Pilgrimage and the Coronavirus

While it is not currently possible to make pilgrimage, we would encourage you to use our website to dream up journeys for the future, 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 weekly virtual pilgrimage over on our Instagram stories: every Thursday at 7 pm, we take pilgrims on a virtual tour of a pilgrim path loved by the BPT. Each pilgrimage is saved on our Instagram profile’s ‘highlights’ – so whenever you find yourself missing being out on the path, our virtual pilgrimages are ready and waiting to be enjoyed.

In accordance with government advice, we would like to state that nobody should set out on pilgrimage during the current government lockdownThe 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?