The Sanctuary Network

The British Pilgrimage Trust, a registered charity, aims to advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing.

The Sanctuary Network
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Affordable stays, sustainable communities

Each sanctuary is unique; they are usually churches, but you may be sleeping in a church hall, village hall or sports pavilion. In some cases it may be an empty farm building or simply permission to camp.

Affordable sleeps

The average price per night per pilgrim for a sanctuary is £10 (range is £5-20), making multi-day pilgrimages accessible to society at large.

Multi-day stays

Sanctuaries offer flexible stays for as little as one night to several days subject to availability.

Supporting community

The money generated provides much-needed revenue to churches and shared community buildings like village halls.

Safe and secure

Each sanctuary outlines the safety measures they require in order to accommodate pilgrims, with proof of ID requirements ahead of arrival.

Discover our sanctuaries

Sanctuaries to make your journey more magical

The sanctuary offers low-cost accommodation that ensures, at the very least, basic sanitary facilities. Some options also include showers, kitchens, or even breakfast.

You should always expect to provide your own bedding: as always, you should carry a sleeping bag with a comfort temperature rating appropriate to the expected temperatures for when you are travelling, and an (inflatable) rollmat to insulate you from the floor.

Discover our sanctuaries
Facilities to make your journey more comfortable
Facilities to make your journey more comfortable
Safeguarding
Safeguarding
Safeguarding

Other pilgrims may be taking sanctuary during the same evening as you: you should expect to be made aware of this.

While each sanctuary will have its own safeguarding provisions in place, it is also important that you are given such information as to be able to make your own decisions regarding your own personal safety.

On 
St Cuthberts Way

I walked the route from Jedburgh onwards over 4 days. It is a beautiful walk, helped by some September sunshine. I walked with a friend and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is way marked really well, but we also bought the guide book. Walking across the pilgrim route of the causeway to Lindisfarne in our barefeet was a very spiritual experience. The buses that run from Lindisfarne seem to have a law unto themselves, making it difficult to plan getting off the island during the safe period! I would recommend an overnight stay if you want to explore it more fully.

Elaine Tustin

Elaine Tustin

 - 
Fri
17
Sep
On 
Cuckmere Pilgrim Path

Thank you BPT for listing this beautiful pilgrim path walk. I walked this path with three fellow pilgrims last week. We covered 17km, choosing the lower route under the Long Man of Wilmington, rather than up and over, due to it being such a hot day. There are 7 ancient churches to visit on route, each soaked in history. Each church has a “pilgrim pot” where you can leave a thought or message for one that follows and take a thought for your journey. The church in Berwick has amazing wall frescos to see and Wilmington’s ancient yew tree is a shady spot to rest. The countryside is stunning and we were so impressed at how well signposted the route was. We started our walk from Alciston, planning to stop half way and have a tasty lunch in Badger’s in Alfriston. We passed a few pubs on the way too, so plenty of opportunities for refreshment if required.

Deb Shurvell

Deb Shurvell

 - 
Sun
31
Jul
On 
St Magnus Way

An awe-inspiring route with a feeling of deep history. Accommodation was tricky so we relied on public transport and a few multi-night stays. We also did a detour to see the Ring of Brodgar. The cathedral at the end is like no other and so special to find a place with original relics in place. If you plan to start in Egilsay make sure you book the boat as far in advance as you can.

Gary Ash

Gary Ash

 - 
Sat
27
Aug
On 
Wexford - Pembrokeshire Pilgrims Way

It has been fantastic to discover new and ancient connections between these two lands. The two halves feel very different but the welcome from the local people is warm and friendly everywhere. Was really touched at the Tulach a’ tSolais monument in Wexford. Seeing seals and porpoise on the Pembrokeshire side was stunning. St David's was a beautiful place to conclude the journey and is already luring me back for a longer stay.

Margaret Locke

Margaret Locke

 - 
Thu
24
Aug
On 
St James Way

Just completed the walk from Reading to Southampton. It was a delight! We bought the little guide book from the Reading museum and combined with the well-placed way markers, we always knew where we were. Compliments to the volunteers who placed them! Including Reading, we were on the trail for nine nights. We were able to secure accommodation at various pubs, hotels, or Airbnb along the route. The weather was near perfect and the English countryside is beautiful. We’ll be back!

Michael Grant

Michael Grant

 - 
Sun
08
Oct
On 
Avebury Pilgrimage

The Avebury Pilgrimage was a joyful experience. Guy brought wonder and deep connection to the group experience. The other pilgrims were warm, fun and willing to surrender to this rich experience of movement, landscape, the past and the unseen world all around us. Thank you Guy!

Laura

Laura

 - 
Sun
22
Oct
On 
Old Way

Completed this walk (all 240 miles) in stages over a year. It is absolutely fabulous and well planned route avoiding main roads and busy towns. Spectacular views and places. Somewhat challenging as quite hilly in places but it was all worth it. Stayed in some sanctuaries that were all fabulous. Ended in Canterbury by joining choral evesong that was just beautiful end to the journey. Highly recommended route.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

Old Way pilgrim

 - 
Thu
09
Nov
On 
Cornish Celtic Way

Our family of four from the States completed the Cornish Celtic Way over 2 weeks in August 2023. We adapted it on two days in order to attend Mass in St. Austell and to visit St. Michael’s Chapel in Roche. The Cornish Celtic Way concept is wonderfully well conceived by Rev. Marns and the path of the rural walk excellently executed. Our 157 mile pilgrimage has been outlined in 15 daily itineraries on the Outdoor Active hiking app. Each day includes a map as well as a record of miles and hours walked. We have detailed our daily endeavors and reviews of our church visits. Spiritual practices and reflections are included for those who may wish to walk a similar route through Cornwall or indeed on any pilgrimage. While a pilgrimage such as the Cornish Celtic Way can be physically arduous, it yields great mental refreshment and spiritual renewal. It is, truthfully, great fun. Our goal in establishing these intentional prayer habits was to help us maintain spiritual rigor while enjoying Cornwall’s wonderful scenery, food and people. Thank you, BPT, for your efforts and commitment!

Jakob Vossenberg

Jakob Vossenberg

 - 
Wed
15
Nov
On 
Salisbury Silent Pilgrimage

My favourite part was walking in silence and being able to just concentrate on the purpose of my pilgrimage without the noise and baggage of life getting in the way. Abigail was a wonderful guide. She was thoughtful and brought a calm and sense of spiritual purpose to the day. I absolutely loved the walk.

Tamsin

Tamsin

 - 
Fri
01
Dec
On 
Glastonbury Day Pilgrimage

Many good moments but two things stand out: Chalice Well and the impromptu singing of a wassail song on the way up Glastonbury Tor, by an apple orchard. It was cold yet rather lovely to do a pilgrimage in the frost. Informed and engaging guide. Friendly and supportive fellow pilgrims. Such a good ethos.

Susan

Susan

 - 
Fri
01
Dec
On 
Canterbury Candlelight Pilgrimage

I loved walking through the countryside and the fascinating sights such as the church mill and barrow. The lanterns were lovely too and the Wassail singing and cake were a lovely touch. The arrival at Canterbury was spectacular. It was a lovely day and Dawn is a terrific guide.

Sally

Sally

Sally

 - 
Sat
16
Dec
On 
Winchester Day Pilgrimage

Dawn was absolutely brilliant. Brought the group together and was so knowledgeable . Really warm individual and so caring. Just an amazing experience all round. Can't thank you enough for the experience.

Stuart

Stuart

Pilgrim

 - 
Sat
20
Jan
On 
Aylesford to Rochester

My favourite part was Dawn singing to us by Kits Coty - sublime when the sun came out for us at the end of the song. Dawn has a lovely sincerity and her singing was wonderful. Also the Canon’s pilgrim’s blessing In Winchester Cathedral was an unexpected and perfect end to the day

Alexandra

Alexandra

 - 
Fri
16
Feb
On 
Oxford Four Gates Pilgrimage

I enjoyed listening to Guy's singing in the different settings - enhanced the experience and linked us to the past. The whole day was beautifully facilitated with a perfect balance of history overview, time for reflection and walking. It was very special - thank you so much!

Jo

Jo

 - 
Fri
23
Feb

What our pilgrims say

Join our growing Sanctuary Network

Offering sanctuary enables and encourages pilgrims to stay in your community by providing low-cost accommodation with a high-impact experience.

Discover our sanctuaries on these routes.

Join Our Growing Sanctuary Network

The Benefits of offering Sanctuary:

For the Pilgrims

Fulfill a practical need, providing a low-cost place to sleep, where using conventional accommodation could be cost-prohibitive for many, especially on the longer routes.

Connect pilgrims to the community in a meaningful way, allowing them to appreciate and directly contribute to places that offer hospitality.

Facilitate the experience of a unique form of rest, adding quality to their pilgrimage.

For the Community

Drive footfall to local businesses and facilities, access a network of pilgrims and help to sustain and grow the rural economy. Allow more people to stay in your community without losing housing to other forms of accommodation.

Share and celebrate the places that make your village special, connecting with other communities. Enrich your community; connect with different people who value what you have to offer.

For the sanctuary

Generate an income, through donations, by creating a complementary use for churches, halls and empty buildings. Improve security; occupation of otherwise empty buildings reduces anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Improve wellbeing; helping others can benefit our own mental health, reducing stress, improving mood, self-esteem and happiness. For those centres already involved in the project, the experience of providing sanctuary has been incredibly rewarding.

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