7 Liberating Catholic Pilgrimages to Take at Least Once in Your Lifetime

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3. St Cuthbert’s Way (Hiking Trail)

This route, supposedly taken by St. Cuthbert, connects Melrose with Lindisfarne. The interesting thing about the trail, outside of the fact that it includes one of the holiest sites in the Western world (Lindisfarne draws hundreds of foreign visitors every year), is that it connects along several of Britain’s most beautiful hiking paths, including the Pennine Way and the Southern Upland Way.

It’s not a long walk (only 62.5 miles) and can be completed in a few days. It can also be one of the most satisfying ways of seeing Lindisfarne, also called the Holy Island, in a style that many wayfaring monks would have experienced it. The first monastery in Lindisfarne was established in 635 AD and Christianity flourished from that point onwards. It has a remarkable history that includes numerous Viking invasions

4. Mary Michael Pilgrim’s Way (Hiking Trail)

Though certain sections of this route are still under construction in terms of waymarking, the intention is for it to run from St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall all the way to Bury St. Edmunds. Currently, you can walk the section from Brentor, a Devonshire village, to Glastonbury, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in the UK (it was known as the second Rome). It is 140 miles long, so not a light walk, but not an overly-intense one either, and guidebooks are available. The finished route will also pass many pre-Christian sites such as Avebury Stone Circle.

Though a modern route, those responsible for creating it have designed it with various spiritual goals in mind. Chief among these are to create an experience that is layered with myth, history and a sense of felt reconnection with Mother Earth.

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