A Pilgrimage to Britain and Ireland

15 Days / 14 Nights

England, Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales

Features
London St Paul's Cathedral Westminster Abbey Windsor Castle Salisbury Cathedral Stonehenge Bath Abbey Caernarfon Castle Dublin St Patrick's Cathedral Glendalough Clonmacnoise Knock Armagh Cathedral Downpatrick Struell Wells Belfast Glasgow Cathedral Edinburgh Castle Holyroodhouse Edinburgh Cathedral Lindisfarne Fountains Abbey Studley Gardens York Minster Lincoln Cathedral Kings College Chapel Canterbury Cathedral

World famous shrines such as Knock and Walsingham feature alongside religious sites ancient and more modern: the early Christian monastic centres of Armagh, Lindisfarne and Glendalough and the extraordinary elegance of Salisbury, Canterbury, York and Lincoln Cathedrals all feature in a tour which includes many of Britain and Ireland’s chief historic landmarks.

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Itinerary


DAY 1

Arrive London.  Enjoy a short orientation sightseeing tour and perhaps a visit to the British Museum or a ride on the London Eye from which you can get a fantastic bird’s eye view of the city and beyond. Overnight London.

DAY 2

A full day’s sightseeing in London including the Tower of London, the medieval castle which served as a fortress, a royal palace, a prison, a place of execution and torture, an armoury, treasury, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. See the iconic Tower Bridge before visiting St Paul’s Cathedral, London’s leading church designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren. During the afternoon walk along the River Thames past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben to visit Westminster Abbey– one of the most important religious buildings in the British Isles and final resting place of 17 monarchs. Move on to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. Overnight London.

DAY 3

Morning visit to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. The Castle’s dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history. The royal palace, magnificent chapel and park cover an area of 26 acres. Head west to Salisbury to see the cathedral with the tallest church spire in the UK, one of the finest medieval places of worship which has been a pilgrimage site for many centuries. Whilst in the south of England “a must see” is the mystic circle of Stonehengea historic pilgrimage site and even now a major gathering place for the ancient cult of the Druids. Overnight Bath area

DAY 4

During the morning explore the regency city of Bath, the town prized by the Romans for its unique hot thermal springs. See the wonderfully preserved Roman Baths and Pump Room followed by a visit to Bath Abbey “where earth and heaven meet”. Continue on to North Wales and en route visit a typical small country church, so characterisitic of the British landscape and heritage.  Overnight North Wales.

DAY 5

Travel through the magnificent mountain scenery of the Snowdonia National Park to visit the impressive medieval castle of  Caernarfon,  then drive across the Menai Bridge on to the  island of Anglesey for the ferry from Holyhead to  Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland. Overnight  Dublin

DAY 6

Enjoy a half day’s sightseeing in  Dublin  including Trinity College with the famous medieval manuscript, the Book of Kells, followed by a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland. The location of the Cathedral is said to be the earliest Christian site in Ireland, where St. Patrick baptised converts. During the afternoon travel south to the wild mountains of Wicklow and visit Glendalough, one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.  Overnight Dublin.

DAY 7

Travel west today to visit the Celtic monastery at Clonmacnoise , founded in the 6th century, to admire the oldest High Cross in Ireland, before continuing to Ireland’s National Marian Shrine at Knock.   Here,  Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist are said to have appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. The apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. Overnight Knock area.

DAY 8

After breakfast head for Armaghan ancient religious site of worship of both Celtic paganism and Christianity. The city was Ireland’s spiritual capital for 1,500 years and  the seat of both the Protestant and Catholic archbishops. Here in 445 AD, according to tradition St Patrick founded what is now the CathedralTo continue our search for Ireland’s patron saint we then travel to his burial place, Downpatrick and the famed Struell Wells, a set of four holy wells pre-dating St Patrick and still used today by pilgrims seeking a holy cure. Evening walking tour in central Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland.  Overnight Belfast

DAY 9

In the morning cross the Irish Sea by ferry to Scotland and drive via the second city Glasgow for a short panoramic sightseeing taking the highlights including George Square, the Cathedral and its well preserved Victorian architecture.  Continue to the historic capital of the country,  EdinburghOvernight Edinburgh

DAY 10

Full day’s sightseeing tour of Edinburgh taking in the many  famous places in this wonderful city including  The Castle, perched majestically on its rocky hilltop, the Royal Mile, St Giles’ Cathedral and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the royal family when in Scotland, as well as many other fascinating sights. Overnight Edinburgh

DAY 11

Our journey now takes us south back into England and the historic county  of  Northumberland  and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the very font of England’s Christian heritage.  See the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, home to St Cuthbert and birthplace of the Lindisfarne Gospels. The stones from the Benedictine Priory destroyed by Henry VIII were used to build the unforgettable Lindisfarne Castle. In the afternoon there’s a visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens in north Yorkshire – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight York area.

DAY 12

Today visit the medieval town of York, originally founded by the Romans and the capital of the Viking kingdom in the 9th century, with its famous and imposing Minster. Then on to Lincoln to visit St Mary’s Cathedral, highly regarded by architectural scholars as one of the most precious pieces of Gothic architecture in the British Isles.  Overnight Lincolnshire/Norfolk.

DAY 13

This morning drive to Little Walshingham to visit the Marian Shrine there then travel south to enjoy sightseeing in Cambridge, home to one of the world’s oldest universities with architectural highlights including the memorable King’s College Chapel.  Continue across the Thames into the county of Kent, known as the “Garden of England”.  Overnight Canterbury area.

DAY 14

This morning enjoy time sightseeing in the small medieval city of Canterbury,  renowned for its Cathedral – one of the most important English churches, and seat of the Archbishop of England. Afterwards enjoy a short visit to one of England’s most famous gardens – Sissinghurst  to round off your pilgrimage with a very English flavour!  Overnight London.

DAY 15

Time for a little last minute shopping before heading to the airport for your homeward flight.

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