the lake (where the chalk of the down meets the greensand of the vale) are several springs, crossed by a wooden bridge and overshadowed by great and ancient trees.

Springhead’s gardens are featured in ‘1001 Garden You Must See before You Die’ by Rae Spencer-Jones, published in 2007.

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