Three walking routes in England for the aspiring pilgrim

From a walk through neolithic “horizon architecture” to a trek to the Isle of Avalon. Jasper Spires reports.

The ancient route from Great Malvern Priory to Worcester Cathedral

From the awe-inspiring stained-glass windows of the Great Malvern Priory to the booming hall of Worcester Cathedral, this journey along the River Severn should inspire any modern-day pilgrim. “I feel the ghosts of the distant past stirring in my pilgrim bones,” says Pamela Goodman in the Financial Times, recalling her own trip between the holy sites. Trekking between the chapels, through the idyllic apple orchards and fields of Worcestershire, can itself be a form of tranquil meditation upon the journeys of pilgrims past, and would make a perfect getaway after a long lockdown.

Stay at the Eckington Manor hotel (eckingtonmanor.co.uk, £158), says Harriet O’Brien in The Daily Telegraph, “an epicurean haven on the fringes of the Cotswolds”. Feast on the hay-smoked lamb and enjoy your well-earned rest. 

Hiking Up Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor, a conical hill topped with a ruined church tower in the Somerset town of Glastonbury, has long been a site of pilgrimage for Christians, pagans and other mystics across the UK. “It’s as mysterious as Atlantis,” says Delilah Khomo in Tatler magazine – the town has rich historical and mythical ties to the legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail and Avalon. If you’re looking for a path to inner peace, a long climb up the Tor is sure to set you on your way.

Stay in the nearby Durslade Farmhouse (dursladefarmhouse.co.uk), which costs from £350 to £1,500 a night. The Dursdale has a rustic, traditional aesthetic, but that’s been paired nicely with mind-expanding experimental art and a video installation by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. The local Osip restaurant is headed by the appropriately named Michelin-starred chef Merlin Labron-Johnson. 

The Old Stones Way in the Peak District

Cows on Higger Tor in the Peak District

From the summit of Higger Tor on the Pennine moorlands southwest of Sheffield, you can see your destination 25 miles south: the neolithic burial site of Minninglow. Pilgrims on this trail will see various old stones and prehistoric sites dotted along the way, creating a mysterious landscape design of “horizon architecture”, says Guy Hayward in The Guardian. “There is a joy in engaging with this sight-line technology and feeling the awe our ancestors must have felt.”

The Cavendish Hotel (devonshirehotels.co.uk, £170) provides the perfect place to put your feet up at the end of the day’s walk. It’s “the swishest” hotel in the area, says Jane Knight in The Mail on Sunday. And if you still have energy after a day on the moor, the Cavendish can arrange tours of the 105 acres of gardens at nearby Chatsworth House.

Recommended

Five stylish hotel suites
Travel and holidays

Five stylish hotel suites

From an exclusive villa in the Seychelles to a luxury pad in New York. Chris Carter reports
5 Mar 2021
Blow the lockdown cobwebs away with a self-drive supercar holiday
Travel and holidays

Blow the lockdown cobwebs away with a self-drive supercar holiday

Bored with lockdown? Don't want to fly? Why not go on a Grand Tour of Europe at the wheel of a supercar instead?
26 Feb 2021
The return of the Great British holiday
Travel and holidays

The return of the Great British holiday

Planning on holidaying at home? Just be aware that millions will have had the same idea, says Chris Carter
19 Feb 2021
Should you head abroad or stay in the UK for your summer holiday?
Travel and holidays

Should you head abroad or stay in the UK for your summer holiday?

If you go abroad there will be trouble, says Chris Carter. But you should be safer with a holiday nearer home.
12 Feb 2021

Most Popular

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: where to store your bitcoins
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: where to store your bitcoins

Once you've got hold of some bitcoins, you need somewhere secure to keep them. Dominic Frisby outlines some of the best options, from exchanges to col…
4 Mar 2021
A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: the technical genius behind bitcoin and the blockchain – and how it all works
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: the technical genius behind bitcoin and the blockchain – and how it all works

In the second in his series on bitcoin, Dominic Frisby looks at the blockchain – bitcoin’s unique underlying architecture – and what makes it and the …
2 Mar 2021
The great rotation is firmly underway – what does it mean for you?
Stockmarkets

The great rotation is firmly underway – what does it mean for you?

As investors move away from “jam tomorrow” stocks and back into “old economy” stocks that should benefit from the post-pandemic recovery, the tech-hea…
5 Mar 2021