This weekend we took a little drive out of Manchester to discover the Manjushri Buddhist Temple in Ulverston, Cumbria. We’re so lucky that within an hour of leaving the city, we can be driving along the beautiful A590 surrounded by greenery and the peninsulas of the Western Lake District. Nestled on the flat coast just through the tiny village of Bardsea is this beautiful spot. Just driving into the car park you’re hit with a real sense of peace and quiet.
The temple itself is built in the grounds of the old Conishead Priory, which built for Christian monks hundreds of years ago before falling into disrepair in the late twentieth century. Now, though, the grounds bustle with Buddhist monks and dog walkers, taking a stroll through the woodlands and down to the beach, or sipping freshly brewed coffee in the cafe. After picking up a book in the bookshop, we visited the temple. Once inside you have to slip off your shoes, which just adds to the slow, peaceful atmosphere of the place. It was empty when we went in, so we took a pew and enjoyed a couple of quiet moments. We spent a couple of hours here but time really slowed down, it felt like we’d been there all day. And with it being such a short drive from our home in Manchester, I think we’ve found our new sanctuary.