Pilgrimage and the Coronavirus

While it is not currently possible to make pilgrimages that last more than one day, we would encourage you to use our website to dream up journeys for after lockdown and make plans for a return to the great outdoors in the not-too-distant future. We at the BPT are as confident as ever in pilgrimage’s power to promote holistic wellbeing, and we are certain that pilgrimage can be used as a tool to restore connection, perspective and faith as we all work to process the effects of the coronavirus on our physical, emotional and spiritual health. 

Some of the routes on our directory have many accompanying photos (e.g. the English Heritage and some Cathedral Day routes), others have short blurbs to give you a flavour and maps with waypoints. During this time, we’d encourage you to use these resources to escape into future plans, and perhaps to remind yourself of past journeys.

We are also creating a monthly virtual pilgrimage over on our newsletter, in which we take pilgrims on a virtual tour of a pilgrim path loved by the BPT.

In accordance with government advice, we would like to state that depending on where you live in the UK, advice on how far you can travel before taking exercise varies. In all parts of the UK, you must only set out on a walk if you can return home the same day.

The Rambler’s Association has well-detailed advice for those wishing to walk during this time, and we encourage you to review this alongside the current government advice when planning outdoor activities during this unprecedented period. 

Inspirational pilgrims: In 2013, Phil Volker created his own version of the Camino de Santiago in his backyard in Vashon Island, Washington, after his cancer diagnosis stalled his plans of traveling to France and Spain. The route is 88 kilometres long, and has become a pilgrim destination itself – as people travel from around the world to make pilgrimage.

How can we adapt pilgrimage to these unprecedented times?