Britain's Pilgrim Places
The First Complete Guide to Every Spiritual Treasure: new for August 2020

The guide to 2,000 years of Christian history and heritage
Produced by The British Pilgrimage Trust: for full details visit the trust's website here.

The first complete guide to every spiritual treasure and the paths that connect them


Pilgrimage (n.): A journey on foot to holy/wholesome/special places.


Pilgrimage – journeying on foot to holy places – was once Britain’s most popular expression of leisure and spirituality, enjoyed by kings and serfs alike. But the tradition was brought to an abrupt end in 1538, when Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell banned pilgrimage in Britain. Ever since, the tradition has been ripe for a rebrand.

Today, there is a global renaissance of pilgrimage – 350,000 pilgrims walk the Camino to Santiago each year, 2.5 million make the Hajj, 25+ million on the Arba’een and 50 million for the Kumbh Mela. 

In a beautiful new book the British Pilgrimage Trust presents its commitment to renewing this special tradition for modern needs.

Featuring 500 holy places, every medieval cathedral in England and Wales and 48 pilgrimage routes, this full 600+ page colour book illustrates these historic routes and places that are all connected by green footpaths. 

It includes sites from every major religion, including the full spectrum of Christian communities and a short guide to holy places in other faith traditions, plus natural holy places too. Presented in lovingly researched detail, this is the perfect open access resource to treasures beyond compare.

A wonderful array of enchanting sites, fabulous artefacts and life-changing experiences are included – from miraculous healing pools, astounding works of devotional art, mysterious natural features, world-famous shrines and grand cathedrals, to some of the humblest country churches.

Guy Hayward, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust, says: “Pilgrimage is Open to All whatever your beliefs, background, age or physical ability. Set off along a route or from wherever you call home and bring your own beliefs to embrace the full diversity of different types of holy places you will come across –prehistoric, heritage, religious and the natural. Slow down, carry as little as possible, settle into a rhythm, and be a positive influence wherever you go. Connect with your companions, the strangers you meet, with nature, plants, animals, the sky, the cosmos, and universe etc.” 


To turn a walk into a pilgrimage, at the beginning set your private ‘intention’ – dedicate your journey to something that you want help with, or for which you want to give thanks. Then you will walk with purpose.


Nick Mayhew-Smith, the book’s co-author and publishing partner at Lifestyle Press, believes this collaboration has breathed new life into Britain’s sacred landscapes. “I’ve written about holy places for many years, but working with Guy and the British Pilgrimage Trust has been a complete revelation. A thread of life has been woven back into our spiritual life, bringing that sense of love, wonder and inspiration through this revival of activity and access.”

The team at the British Pilgrimage Trust are hoping this new book will answer a deep desire to connect with holy places and pilgrimage routes – these secret jewels embedded in the British countryside. This desire is having its moment, because people are now ready for a new kind of travel.

Britain’s Pilgrim Places




ISBN: 9780954476786


Authors:  Nick Mayhew-Smith & Guy Hayward 
Cathedrals photograph: Marcus Green
Introduction: Sir Simon Jenkins

 Publisher:  Lifestyle Press, London, August 2020
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