Catholic England

The Catholic landmarks of England are a precious and unique part of its national heritage. On this tour opportunities abound to learn about England’s history and stunning architecture, to appreciate the beautiful English countryside, or to enjoy a moment of quiet reflection in holy spaces visited by the faithful for hundreds of years.

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Please keep in mind that we can customize a tour to your particular needs. Perfect for families, small groups and couples traveling together. For groups of four or more we highly recommend a private driver/guide with private transport.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival and brief tour of Cambridge

Arrive at the airport and meet your Destinations representative, who will stay with you for the duration of the trip. Enjoy a brief tour (partly walking) of the city of Cambridge. Dinner and overnight at the hotel (Cambridge)

Day 2 – Ely Cathedral (and its Octagon Tower) and Walsingham

Visit Ely Cathedral and its famous Octagon Tower, superb Norman carvings, and beautiful view of the Presbytery. Later in the day visit Walsingham in Norfolk, a place of pilgrimage since medieval times. The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in 1061, was destroyed during the Reformation. Many years later the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside chapel, was restored and pilgrimage to Walsingham began once more. In 1934, the English Bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady. Many thousands of people have visited the Shrine, appreciating the atmosphere of peace that seems to emanate from it. Dinner and overnight at the hotel (Cambridge)

Day 3 – En route to the Maidstone area, visit St. Gregory’s Church and the Carmelit Friary of Aylesford

Depart after breakfast for Sudbury, home of painter Thomas Gainsborough. Visit the fascinating St. Gregory’s Church, which was rebuilt in 1365 by Archbishop Simon of Sudbury. Also today, visit the Carmelite Friary of Aylesford, one of England’s great religious orders. Dinner and overnight at the hotel (Maidstone area)

Day 4 – The City of Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral

Explore the cobbled streets of the city of Canterbury and visit Canterbury Cathedral, where the faithful have worshipped for over fourteen hundred years. Circa 1167, King Henry the Second appointed his friend Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. There were bitter disagreements between the two, however, and while the King was at a feast in France he shouted angrily, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” Four of the King’s knights heard this and traveled to Canterbury, where they murdered Becket inside the cathedral (T.S Eliot’s play “Murder in the Cathedral” is based on this event). Soon afterward the Pope made Becket a saint, and many people made pilgrimages to Canterbury to see Becket’s tomb. Although the tomb was later destroyed, a lit candle remains where it once stood. Dinner and overnight at the hotel (Maidstone area)

Day 5 – Westminster Cathedral in London

In London now, visit Westminster Cathedral with its beautiful façade of towers, balconies, and domes. Visitors find in Westminster Cathedral a very special place of prayer, a refuge from the busy city, a space to find one’s own thoughts. This spiritual atmosphere, shaped through the silence as well as through the music of its celebrated choir, is a most extraordinary treasure to be discovered by visitors. Overnight at the hotel (London)

Day 6 – St. Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral

Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the capital’s cathedral, where important events and people have been celebrated and mourned since the first service in 1697. The current Cathedral – the fourth to occupy this site – was built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Its architectural and artistic importance reflects the determination of the monarchs who oversaw its construction; they believed that London’s leading church should be as beautiful as their private palaces. After St. Paul’s, cross the River Thames for a visit to Southwark Cathedral. Situated in the heart of a burgeoning business community, Southwark Cathedral’s parish is small: only a handful of people actually live in the parish, which includes offices, two hospitals, the Cathedral Primary School, and the Borough Market. Overnight at the hotel (London)

Day 7 – View London landmarks from a cruise on the River Thames; visit the Tower of London

From a cruise on the Thames, view London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and HMS Belfast before arriving at the Tower of London. The Tower has been an integral part of British history for 1,000 years. Here, you will meet the famous “Beefeaters,” marvel at the breathtaking Crown Jewels, stand on the execution site of three English queens, and hear the myths and legends that make a visit to the Tower “a must” for any visitor to London. Overnight at the hotel (London)

Day 8 – Board a flight for home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Inclusions:

  • 2 nights in Cambridge, including breakfast and dinner
  • 2 nights in Maidstone, including breakfast and dinner
  • 3 nights in London, including breakfast
  • Guide for the duration of your tour

 

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