A 9-Day Pilgrimage to England


England Pilgrimage Sites, Including:

Stonehenge, Bath, Tewksbury, Tintern, Stratford upon Avon, Lincoln, Peterborough, Walsingham, Norwich, London & more.

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Day 1 Monday
This afternoon we depart from St. James by bus to New York City for our transatlantic flight to Great Britain. Meals served on board.

Day 2 Tuesday
This morning we arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport and meet our Pilgrimage Tours tour director who will remain with us until to conclusion of our tour. First we head west for a visit to Stonehenge to visit the ancient monoliths placed in position nearly 2,000 years before the birth of Christ and which were once used to calculate the eclipses and equinoxes. We then cross Salisbury Plain on our way to the Bath area. Dinner and overnight in the Bristol/Bath area.

Day 3 Wednesday
This morning we visit Bath, one of the most beautiful Georgian cities in England. It is named after the hot springs first used by the Romans and in the 18th century was a fashionable spa where almost everyone who enjoyed prominence visited “to take the waters”. We visit the Roman Baths, view the Abbey and see the charming squares and crescents as well as the River Avon and delightful Pulteney Bridge. Finally, we view the magnificent cathedral in Wells. Next we depart for the town of Tewksbury and visit the Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is one of the finest Norman buildings in the country and the second largest parish in all of England. After lunch time, we proceed to Tintern Abbey, which was founded in the 12th century. This ruined Abbey is still complete with the exception of it no longer having its roof. We return to our hotel by crossing the River Severn estuary. Dinner and overnight in Bristol/Bath area.

Day 4 Thursday
This morning we drive north into Worcestershire to visit the Priory at Great Malvern which now serves as the people of Malvern’s church. Next, we drive to Stratford upon Avon, home of the great playwright, William Shakespeare. Here we visit the 16th century home where Shakespeare was born and died. After lunch, we depart for the town of Lincoln, home to England’s third largest cathedral. Next we depart for Peterborough. During the Middle Ages, Peterborough served as a stopping place for pilgrims on foot en route to Walsingham. Like those pilgrims who came before us, we enjoy our dinner and overnight in Peterborough.

Day 5 Friday
The morning we depart for and arrive in Walsingham to visit the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. In 1061 Mary appeared to a noble widow named Lady Richeldis who received instructions from the Virgin Mother of a house to be built on this site identical to her house in Nazareth. Walsingham became known as the “Little Nazareth”. Though the house was destroyed during the Reformation, archaeologists have unearthed its remains located near the Priory. We visit the Slipper Chapel, so named because pilgrims would leave their shoes there and walk the final mile to the shrine. We also see the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and participate in the Noon Pilgrims Mass. Next we depart for the town of Norwich, home of the mystic, St. Julian of Norwich.

Day 6 Saturday
This morning we arrive in London and begin with an orientation tour of London. We will see London’s historic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. We will then participate in a guided walking tour of Westminster Abbey, originally built by Edward the Confessor in 1050 and where rulers of England have been coranated since 1066. Next we will visit the Catholic Cathedral with its wonderful mosaics and celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight in London.

Day 7 Sunday
Following breakfast we will embark on a walking tour of London in the same neighborhood that St. Thomas More attended school. We will see the Lincoln Inn where Thomas More studied upon his return from Oxford in order to earn his law degree. It is in this area that you will also observe the London Stock Exchange as well as the Bank of England. Our morning ends with a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This cathedral dates to 1666 and was built after the Great Fire of London. This is where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married. We then go to Westminster Cathedral near the Abbey to celebrate Mass. In the afternoon we visit the Tower of London where the Royal Family’s Crown Jewels are kept and where Thomas More, and many others such as Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were imprisoned before their executions. We will see Tower Hill where Thomas More was beheaded for refusing King Henry VIII’s demand that he take the oath of the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Dinner and overnight in London.

Day 8 Monday
This morning we will depart for Alyesford, passing through the Kent countryside, and visit the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is where the Blessed Mary presented the Brown Scapular to St. Simon Stock. Here we will celebrate Mass and join the Friars in the Liturgy of the Hours. After visiting Mount Carmel, we go to Rochester, home of St. John Fisher. Along with Thomas More, Bishop Fisher was the only Bishop in England to oppose King Henry VIII. We visit the chapel built to honor St. John Fisher. In the afternoon we will head for Canterbury to see the place where St. Thomas Beckett was martyred at the hands of King Henry II in 1170. The history of Canterbury dates to the time of St. Augustine who brought Christianity to England in 597. We visit the Cathedral that is the Mother Church to the Anglican faith. Finally we visit the Heritage Museum that offers an audio-visual presentation about Canterbury. Dinner and overnight in London.

Day 9 Tuesday
This morning we depart for our return flight home. Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, its blessings will last a lifetime and its graces are certain to draw us closer each day to the Lord.