What is pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage (n.): A journey with purpose on foot to holy/wholesome/special places.

People have made pilgrimage across countless geographies, cultures and eras.

To turn a walk into a pilgrimage, at the beginning set your private ‘intention’ – dedicate your journey to something that you want help with, or for which you want to give thanks.

Pilgrimage is for everyone, promoting holistic wellbeing via pilgrim practices and connecting you with yourself, others, nature and everything beyond.

What is pilgrimage in Britain?

Pilgrimage in Britain has been manifest since hunter-gatherers followed well-worn tracks, which became processional pagan pathways, which in turn became ritualised journeys in Celtic, medieval and Early Modern Christianity. Since the English Reformation, pilgrimage has been paused in Britain. Until now.

Public Rights of Way in England and Wales and the Right to Roam Act in Scotland – freedoms particular to Britain – give us a unique opportunity to explore a vast network of green footpaths.

The remaining natural landmarks such as wells, springs, trees, caves, islands and hilltops, and pagan sites such as stone circles and barrows, as well as ancient churches and cathedrals reveal a diverse and still unfurling cultural landscape, open to all who wish to connect to it.

Featured Great Routes

Old Way

St Hilda’s Way

Two Saints Way

What is the British Pilgrimage Trust?

The British Pilgrimage Trust was established in order to ‘advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing, for the public benefit.’

We believe that pilgrimage in Britain should be Open to All, and the Trust promotes community and diversity within Britain’s spiritual and geographical landscape.

We work to strengthen British cultural heritage, enhance public engagement with the natural environment, and improve holistic wellbeing. For us, holistic wellbeing is about physical, mental, emotional, social, community, environmental and spiritual health. Click here for further details on our charitable activities.

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Britain’s Pilgrimage Routes

This map shows the many pilgrimage routes across Britain. A pin marks the destination of each route.