Catholic Tours to England
A religious escape to England may be just the thing you need to reinvigorate your spiritual life, or perhaps it’s something you’ve been saving time and money for. In either case, let Catholic Heritage Tours provide a quick escape to Catholic shrines and sites of religious importance in London and the surrounding areas.
Day 1: Transatlantic flight from the U. S. To London, England
Depart today towards London. During the international flight, meals will be provided by the airline.
Day 2: London
Upon arrival in London, you will be welcomed by your Tour Escort and embark on a panoramic sightseeing: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben beside the River Thames. Dinner and overnight in London. (BB, D)
Day 3: London with optional dinner cruise
This morning, visit historic London: Westminster Abbey, one of the most beautiful buildings in London, which has been the burial place of Britain’s monarchs since the 13th C. and the setting for many coronations and royal weddings. The Lady Chapel stands as a tribute to Saint Edward, king of England in the 11th C., who had the Abbey built. The Tyburn Tree, now commemorated by a plaque on the ground, is where many martyrs, accused of treason for their Catholic Faith, were executed by hanging. The Tower of London, palace and prison both, renowned for the historic figures who have passed through, and now a popular attraction, housing the Crown Jewels and other exhibits. Tonight, you may enjoy an optional dinner cruise on the River Thames, or opt for an independent dinner and further exploration of the city. (BB)
Day 4: London: Excursion to Canterbury & Aylesford
A short drive through the beautiful countryside to the west of London will take you to Canterbury, Christianized by St. Augustine of Canterbury in the late 6th C. Visit the impressive cathedral which illustrates this major place of pilgrimage and kneel at the site of the martyrdom of St. Thomas in 1170. Then, visit the ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey and the adjacent St. Martin’s Church, the oldest continuous place of worship in England and where St. Augustine first came. The next stop is Aylesford, where a beautiful monastery, the site of the first foundation of Carmelites in England, houses a community of Carmelite monks. Built in the 13th C., this monastery welcomes visitors today for its historical significance as well as for the relics of St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite to whom Our Lady appeared to give him the brown scapular and recommend her devotion through it. Return to London in the afternoon for leisure time and dinner on your own. (BB)
Day 5: London: Excursion to Glastonbury, Wells & Bath
Today’s optional tour explores Glastonbury, whose history is intertwined with many saints and legendary characters: Saint Joseph of Arimathea is said to have lived out his days there, and upon arriving in Glastonbury he drove his staff into the ground, where it flourished and is now called the Glastonbury thorn; Visit the ancient Abbey, now partly in ruins, but still showing its past grandeur, whose church is reputed to have been the burial place of King Arthur. Then, travel to Wells, home of a magnificent Cathedral built in the 12-14th C., housing some of the finest statues in Europe, and the Bishop’s Palace, near which is St. Andrew’s Well. Then, it’s Bath, which boasts a splendid Abbey built in the 15th C. Finally, Salisbury, a pilgrimage stop to venerate the relics of St. Osmund, bishop of Salisbury in the 11th C., in the Cathedral, whose graceful spire is the highest in England. Return to London for independent dinner and overnight. (BB)
Day 6: London: Excursion to Bury St. Edmunds, Walsingham, & Ely
Feel free to see the sights of London on your own, or choose the optional excursion, which will explore Bury St. Edmunds which is, as the name suggests, the burial place of this King, martyred by the Danes nearby. The town today reflects, through its buildings and sites, its historical importance. Continue northwards to Walsingham, where a saintly lady received a vision of Our Lady directing her to have a replica of her house of Nazareth built, and which then became a pilgrimage site. Return to London via Ely, home to a most beautiful medieval cathedral, one of the seven wonders of the medieval world, built at the site of an abbey established by St. Etherelda, a princess who became its abbess. Return to Londonfor overnight. Time allowing, stop at Saint Albans, named after the protomartyr of England, whose cathedral boasts fine Norman architecture and inside which is a splendid shrine that houses a relic of the martyr who was killed for sheltering a priest. Dinner is independent. (BB)
Day 7: London, with optional excursion to Windsor and Oxford.
Today, enjoy the day at leisure: London offers various opportunities for exploring cultural, religious and historical sites. An optional half-day tour can also take you to Windsor and Oxford: The first is the well-known site of Windsor castle, a magnificent complex of buildings still in use by royalty today, and which offers beautiful views of the river Thames. Oxford, site of the famous university, is a site which has been sanctified by an 8th C. nun, St. Frideswide, benedictine abbess of a convent which is now Christ Church College at the University of Oxford, and the convent church which has become Oxford Cathedral. Oxford is also renowned for having been the stomping grounds of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Dinner is again of your choice, with overnight in London (BB).
Day 8: Return flight to the U.S.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to London’s Heathrow airport for your return flight home. (BB)
* (BB) Buffet breakfast * (D) Dinner
A brief but meaningful visit to a country so full of history and importance can give you a lifetime of memories. We’ll handle the travel and booking details so you can enjoy your religious tour. Call us today at (800) 290-3876 or email us with our online contact form.