Cathedrals, Churches and Monasteries
The story of Christianity in England
From parish church to the great cathedrals the religious buildings of England are amongst the most awe-inspiring and humbling places to explore. Winchester was once the largest religious complex north of the Alps, Salisbury is a masterpiece of gothic architecture and Wells considered by some to be the most beautiful of English cathedrals. Exeter, Gloucester and Chichester cathedrals are equally fascinating whilst St George’s Chapel, Bath Abbey or the Methodist and non-conformist chapels of later centuries have great stories to tell. Explore England’s religious heritage as a themed tour or visit your chosen sites as part of a wider tour.
On this tour you could:
Ideas for tours:
Winchester's Cathedrals and medieval hospitals. Winchester was once the largest religious complex north of the Alps. Alfred the Great's capital of Wessex, burial site of Saxon kings, Winchester became a great Norman city combining religious and secular power and foundations such as pilgrims' hospitals and schools that survive today.
Salisbury and Sherborne. Salisbury Cathedral is a masterpiece of Early English architecture, home to Magna Carta and the Sarum Rite. Its predecessor at Sherborne is the most beautiful building in Dorset with Saxon origins and a glorious late Gothic interior. In between we explore lovely parish churches repositories of centuries of quiet faith.
Wells and Glastonbury. Wells, considered by some to be the most beautiful of English cathedrals, the Vicar's Close and the Bishop's Palace dominate England's smallest city tucked on the southern edge of the Mendip hills. Off the main tourist track this tour is a celebration of medieval architecture.
Bristol Cathedral, St Mary's Redcliffe and Wesley. Bristol's long history as a transatlantic port has meant great religious and social foment. We visit HVIII's cathedral foundations and St Mary's, made famous by Elizabeth I's patronage and contrast these with the dissenters story at the New Room: the oldest Wesleyan chapel in the world.
Tintern Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley is a remarkable survival of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries and testament to the power of the Cistercian's and whilst Gloucester Cathedral is comparitively small the exquisite architecture including the famous cloisters and its links to religious music making make for a fascinating contrast.
Chichester Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral are both cathedrals of the sea: one ancient and one much newer. their artworks and memorials tell a story of maritime England: the migrants that have come to England and those that took England to the world.
Christianity in Dorset: A tour of less well-known sites that tell the story of Christianity since the time of the Viking King Canute to the restoration of ancient parish churches in the time of Dorset author,Thomas Hardy. We visit a cliff top chapel, a monastery, an old cathedral, the angels of Bere Regis and the Georgian interiors that tell of village hierarchies based around the squire.
The services of a local expert Blue Badge Guide.
Time and local insight to design your ideal tour of our religious heritage.
Local food and drink venues to suit your tastes.
Links to coach and car services or help with trains and public transport for travellers wishing to minimise their carbon footprint.