Leicester Cathedral Pilgrimage in a Day
Linear route from Wistow (with optional Wigstow diversion) – 8 or 9.5 miles, Google Map Red (and Yellow) Lines. This pilgrimage route has a royal theme connecting the start and end points. The young prince St Wigstan was martyred in 849AD, the church in Wistow marking the place where he was slain. The royal blood that was shed reputedly causes human hair to grow among the grass in the churchyard on 1 June, the anniversary of his death, a 12th century legend that speaks volumes of the medieval imagination. The pilgrimage heads north through fields, passing the medieval church of St Luke’s, before emerging into Leicester’s suburbs and the final stretch into the city centre past memorials to another royal victim of bloodshed, or before taking a pleasant canal-side route almost all the way into the city centre (depending on which route you take). Emerging on to the streets for the final stretch into the city centre, pilgrims will pass past memorials to another royal victim of bloodshed. King Richard III’s remains were uncovered in a car park in 2012, and reverently buried in the nearby Leicester Cathedral in 2015, where his tomb can be visited today.
Linear route from Wistow via Canal – 11 miles, Google Map Blue Line.
Circular route from Leicester Train Station or Leicester Cathedral – 4 miles, Google Map Green Line. A route that takes in Leicester’s Cathedral, a medieval church with a holy well inside, and monastery ruins in Abbey Park.
In collaboration with the British Pilgrimage Trust, this route was created by Nick Mayhew-Smith, co-author of ‘Britain’s Pilgrim Places‘.