Holycombe is a beautiful residential holistic retreat centre, set in a verdant wooded valley on the edge of the Cotswold village of Whichford. A natural stream rises from a holy well in the nearby wood, passing through the grounds and down a waterfall. The sound of running water adds to the sense of peace and tranquillity. A coppice provides shady outdoor space; there’s a campfire area and a large stone circle on the castle site. Across a meadow is the ancient Whichford wood with many rare species of trees and plants, an abundance of wood anemones, primroses and bluebells in spring; chestnuts, blackberries and sloes in autumn. Wildlife abounds: everything from Muntjack to polecats and kingfishers.
Set in six acres, Holycombe is built in the grounds of a Norman Castle, and has a water-filled moat, habitat for carp and dragonflies. Sally and Andy Birtwell rescued the site from 40 years of being a scrap yard, dedicating 6 years of their life to the restoration. They have built a beautiful house and garden to honour the sacred landscape. Archaeologists have excavated a Roman conduit carrying water from the springs in the wood to the site and dowsers and geomancers have suggested it was a sacred site before Roman occupation. They also believe that six leylines converge on the stone circle.
The nearest railway station going to Holycombe is Moreton-in-the-Marsh, which is on the Oxford-Hereford line. From London you leave from Paddington Station. From Moreton you will need to get a taxi - it is a small country station, so booking ahead is a good idea. The Banbury Rail Station is 12 miles away and can be reached from Paddington and Marylebone Station. There are plentiful taxis there going to Holycombe. Buses from Oxford (Gloucester Green Station) come as far as Chipping Norton (5 miles away), so again a taxi is necessary. There are regular buses from London Victoria to Oxford - Oxford Citylink and Oxford Tube.
After a five-year successful career as a TV news producer in Tel-Aviv and a wonderfully hectic social life, Rina Golan was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid and with Type 1 diabetes. This was a catalyst for her to set off on a pilgrimage of healing. She went to India to deepen her understanding of Ayurvedic medicine, yogic conscious living and the age-old laws of the Mystics. She was initiated into the ancient art of Yoga at the Sivananda ashram in Kerala. Learning about the Kundalini yoga kriyas brought many benefits to her body including the increased strength of the nervous system and it has become the bedrock on which her journey back to health was able to begin.
During an intensive and fascinating course with Dr Gabriel Cousens, the nutritionist/therapist working out of Arizona, USA, Rina became more and more convinced of the importance of two things: the healing power of raw/whole food and the deep spiritual aspect of human nutrition.