If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m going on a pilgrimage to England with Fr. Tim Grumbach! Our friends at Select International Tours have planned the whole thing, and I worked with them to pick the BEST of the best stops for the ultimate Catholic trip.
I would love for you to come too! We can bond over our favorite English saints and writers, pray together, and drink tea together. You can find the whole pilgrimage itinerary (and trip details) in this PDF, but it’s all words and no pictures which is a bummer because we’re going to see some amazing sites.
Enter this blog post; your pilgrimage preview, or photo itinerary as it were . . .
So without further ado, I present our pilgrimage!
Day 1: Leave the USA
The pilgrimage includes airfare from the USA to London Heathrow Airport. If you’re already in England and want to join just choose the “land only” option when you’re signing up and you won’t be charged for airfare from the USA!
Us on the airplane leaving for the pilgrimage ⌄⌄⌄⌄
Just kidding we’ll hopefully all be sleeping because the flight is an overnight flight with breakfast and dinner served on board.
Day 2: Arrive in London
We’ll say hi to our tour manager, and head to Mass at the magnificent Church of St. Etheldreda! This is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in England. We’ll also take a panoramic tour of London, seeing Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then we can explore a bit on our own before checking into the hotel, grabbing some Yorkshire pudding and roast beef, and then hitting the hay.
Church of St. Etheldreda
The first two images come from the St. Etheldreda website. The second two show the full interior of the church! Image 3: Source. Image 4: Source. The statues on the walls are of English Martyrs during the Elizabethan era.
Check out the fascinating history of St. Etheldreda’s here. And take a virtual 3D tour here!
Our other Day Two stops!
Day 3: The Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher
Can I just say how cool it is that we’ll be in London for these fellows’ feast day!? Day three of our pilgrimage is ALL about the English martyrs. We’ll start with Mass at Brompton Oratory which was founded by Cardinal Newman.
Images from The London Oratory website!
Then it’s off to have a tour of Tyburn, the home of the infamous Tyburn Tree (aka. The Elms, the Elms near Tyburne, Tyburn Tree, the Deadly Never Green Tyburn Tree, the Triple Tree) the gallows in the town of Tyburn, a favorite spot for executions in the 15 and 16 hundreds, and home now to the shrine of the English Martyrs.
We’ll also visit: the cell of St. Thomas More in the Tower of London, Tower Hill, the site of his execution, St. Peter ad Vincula, to pray before his remains, and visit All Hallows Chapel, where his daughter, Margaret, prayed for her father during his execution.
Day 4: Thames Dinner Cruise
First, Mass, of course, 🙌! Today we’ll be celebrating Mass at the Westminster Cathedral. Then a visit to Westminster Abbey, St. Edward the Confessor, the Poets Corner, and the 17 British monarchs who are buried there. Afterward, we’ll head to Westminster Hall where St. Thomas More’s trial was held. And then in the evening a cruise on the Thames River! Food, wine, entertainment (the classy kind), and some sweet views of the Tower of London, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and others all lit up for the night!
St. Edward the Confessor’s Tomb, The Oldest Door in Britain (conveniently located at the Abbey for our viewing pleasure), The Nave of the Abbey, the Poet’s Corner, and Westminster Hall. All images of the Abbey are from the Westminster Abbey website.
Day 5: Canterbury and Aylesford
Today we’ll be visiting the Canterbury Cathedral, The Friars – Aylesford Priory, and the Shrine of the Glorious Assumption and St. Simon Stock
The first three images are of the Canterbury Cathedral (Image 1: source, Image 2: source, Image 3: source), and the second three images are from the Aylesford Priory and Shrine of the Glorious Assumption and St. Simon Stock. The images of the Priory are from their website.
Day 6: Norwich and Walsingham
Today’s all about the mystic St. Julian of Norwich and Our Lady of Walsingham! First we’ll visit the shrine of St. Julain of Norwich in . . . Norwich 😁. Then we’ll visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist before hitting the road to Walsingham to celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham 😍😍!
The images above are of the beautiful grounds at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham!
Day 7: A Day to explore in London
Today’s a free day!
Is there anything in London that you’ve been dying to do?! I need some ideas so drop them in the comments! Here are a few ideas to get you started 🤩 Stop by the Natural History Museum or the Tate Britain to see classics by English artists. Enjoy high tea at one of the many tea houses in the city. Or see what’s playing at one of the many theaters in the West End! You could see The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Hamilton or bunches of others!
Day 8: Oxford and our literary heroes!
Today we’ll be heading to Oxford to visit the favorites spots of some of our favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis 🥳 We’ll start with a visit to the graves of Tolkien and Lewis, then stop by Lewis’ home “the Kilns” before visiting and celebrating Mass at the Christ Church Cathedral. We’ll also spend the night in Oxford 😍
Day 9: Oxford again!
First, we’ll take a jaunt (literal walking through quaint Oxford) to Littlemore, home of St. John Henry Newman. Then we’ll attend Mass in the chapel where he converted, and visit Bermingham Oratory where both St. John Henry Newman and J.R.R. Tolkien lived! We’ll top it all off with dinner at a local restaurant!
Day 10: Oford, then Stratford, then London
Today will be the last full day of our trip 🥲. First, Mass at St. Aloysius Catholic Church. Then it’s off to Stratford Upon Avon to visit the home of Shakespear, there will be time to walk around and explore before heading to London for dinner and our last overnight before hitting the road back to the U.S.!
Image 1: St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Image 2: St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Image 3: St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Image 4: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Shakspears future wife, not the actress!), Image 5: Chedham’s Yard in Stratford, Image 6: Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park in Stratford, Image 7: Shakspears Home, Image 8: Shakspears Home
Day 11: Goodbye to dear old England!
And today we’ll say goodbye to our new friends, and head for home!
As you can see this trip is PACKED, but not hectic.
We’re going to visit so many beautiful churches, and be able to pray in the hallowed halls where so many saints and martyrs have prayed over thousands of years. We’ll get a taste of the city, AND get to enjoy the English countryside. It really is going to be a marvelous trip.
I hope I’ll see you there, and if you have any questions you can send an email to email@example.com or reach out to Select International Tours directly!