English Martyrs & Catholic Writers

A 10-Day Tour to England highlighting English Martyrs and Catholic Writers
With: Fr. Dwight Longenecker and Mr. Joseph Pearce, Director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture
June 3-12, 2015

Wednesday, June 3: USA – London

Begin your exciting journey with an overnight flight to London.


Thursday, June 4: London

Upon arrival at London-Heathrow airport, meet your Tour Escort and board your private motor-coach. Visit Brompton Oratory founded in 1852 by Fr. F.W. Faber following the advice of Bl. John Henry Newman. After lunch, visit the Tower of London and see the cell of St. Thomas More and other English martyrs. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel with your fellow travelers. (WD)


Friday, June 5: London

This morning, visit St. Etheldreda’s Church, the oldest church in England and one of the only remaining buildings in London from the reign of Edward I (d. 1307). It contains the relic of the incorrupt hand of St. Etheldreda (630-679). Visit the historic Westminster Abbey. Founded in 960 by St. Dunstan, Bishop of London, it was reconstructed by St. Edward the Confessor in 1042, and only one week after its completion and consecration in 1095, he became the first of 17 monarchs to be buried within its walls. Take a walk to Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, then visit Farm Street Church in Mayfair with literary connections to Edith Sitwell, Evelyn Waugh, Sir Alec Guinness.  After a private tour of the Tyburn Convent, enjoy the evening at leisure in London. (B,L)


Saturday, June 6: Canterbury

Enjoy an excursion to Canterbury where you will tour the city focused on the life of St. Thomas Becket. Visit the Cathedral where St. Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. Continue on to visit the house across from St. Dunstan’s Church where St. Thomas More’s eldest daughter, Meg, lived with her husband, William Roper. It is said that the family vault contains the head of St. Thomas More. Return to London for dinner at the hotel. (B,D)


Sunday, June 7: Ely – Walsingham

After breakfast, depart London for Ely. Upon arrival, enjoy a tour of Ely Cathedral. Visit St. Etheldreda Church which contains the relics of St. Etheldreda. She was a beautiful and holy queen who fled back to Ely to preserve her virginity which had been promised to be preserved in marriage.  Her body was found to be incorrupt 15 years after her death, and years later, in 1106, her body was once again found to be incorrupt when the Normans moved it to the present Cathedral. Continue on to the famous Oxburgh Hall and Gardens for an afternoon stroll, and arrive in the evening at the pilgrimage site of Walsingham. (B, D)


Monday, June 8: Walsingham – Cambridge

At Walsingham, England’s Nazareth, spend the morning in pilgrimage beginning at the Slipper Chapel. For centuries, thousands of pilgrims, including kings and queens, removed there shoes before walking the Holy Mile to the shrine of Our Lady. It is said that the shrine was built in 1061 following three visions granted by Our Lady to a holy woman named Faverches in which the exact dimensions of the house of Nazareth were given. When the builders had difficulty with the construction, Favereches prayed through the night and the next day, the house was found to have been miraculously constructed. After lunch, visit Castle Acre Priory Site and the Castle Ruins en route to Cambridge. Arrive in Cambridge for some free time in the evening. (B, D)


Tuesday, June 9: Stratford-upon-Avon

After breakfast, board the motor-coach for the drive to Shakepeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon.  Visit his birthplace on Henley Street, his grave at Holy Trinity Church, and attend an optional afternoon or evening play while enjoying the rest of the day at leisure. (B)


Wednesday, June 10: Oxford

Spend the day in Oxford visiting sites related to Bl. John Henry Newman, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, Hilaire Belloc.  Walk the famous 2-3 mile walk along the Thames toward the Trout (optional). Along the way, see the ruins of Binsey Priory and Gostow Abbey. Visit two favorite meeting places of the “Inklings” (Lewis, Tolkien, Wilde, Belloc) – The Eagle and Child and the Trout.  Enjoy the evening at leisure. (B,L)


Thursday, June 11: Arundel

Visit the historic Arundel Castle, home to the longest-standing Catholic family in England. One of its most notable residents, St. Philip Howard (13th Earl of Arundel), died in the Tower of London after being imprisoned by his cousin, Elizabeth I, for his adherence to the Catholic Faith.  Pray at the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grimstead, and also visit the home and grave of Hilaire Belloc. Return to Oxford for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. (B,FD)


Friday, June 12: Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to London-Heathrow for the return flight to the US.



(B) Breakfast; (D) Dinner; (L) Lunch; (WD) Welcome Dinner; (FD) Farewell Dinner


* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.

For more information, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.

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