Ever since I described the ‘Royal Route’ between the Tower and Westminster Abbey in A Pilgrim’s Guide to Sacred London, I’ve walked it in the company of pilgrims, with Dr. Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust.
I wrote about it in a recent column for Country Life:
Every month for the past six months, my friend Guy and I have been taking a band of pilgrims through the streets of London, starting from All Hallows by the Tower to end with Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Guy sings and I talk about Trojan kings and standing stones, as we wend our way past churches and holy wells and other sacred sites of the city. It is a way of seeing beneath London’s streets to its hills and rivers and holy places.
You can read the full piece here.
So we explore some of the capital’s sacred spaces, stopping at churches, gardens, temples, hilltops, standing stones and holy wells. We learn more about London saints, river gods and, in particular, an entire dynasty of British kings, firmly embedded in London’s consciousness in Shakespeare’s day, and then quite suddenly forgotten.
We walk to find a sanctuary of our own, with time for peaceful reflection, and to uncover the older, gentler London that still exists beneath the modern carapace of Mammon and Commerce.
We have another journey planned together on July 22nd. Tickets are available here.
In the meantime I will be taking a smaller pilgrim band along the Royal Route on Thursday June 9th, starting at All Hallows by the Tower to finish at the service of Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Tickets to this smaller event are available here, and include a delicious lunch served in a private room beneath one of London’s most sacred and ancient sites.
The day will begin at 9am and end at 5pm when the doors of Westminster Abbey open for Choral Evensong, an unforgettable experience that lasts 40 minutes.
Believers and non-believers, people of any faith and no faith, are welcome to join in: all you need is an open heart, and a wish to see the capital in a new – or ancient – light.