Where to go on holiday? Here’s a holy suggestion!

Written by on 30/06/2020

Summer holidays are around the corner, but due to the restrictions many of us may have cancelled the holidays we planned or even booked in advance. Those who are still able to travel far may not feel like it considering restrictions such as having to wear a face mask on planes, give personal details in restaurants and fill out forms when crossing borders. I bet you’re sick of hearing things like this. Me too.

But as always, when life gets challenging, let’s look at the positive side, let’s focus on what good we can get out of this crisis!

Have you thought about staying local or at least in the country? Have you wondered how to avoid typical holiday resorts? Are there alternatives? Yes! As a person of faith, this is the time to think of a Good Old Pilgrimage. But not the kind where you travel in a packed coach or fly to a famous sanctuary, where tourism and religious practice blends into one bubbling crowd.

What about the silent, unobtrusive pilgrimage? The one where you put on your sturdy walking boots, grab a staff and off you go? You don’t even need to go that far. It doesn’t need to be an heroic 30-day walk, you could do a day’s walk to a place of worship, to a medieval ruin or a church dedicated to a British saint.

Walsingham is the national shrine for Catholics in England. But it’s not the only place worth a pilgrimage. All over Great Britain you can find sacred historical places. Some seem almost forgotten and shrouded with a mythical atmosphere. You could travel to Wales for a three-month walk along the Cistercian Way or you could do a stroll to an ancient village church nearby.

Gloucester has a couple of ruins of former abbeys in the middle of the town and in the outskirts. St Mary’s of Houghton on the Hill is a small church dating back to the 9th century and standing all on its own on the top of a hill in a picturesque Norfolk landscape.

Some of these suggestions I am familiar with, because I’ve been to them. Other suggestions are, for me, a dream destination for the future; for example the Cistercian Way with its great abbeys and the little churches in the Welsh hills.

If you would like to take part in a pilgrimage this October, do look out for news coming soon on our website or in the newsletter! Members of the Radio Maria England team are planning a five-day trip from Cambridge to Walsingham. Why not use these summer holidays to walk-in your shoes and train for long distance walking?

Pilgrimage always means stepping out of our daily routine and coming closer to God. We can do it anytime, but the holidays give us even more opportunity to do so. After all, there is something holy about the term holiday.

Get some more ideas here:

British Pilgrimage

Share your adventure: Pilgrim Chris

The Long Distance Walkers Association

Norfolk Saints’ Way

Walsingham Way Blog

North Wales Pilgrim’s Way


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