Who can come?
Anyone over 18 (or under 18 with parental guidance, bearing in mind the walking distance).
Is this religious?
Most of our pilgrimages are faith-neutral, drawing on a variety of traditions and practices. We operate a “Bring Your Own Beliefs” policy where pilgrims can participate as they choose. We ask all pilgrims to respect one another, whatever their beliefs. There is time and space to engage with holy places on your own terms, whether that is with quiet contemplation, a personal prayer, our suggested practices or simply relaxing in the space. Some pilgrimages are guided by individuals with specific faiths. On these journeys all faiths and no-faiths are equally welcome, but you can expect to experience some faith-specific practices on these. Look for “Faith Focused” pilgrimages in our listings for these.
Is it just walking?
Every pilgrimage is unique, and includes a range of practices carefully selected by your guide. Set an intention for your journey and participate in a rich experience, created by a different things throughout the day. These could include moments to stimulate thought such stories, songs, poems and folklore, physical practices like barefoot walking, wild water drinking, forest bathing or forehead pressing. There may be moments of deliberate silence, a blessing or reading from a local person, wild flower foraging – all sorts of things, plus plenty of time walking on the path. You will never be made to participate in something if you prefer not to. The day can feel relaxed, contemplative, light-hearted and joyful, and will be different depending on the route, guide and the band of pilgrims you share it with.
Will I be asked to share my feelings with the group?
We like to keep things light and breezy, so there will be no group emotional sharing moments, even though people may be coming for emotional reasons. If you want to share your feelings in personal conversation when walking with others that is up to you. It is certainly not compulsory.
What about transport? How do I get back to my car?
Most of our pilgrimages are accessible by public transport, the greenest way to connect with the pilgrimage. If you prefer to use your car, we recommend parking at the end point and getting public transport to the start point. If that isn’t an option, often there will be the choice to taxi share or lift share at the end of the pilgrimage. See the individual event entries for more specific detail.
What do I need to bring?
The list may vary for each pilgrimage so check the individual details. However, we generally recommend: Appropriate footwear and weather protection (waterproofs or sun cream). Packed lunch, waterbottle or thermos flask. Anything required for wild loo stops (your guide will be able to recommend some good spots if no toilets are available). A staff or walking stick are not essential but are a recognised symbol of the pilgrim. Some pilgrims like to bring snacks to share with other pilgrims too.
Are there fitness or access limitations?
Pilgrimage is moderately intense. If you struggle to walk all day, this type of pilgrimage may be an unsuitable activity for you right now. There are always plenty of escape points en route. But we will walk slowly, and start early, giving us time to walk the distance. Where relevant you’ll find additional information about accessibility in the full event entry. Click the button in the event listing for more info.
Can I bring my dog?
Sadly not – we can’t accommodate dogs on our guided pilgrimages. However, if you have a registered assistance dog, they are welcome.
What is my ticket price paying for, in addition to admission?
The funds raised from this limited space event allow the team at British Pilgrimage Trust (a registered charity) to spend more time making it possible for thousands of pilgrims to make pilgrimage themselves by engaging with our ever-increasing range of free resources. For more details about our charitable activities, please check here.