Religious and Spiritual Sites

 

The UK is famed world-wide for its long-standing history, with one of its major aspects being its links to all things ethereal. Great Britain has celebrated religion, spirituality and legends since prehistoric times, and the evidence still litters the landscape. From abbeys, priories and cathedrals to stone circles, burial chambers and pilgrimage routes, there is so much to uncover. Many of our walking holidays visit the UK’s most iconic religious and spiritual sites, so you can discover this amazing history first-hand.

Click here for a full list of walking trails featuring religious and spiritual sites, or check out our favourite examples below:

Religious and Spiritual Sites: Great Stones Way

Great Stones Way

The Great Stones Way winds through the historic landscape of the Wiltshire Downs. This region boasts plenty of mysterious landmarks that reveal England’s spiritual heritage. In particular, the trail passes the World Heritage Sites of Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles. These sacred monuments date back to the prehistoric era. Avebury is the world's largest prehistoric stone circle, and Stonehenge is the most sophisticated. Together, these incredible sanctuaries offer unique insight into the country's ancient ceremonial practises.

There are many other remarkable features to see along this walk as well. The Alton Barnes White Horse adorns the side of Milk Hill, and Salisbury Cathedral houses an original Magna Carta from 1215 AD.

Religious and Spiritual Sites: White Peak Way

White Peak Way

The White Peak Way explores the Peak District National Park, showcasing many intriguing stories along the way. The plateau of Stanton Moor provides great insight into local spirituality and legend. The Bronze Age barrows, stone circles and standing stones scattered here fostered tales of druids, magic and ghosts. The most notable landmark on the Moor is the Nine Ladies stone circle. This supposedly formed when nine ladies were turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

Other sites of note include Tideswell Church, Little John’s burial site at Hathersage, and a hideaway carved by a Victorian vicar at Rowter Rocks.

Religious and Spiritual Sites: St Bega's Way

St Bega's Way

St Bega’s Way follows the alleged journey of an Irish princess, who fled across the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages. Landing at the coastal settlement of St Bees, St Bega devoted her life to God as she travelled through the Lake District to escape the Viking raids.

The trail begins in St Bees, at the Norman Priory Church of St Mary and St Bega. From here, the walk enjoys wonderful scenery before ending at the pre-Norman Church of St Bega on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Both holy buildings have seen over a thousand years of Christian worship, and the walk between them shares great insight into St Bega’s life.

Religious and Spiritual Sites: Land's End Round

Land's End Round

The Land’s End Round explores the famous Land’s End Peninsula by following the South West Coast Path from Marazion to St Ives. This coastline features stone circles, standing stones and other curious landmarks that showcase the region’s ancient history.

The trail then turns inland and follows St Michael’s Way, Britain’s only European Cultural Route. Pilgrims and missionaries used St Michael’s Way while walking the Santiago de Compostela, avoiding the dangerous waters of Land’s End. There are several ancient churches along this path, each visited by the pilgrims, which reveal even more of the region’s intriguing past.

Religious and Spiritual Sites: The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway

Thought to have been in use for over 5,000 years, the Ridgeway follows one of the oldest tracks in Britain. This National Trail heads through the Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills, unveiling a range of historic monuments along the way.

At the start of the trail is the World Heritage Site of Avebury, with its huge prehistoric stone circle. There is also the mysterious chalk mound of Silbury Hill and the West Kennet Long Barrow on display nearby. As the route continues, it reveals more Neolithic sites and fascinating curios. The Uffington White Horse, for example, is the oldest hill figure in Britain at around 3,000 years old. Each turn in the trail offers something new to explore, making the Ridgeway a truly immersive walking route.

Religious and Spiritual Sites: St Cuthbert's Way

St Cuthbert's Way

St Cuthbert was a renowned monk, hermit and bishop who lived in the 7th century. He travelled across Scotland and northern England, spreading the word of Christianity and devoting his life to the church. St Cuthbert’s Way follows the saint’s spiritual journey, beginning at the remarkable ruins of Melrose Abbey, where his monastic life began.

The walk enjoys beautiful, varied scenery before arriving at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The island’s impressive priory was founded in AD635 and was an important site for Christians in Anglo-Saxon England. Lindisfarne Priory is the site of St Cuthbert's original pilgrimage shrine and his final resting place. St Cuthbert's Way combines these sites and more to offer a fantastic insight into Britain's religious history.

All Religious and Spiritual Sites Walks:

 

North of England

South of England

Scotland

Wales

Ireland

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If you have any further questions or queries, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you.