Britain’s Sacred Places (Slow Travel)
A guide to ancient and modern sites that stir the soulby Martin Symington
Publication Date: 01st Jul 2022
Britain’s Sacred Places: a guide to ancient and modern sites that stir the soul – travel guide covering places of religious and secular pilgrimage in England, Wales and Scotland, from Westminster Abbey to Iona, Twickenham stadium to the Orkneys, including Buddhist temples, Stonehenge, Freddie Mercury’s home and Princess Diana’s statue.
About this book
Britain is packed to the gunnels with places to visit that many regard as sacred, from iconic sites such as Iona, Lindisfarne and Stonehenge to more out-of-the-way pilgrimage destinations, stone circles, holy wells and obscure corners. Then there are places that appeal to a particular following, places of philosophical or celebrity interest such as Karl Marx’s tomb in Highgate cemetery, Freddie Mercury’s home or, for sporting enthusiasts, Twickenham rugby stadium.
This book, first published in 2011 as Sacred Britain, has been thoroughly revised with additional sites and re-packaged as part of Bradt’s award-winning series of Slow travel guides to regions – and aspects – of the UK. Significant updates have been included, including to Stonehenge, Tintagel and Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, as well as new locations such as Goat’s Hole Cave on the Gower Peninsula, Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire, Stanton Drew in Somerset and St Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall. Also new is the memorial to Princess Diana in Kensington Palace Gardens, which is included in addition to the island on the Althorp estate on which she is buried. Sites in England, Wales and Scotland are featured, from far-flung islands to ancient chalk hill carvings, hot springs and sites of myth, legend and apparition; and from soaring cathedrals to Buddhist and Hindu temples, shrines to martyred saints, irreligious philosophers and immortal rock stars – locations revered for their connections with art, music, literature, sport, crime; and places holding emotional associations for those with ancestral roots on Britain.
About the Author
Born and raised in Portugal, Martin Symington paid yearly visits to his grandparents in Leicester. To return to this industrial city at the heart of Middle England years later, and find it pulsing with Hindu, Sikh and Jain temples was one inspiration for Britain’s Sacred Places. Other seeds were sown when he followed in the footsteps of millions of medieval pilgrims across the salty sea cliffs of north Wales to drink miraculously clear, sweet water from a holy rock pool below the high tide mark; and when he first observed the remarkable similarities between the faith displayed at religious shrines and the ardent devotion shown by followers at the tomb of Karl Marx. Realising a sense of the sacred in 21st-century Britain takes manifold forms and is to be found in unlikely places, he set off on a quest which took him from Orkney to the southwest tip of Cornwall; and from the wilds of west Wales to the expanses of East Anglia. Time and again, he was astonished by what he discovered.
‘A fascinating take on travel in the British Isles’
Sandi Toksvig, author and TV and radio presenter
‘A wonderful, timely guide’
BBC Countryfile Magazine
Additional InformationTable of Contents
Chapter 1 London
Chapter 2 Southeastern England
Chapter 3 Southwestern England
Chapter 4 Central and Eastern England
Chapter 5 Northern England
Chapter 6 Wales
Chapter 7 Scotland