When we were invited to a wedding in a rural Yorkshire village, someone told us the venue (“(The KP)”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/161068-review-the-kp was opposite a Buddhist Temple. I’d never heard of it and so immediately googled and found that the Georgian Kilnwick Percy Hall was indeed a “Buddhist Temple”:http://www.madhyamaka.org/ and home to the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre.
The centre is situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds and set in 42 acres of rolling parkland. We walked down the sweeping drive which gave us views of the hall set amongst magnificent fields.
The majority of the house is open and you can wander in and out of the ornately decorated rooms which are used for mediation (a sign hung on the door confirms when it’s off limits).
We met a couple who visit from Harrogate regularly as volunteer gardeners and they explained that the sweeping staircase we’d just walked down had been relocated from the front of the hall (we could see where the elaborate ceiling had been cut). Also the huge external pillars at the front of the house had been relocated.
Having visited a number of countries where Buddhism is the main religion, I tried to remember what I’d learned. But I was unsure why the meditation rooms had lots of glass bowls full of water. Interestingly there were traditional Christmas decorations in many of the rooms along with M&S Xmas chocolates!
We stopped at the World Peace Café and had an excellent cup of coffee and warm cheese scone – there is also a range of reasonably priced, wonderfully looking cakes, tray bakes and vegetarian panini. The café is open from 10.30pm to 4.30pm seven days a week. As this was December, there was a cosy log burning stove, but also tables outside for the summer.
The gift shop in the main house has lots of Buddhist books, CDs etc but also some Yorkshire foodie treats.
There are a number of well marked paths including one around a six acre, man-made lake but we only had our ‘town shoes’ on and it was muddy.
The centre runs a full programme of meditation classes ranging from half an hour to a full week. Accommodation is provided either in shared dormitories in the main house or in a separate block (B&B is £70).
Apparently the summer fair is excellent with something to do for all ranges – in 2015 it’s on 12 June.