Our guided events are easy, accessible introductions to ‘bring your own beliefs’ pilgrimage in Britain and to great destinations. These guided pilgrimages are emotionally private and stress-free, with us taking care of the logistics. Learn about the cultural heritage of an area, connect with nature, and be a pilgrim. Enrich your mind and heart, meet like-minded people and boost your mood.
London Coronation Pilgrimage – from Tower of London to Westminster Abbey – Tue 19th Sep, 10am-4.30pm. With BPT’s Guy Hayward singing London songs along the way, you will delve into the heart of England’s history in the modern city in the aftermath of King Charles III’s coronation. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led for each coronation along this ancient way from the Tower to Westminster Abbey (where the intact shrine of Saint King Edward the Confessor is in place). Now it is your turn to walk it to connect with your own sovereignty.
The 5-mile route passes through the Temple Bar portal between the commercial City of London and the political and priestly City of Westminster. There are many beautiful historic churches, places of sanctuary and peace, as well as holy wells, ancient stones and a Roman Temple. The concentration of pilgrim places is particularly high in the City of London, where the churches are only open on weekdays. Although the event officially finishes at 4.30pm, you will be able to enter Westminster Abbey to stay for evensong, sung by the world-famous choir, finishing at 5.45pm.
Take in relics of an old enchantment, when London was thought to be the New Troy, and Westminster Abbey was the holy of holies.
Oxford Four Gates Pilgrimage to the Centre Thu 21 Sep 2023 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM. 6.5 miles, £60. Oxford was built around a cross-road pattern, and its old city plan resembles that of a cathedral. The city’s spiritual centre is Frideswide’s Shrine in Christ Church Cathedral. Join BPT’s Guy Hayward on this circumambulatory journey, connecting Frideswide’s out-of-town dwelling at Binsey with her final resting place. From St Frideswide’s Well in the secluded grove around Binsey Church, we will walk through wildlife-rich meadows, and beloved places rich with stories of famous writers, the Oxford Martyrs and the bathing places of saints. Highlights include a birds-eye panorama of the dreaming spires and Merton College’s grand yet peaceful chapel.More Info & Book Tickets for Thu 21 Sep
Sat 30th September or Tue 10th October YHA Festival of Walking Mini Pilgrimage: 1 Day to Lewes 9 miles, 10.30am to 5pm. We’re celebrating in partnership with YHA’s Festival of Walking with this special one-off guided pilgrimage. Setting off from YHA South Downs near Southease, we’ll ascend the Downs to connect with the Old Way route. We’ll discover the former Saxon royal minster of St Andrews at Beddingham. Crossing farmland to St Mary’s Church at Glynde, we’ll pause in a unique place for its architecture and wild churchyard. Then it is time to encounter Mount Caburn, the highest point on the Downs, contemplate the ancient landscape, and discover more about the wildlife we find on the way. We’ll then make our way through the lively town of Lewes and through the tranquil Southover Gardens to Lewes Priory, to walk in the footsteps of 11th century Cluniac monks. From there, we’ll head to the train station for a short hop back to the YHA for a well-earned free cuppa and cake. The YHA are offering a 20% discount on an overnight stay to anyone participating in this pilgrimage.
A great introduction to the modern practice of pilgrimage.More Info & Book Tickets for 30th September More Info & Book Tickets for 10th October
Fri 6th / Sat 7th October One Day on the Old Way: Patrixbourne to Canterbury (with optional Sanctuary Stay) 8 miles, 10.15am – 6.00pm. £50 per pilgrim (plus Sanctuary donation and evening meal if staying the night). Join BPT’s historian and naturalist Dawn Champion on a one-day pilgrimage to Canterbury on the Old Way. Extend your experience with an optional night’s stay in Sanctuary at St Mary’s Patrixbourne, or join the group in the morning if you prefer. Those spending the night meet at St Mary’s at 7pm. On Saturday after we have breakfasted we’ll welcome any pilgrims joining us for the day, and begin our pilgrimage. We’ll leave behind the small village, whose Lord of the Manor gave Canterbury Cathedral the rent of one mill for the upkeep of Thomas Becket’s tomb. Passing by the Archbishop’s Palace where Thomas Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer, we head to Bekesbourne and beyond, for sacred wells, hidden paths and ancient trees. Emerging in Fordwich, England’s smallest town, we encounter the River Stour before tracing its flow to Canterbury, where we follow in Queen Bertha’s footsteps through the UNESCO World Heritage Site to discover the oldest church in the English-speaking world and the great cathedral itself.More Info & Book Tickets for 9th October
Sun 22nd Oct Avebury Day Pilgrimage 7.5 miles, 10am-5.30pm. £60 per pilgrim. Walk with BPT Director Guy Hayward to discover and experience Avebury’s pilgrim places. This 7.5-mile walking route is of ancient significance. There will be a focus on Mother Earth nurturing us in this ancient landscape and rooting us in our ancestral past.
Experience the majesty of the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world, before heading along the Ridgeway to the even older Sanctuary, an ancient meeting point from which the West Kennet Avenue once extended all the way to Avebury. Then rise to West Kennet’s Long Barrow, humming in this wonderful acoustic, vocally resonating with the spirits of old. We eat our packed lunches, onwards to the source of the River Kennet, the Swallowhead Springs and their watchful guardian trees. Next is the largest (and most mysterious) prehistoric mound in Europe – Silbury Hill; then it’s over Waden Hill, before descending to what remains of the West Kennet Stone Avenue, through which you wind your way back to the Tolkien trees that inspired the Ents, and finally experience the majesty of the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world by communing with Avebury’s magnificent stones.More Info & Book Tickets for Avebury, 22nd Oct
Sat 18th Nov Silent Pilgrimage to Canterbury 8 miles, 10.30am – 5.30pm. £50 per pilgrim. Our highly popular silent pilgrimages return for quiet time in the busy winter period. Walk in the company of others with time for your own thoughts. Follow the Pilgrims Way through orchards, open fields and quiet woods. Immerse yourself in the wild sounds of nature and ancient places. Set a private intention and carry a candle, which we will with us to light at each holy place on our journey. Carry it away or leave it behind at a significant point in your day, whatever feels right to you. We’ll travel from the ancient church of Chilham, via Bigbury Camp Hillfort, a nature reserve, the churches of Harbledown and St Thomas’s Well, restored by the Black Prince, before passing through St Dunstan’s, where Thomas More’s head is buried, and from where Henry II made pilgrimage in penance. Our journey will conclude with the peace and stillness of Canterbury Cathedral, where pilgrims may choose to end a day of silence with the musical voices of Evensong.
Read more about this Bring-Your-Own-Beliefs pilgrimage in a recent article.More Info & Book Tickets for Silent Pilgrimage to Canterbury, 18th Nov
Fri 1st Dec Glastonbury Way Day Pilgrimage 7.5 miles, 9.30am-5.30pm. £60 per pilgrim. Glastonbury is one of Britain’s oldest and greatest pilgrimage destinations. This beautiful day route, 7.5 miles long around Glastonbury centres around two things: healing water and the rich overlay of traditions and stories. Led by BPT’s Guy, there will be lots of dialogue between folklore and religion – think Arthur, Guinevere & Morgan Le Fay, the man who buried Jesus, the Holy Grail, the goddesses of Ceridwen, Bride & Brigid. You will meet St Margaret’s Chapel, Wearyall Holy Thorn, Bride’s Mound and Well, the old oaks of Gog Magog, the Tor and its Egg Stone, the White Spring, the Chalice Red Spring.
The pilgrimage will include: Telling many folkloric tales that mesh ancient Pagan and Christian stories – New ways of meeting holy places – Pilgrim songs on the path – Opportunities for silence – Rediscovering your place in the British pilgrimage tradition – Natural beauty – Elemental power.More Info & Book Tickets for Glastonbury, 1st Dec
Sat 16th Dec, Candlelight Pilgrimage to Canterbury 8 miles, 11.30am – 5.30pm £50 per pilgrim. Light your candle lantern and walk with purpose, on this special pilgrimage to Canterbury. Whether your flame burns for peace, remembrance, reflection, or another personal intention, carry the flickering light along the surfaced riverside path of the Great Stour to the heart of the holy city. We begin during daylight hours at the fine Domesday church of St Mary’s Chilham, with connections to Saints Augustine and and Thomas Becket, before heading to the meandering river valley. With seasonal songs, stories and folklore, we’ll follow the flow of water to the historic parish of Chartham. As dusk falls, we’ll avoid suburbia, allowing the gentle candlelight to reveal our path. Enjoy the quiet stillness of the winter landscape before we plunge into the thronging city, magical with lights, tracing the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims. The journey finishes at the Cathedral. From there, pilgrims may choose to wend their way home, or attend Evensong, a tradition which offers the opportunity for peace and quiet reflection at the end of each day, accompanied by beautiful choral music. This pilgrimage has disabled access.More Info & Book Tickets for Canterbury, 16th Dec
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If you would like to book a private guided pilgrimage for just you and your friends, please get in touch via [info [@] britishpilgrimage.org], prices available on enquiry.