£120 – £160

A Weekend Pilgrimage to Aquae Sulis - Frome to Bath

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Frome Holy Well

Frome

BA11 1RU

United Kingdom

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Description

This pilgrimage seeks to refresh our relationship with the wild waters of Britain - to gently honour and encounter the wet stuff that surrounds us within and without.

To this end we make pilgrimage to one of Britain's greatest natural springs - the health-giving spa of Aquae Sulis (Bath) - sacred to the Celts, the Romans, the Georgians - and everyone in between.

To properly approach this sacred water source (which today takes the form of a rooftop Spa overlooking Bath Abbey) we will walk for two days. Walking to a holy place - pilgrimage - is a spiritual technology that heightens our appreciation of the place we approach, and lets us engage with it - and ourselves and each other - in exciting new ways.

On our path to Bath, we will engage with the waters that we meet in a host of ways. We will ‘wild-swim’ in weirs, under Aqueducts, and in the confluence of great rivers. We will ford ancient fords, we will seek lost holy wells, we will drink wild water from a variety of natural springs (can you taste the difference?) and we will give gifts of song, silver and ourselves to the wild sources on which all life depends.

Our pilgrimage starts in Frome, a town built around a holy well. We’ll drink, and wash, and fill a special bottle with this water, which we shall share with every other water source along the way.

Sleeping: Camping under the stone roof of the cloisters of Iford Manor. With comfortable rollmats and sleeping bags provided.

Distance:

Day 1 - Frome to Iford Manor - 11 miles

Day 2 - Iford Manor to Bath - 12 miles

This pilgrimage is open to all. Bring your own beliefs. All are welcome.

Warleigh Weir

Guided by Guy and Will - songful co-founders of the British Pilgrimage Trust. They offer traditions to help your pilgrimage come to life - including songs, silver and staffs, wild water and foraged tea.

A journey guaranteed to make you re-encounter Britain in new (and very old) ways.

As featured on BBC1, Channel 4, Radio 4, The Times, Guardian, Independent and Spectator etc.

Visit www.britishpilgrimage.org to learn more about the movement of British pilgrimage.

What you get for your ticket...

Full guidance from the experts.

Capable navigation

Full sleeping kit - sleeping bag, rollmat and silk liner

Unforgettable accommodation

Organic Sunday Breakfast

Songs and stories

Rituals and permission to encounter

Pilgrim support when you need it. Space when you don't.

Details

All donations go straight into the British Pilgrimage Trust (HMRC Reg: EW38990), a charitable trust which seeks to open up Britain's pilgrimage tradition in newly inclusive and exciting ways.

Kennet & Avon Canal, Sydney Gardens

Making a pilgrimage

We move quite slowly with lots of stops. Your fellow pilgrim companions are usually a mixed bunch - albeit with a certain shared questing glint to their eye. Pilgrims tend to have very little, and almost everything, in common. You'll see what we mean.

You'll make friends, learn songs, meet plants and animals. You'll feel good about yourself and other people, and you'll feel closer to the land and story of Britain. You'll change your relationship with holy places, and feel more freedom to meet them in your own way.

Of course, you'll also be challenged in significant ways. Your legs might get tired. Someone might say something that's difficult for you - or vice versa. It could rain and be windy. It could be too hot. And you'll sleep somewhere less comfy that your bedroom at home. But possiby more exciting.

This journey may open up vistas of possibility that you had not encountered for a while. Your well-set notions might get all shook up, in the best possible way. This is pilgrimage, in a British tradition, modern but also very old indeed. We hope you'll find something wonderful to take home...

If you are interested, book a ticket and come along. If you're unsure, book two tickets and bring a friend.

See you on the path. We look forward.

View from Dundas Aqueduct

Testimonials:

"What Guy and Will are doing through The British Pilgrimage Trust is truly epic and incredibly inspiring. Everything was organised and made so easy...What I thought was so amazing was how they guided us and clearly have a philosophy behind their passion yet there was no expectation for the walk to be anything to anyone or for a site to have any particular meaning...Everything about our trip was perfect and I feel unbelieveably nourished, refocused and uplifted. I also feel so connected to this amazing and under-appreciated land in which live, and its history and spirituality which we never hear about."

Christabel Reed, Founder of the Advaya Initiative, and pilgrim

"We started off the walk not knowing anything about each other, yet at the end of the trip, it felt like I've known these people for so long. It's amazing how you open up to people under such calm and natural circumstances... I will definitely do another pilgrimage in the near future:)"

Cathrine, pilgrim

Rebecca Fountain, Bath Abbey

FAQs

Who can come?

Anyone over 18 (or over 16 with parental guidance).

Is this religious?

All and no-faiths are equally welcome. We operate a “Bring Your Own Beliefs” policy. We ask that all participating pilgrims tolerate one another’s spiritual choices.

Why are tickets different prices?

So people can pay what they can afford.

Are there fitness limitations?

Pilgrimage is moderately intense. If you struggle to walk all day, this type of pilgrimage may be an unsuitable activity for you right now. If you are unsure whether you can walk 23 miles in two days, there are plenty of escape points en route where you can jump on a bus. But we will walk slowly, and start early, so we believe this is a very manageable distance for the majority of people.

Due to the stiles and off-road access along much of this route, unfortunately this pilgrimage is not suited for mobilty-impaired people or those requiring wheelchair access. Sorry. We're working on good alternatives...

Can I bring my dog?

Sadly not. Dogs are of course wonderful, but they are unknown quantities for the accommodation providers, who have asked we don't bring them. And a group pilgrimage is already complex enough, so the simplicity of humans without dogs is also very welcome.

What should I bring?

Bring adequate clothing for likely weathers. Shoes that fit. Money for your lunch and supper. A towel if wished for. A change of pants, socks and top. Your own health and hygeine needs. A headtorch. Treats. A water bottle.

We bring sleeping kit for you.

More detail on what to bring will be sent to you in your order confirmation email.

Will my luggage be transported?

Transport of your non-sleep kit is not provided.

When will the event start and end?

The pilgrimage begins at Frome station at 9.30am on Saturday 12th August.

It ends in Bath at 7:30pm on Sunday 13th August.

Is the terrain difficult?

Most of the walking is lowland and flat, along mud and grass tracks. There are a few mild ascents and descents, but nothing really beyond very moderate. For the distances, we require all attendees to have minimum walking fitness and confidence that such distances are unlikely to prove excessive.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can phone Guy on 07841 518110.

Or email Guy and Will on: info (at) britishpilgrimage.org

Roman Baths and Bath Abbey

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Frome Holy Well

Frome

BA11 1RU

United Kingdom

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