A Pilgrim’s Disclaimer: Self-Guided Pilgrims

While the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO runs guided pilgrimages, we also encourage self-guided pilgrimage: an activity which involves you, the pilgrim(s), setting out on one of the Great Routes that appear on our website, without us guiding you in person. (To read our disclaimer for guided pilgrims, click here.) A number of these routes also have a downloadable guidebook and pack. Some, though not all, of the Great Routes have been trailed by our guides, but the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO cannot guarantee the conditions or suitability of each route.

To go on pilgrimage, self-guided or otherwise, entails elements of risk — accidents can and do happen. Walking is an activity which carries with it a danger of personal injury or death. Many of the customary activities that make experiencing the British countryside so special – such as wild swimming, foraging for edible herbs and flowers, and drinking from sacred springs – also carry their attendant risks.

Prospective pilgrims should carefully consider these potential risks before setting out on a self-guided pilgrimage. Pilgrims using our written guidance may wish to obtain their own personal insurance.

We provide all pilgrims with detailed risk information, written in the declaration below, and you are required to agree to this disclaimer before you make a self-guided pilgrimage.


  • You are participating voluntarily in pilgrimages as an individual. You can withdraw from participation at any time.
  • Testing yourself, and being tested, is an important part of pilgrimage, but there is no need to push yourself unreasonably beyond your, and any of your fellow pilgrims, physical and emotional limits.
  • On a self-guided pilgrimage, you are responsible for your safety, and the safety of any fellow walkers.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age, or, if you are under 18, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • By downloading our Great Route guidebooks, you will be automatically signed up to our mailing list — this is an opportunity to keep up to date with further pilgrimaging opportunities and developments. You may, of course, opt out of the mailing list at any time, by following the prompts in our emails.


All participants on a self-guided pilgrimage must agree to the below declaration.

  • You discharge the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO, or any associated individual concerned, of all liability for any injuries caused by or in any way related to your participation in walks/events organised or recommended by the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO.
  • You also discharge your right to make any claim or action against the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO, or any associated individual, in the event of such an injury.
  • You declare that you are participating voluntarily in British Pilgrimage Trust CIO pilgrimages as an individual.
  • You understand that there is an element of danger in participating in these pilgrimages.
  • If you are intending to wild swim on your pilgrimage, you must read the following information on: Freshwater Wild Swimming, Sea Safety and Access Laws.
  • You are happy to participate and understand that you can withdraw from participation in any pilgrimage at any time.
  • You agree that if you, or anyone you are walking with, feel unsafe while on pilgrimage, you will make an informed decision and end your pilgrimage early if necessary.
  • You understand that walking and activities undertaken by the British Pilgrimage Trust CIO often involve strenuous physical exercise.
  • You understand that as a pilgrim, you may be exposed to cold and wet conditions, and will need to carry a loaded rucksack on their backs for several hours. You should seriously consider your personal health and fitness before undertaking these walks.
  • If you suffer from, or have ever suffered from any medical condition, illness, injury or allergy, or are pregnant, you should consult your doctor regarding your suitability to participate in a guided pilgrimage.
  • If you have concerns regarding your suitability for the guided walks, you should only attend following clearance from your Doctor, and should make any relevant conditions known to the guide(s) before each walk commences.
  • If walking alone, you must inform someone of your whereabouts before you set out on pilgrimage, and consider arranging periodical mobile check-ins to ensure your safety. .
  • You must bring a mobile phone in order to request help in case of emergency.