Warm Mizzle and Hidden Surprises
Kneehigh Launches New Walk With Me App at Eden
A buzz of excitement is usually building at this time of year as we look forward to Kneehigh’s Asylum season; originally opened in 2010 the domed tent and the music, joy and laughter within have drawn thousands of families every year. 2020 is the year the fun and music became a distant memory as Covid19 called a halt to any and all live events; a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the performing arts industry as everyone tries to make sense of the damage inflicted and how to be creative in dark times.
With no definitive government action or guidelines in place, the Kneehigh creatives have worked on additional story walks for their popular Walk With Me App. In conjunction with the Eden Project two new walks are available which take us to a hidden Eden, tucked away from the busy biomes and the more structured Eden gardens.
Kneehigh celebrated the new walks with a soft launch starting at Eden’s Pineapple car park on a warm, mizzly Cornish afternoon. It was a gathering that stirred mixed emotions, the happiness at finally getting together again tinged with enormous sadness as there could be no hugs for old friends and familiar faces. Socially distanced we mourned the loss of this year’s Asylum and recalled happier times when the world was pandemic free.
Donning waterproofs and boots, (it is August after all!) we head off in small groups with the new walks downloaded to our phones. We venture out on the Nature’s Way to find a hidden Eden, one hidden from view but so close to the zip wire that we hear laughter as youngsters glide over the biomes oblivious to the different world we are discovering behind the trees.
As we leave the woods a sea of wild flowers stretches before us watched over by a weird structure looming out of the mist; looping round the flower meadow we discover the strangely beautiful structure is a bee hive filled with giant black honey bees. With quiet respect we glimpse them through the perspex window and leave them to their work. As we walk around the flower meadow we discover more hives in the Queen Bee Mating Site, with each hive housing a Queen and her family of workers.
Along the route we have stopped and listened to the delightful stories that form an integral part of all Kneehigh Walks, our stories on the Eden walk are beautifully read by well known local acting professionals Jenny Beare and Ed Rowe. The true stories have been given to Kneehigh by locals and are both funny and poignant; Anna Maria Murphy, Wyl Menmuir and Alan Clarke have lovingly recreated the original words with a touch of Kneehigh magic for all ages to enjoy.
We reach the final story on the first part of the walk before we agree to call it a day – the mizzle is getting thicker and the breathtaking views of moorland and the Cornish Alps will be obscured if we continue on. We make our way back to Pineapple, promising another meet up on brighter day to continue on with the exploration of Eden’s outer estate.
The short version of the Eden Outer Estate walk takes about 30 minutes, it is dog friendly, there are no stiles or gates and is not strenuous.
According to the Kneehigh App. the longer walk takes just under 90 minutes and I will report back on that one at a later date.
The Kneehigh Walk With Me App also contains two new St. Austell walks and all previous walks are still available, these include Camborne’s Great Flat Lode, Mevagissey, Perranporth, Newquay, Helston and Bodmin. Each walk is clearly explained and easy to follow, the stories for each have been collected from the area and add to the experience. If you’re not a walker you can still enjoy the stories by downloading the App and listening from the comfort of your home in armchair mode.
To download the free App to your phone visit the App store and search for Kneehigh Walk With Me.
We may not be able to visit the Asylum this year, but we can enjoy the pleasure of walks accompanied by Kneehigh voices and local stories.