Glastonbury Abbey Pilgrimage to England & Wales
Spiritual Director: Fr. Timothy Joyce
April 7 - 18, 2018
*Price includes a $100 contribution to the Glastonbury Abbey Development Foundation!TJ040718
Your trip includes
- Round Trip Airfare from Boston
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 3 nights: Apr 08 - 11: Hilton Bath City, Bath
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 11 - 13: Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff
- ~ 3 nights: Apr 13 - 16: Hotel in St. Davids, St. Davids
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 16 - 18: Hilton Canary Wharf, London
- Post Optional 2 nights Stay at London:
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 18 - 20: Hilton Canary Wharf, London
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Boat trip to Caldey Island on Day 7
- Boat Trip Ramsey Islandon Day 9
- Professional local Catholic Tour Escort
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Any meals and beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide and driver
Sat, Apr 07: Depart USA to England
Depart Boston for your overnight flight to Gatwick. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Sun, Apr 08: Welcome to England
On arrival at Gatwick airport meet with your driver and English speaking guide and transfer to the City of Bath. On arrival enjoy an orientation tour of Bath City. The Romans established Bath in the year 43 AD and this city, awash with fabulous architecture, history and culture, has been welcoming travelers ever since. Many of Bath's great buildings date back from its renaissance in the 18th century when it again became a fashionable spa town and played host to royalty and the cream of aristocracy, who famously visited the city to 'take the waters'. Today visitors can walk around the old Roman Baths, enjoy the splendor of Bath Abbey or simply take in the breathtaking Georgian architecture of this beautiful city, which somehow managed to escape the ravages of industry and the Luftwaffe. Overnight and dinner at your Hotel.
Mon, Apr 09: Somerset
Following breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a morning visit to Downside Abbey. Downside Abbey is a Roman Catholic monastery, and is home to a community of Benedictine monks. The Abbey Church is one of only four Minor Basilicas in England and is dedicated to Saint Gregory the Great. Described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as "the most splendid demonstration of the renaissance of Roman Catholicism in England". The church has also been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building. Continue on and enjoy a visit to Glastonbury Abbey. Glastonbury Abbey is connected with legend to a degree that is unparalleled by any other abbey in England. Since Medieval times it has held legendary status as the earliest Christian foundation in Britain linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the burial place of King Arthur. Return to Bath and en route stop at Wells Cathedral, that has been described as "the most poetic of the English Cathedrals". It is set in the medieval heart of England's smallest city and is the earliest English cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. The current building was erected between the 12th and 15th centuries and is a significant landmark in Somerset and the South West. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Tue, Apr 10: Wiltshire
After breakfast you will visit Salisbury Cathedral. Medieval Salisbury Cathedral may sit serenely within eight acres of manicured lawns in the Wiltshire countryside but it also has a hugely important place in the history of Britain's architecture, religion and politics. This Gothic cathedral boasts Britain's tallest spire, (123 meters / 404 ft.), and largest close, quire and cloisters plus the world's oldest working mechanical clock. Within the restored Chapter House lies one of only four copies in existence of the Magna Carta. This most celebrated of historical documents and cornerstone of democracy and modern liberty was drafted in 1215 as a check against the tyranny of King John. Continue and visit Arundells. Built in the thirteenth century, Arundells was originally used as a medieval canonry and later became the home of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath. Left much as it was when he lived here, the house contains Sir Edward's extensive personal collections of musical and sailing memorabilia, Oriental and European ceramics, paintings, political cartoons, bronzes and photographs. In the afternoon visit Stonehenge. The Neolithic stone circle of Stonehenge in the Wiltshire countryside is one of the most famous wonders of the world. Dating back to approximately 3000 BC, the circle of huge upright and horizontal rectangular stones continues to fascinate academics, spiritualists and visitors. How and why did hundreds of people transport five ton stones from all over the South of England and Wales to create a monument that has no obvious function? A multitude of theories regarding the origins and purpose of Stonehenge abound - some serious and some a little hard to believe but all have their supporters. Stonehenge could have been an elite burial mound, druid temple or ancient observatory and may have been put there by ordinary people, aliens or by Merlin the mythical wizard. This fascinating stone circle can be toured with audio guides and the modern visitor center includes over 250 artifacts, reconstructions of Neolithic houses, and a 360-degree audio-visual presentation that all help towards understanding the structure. Return to Bath for dinner and overnight.
Wed, Apr 11: Bath to Cardiff
Enjoy breakfast at hotel followed by a tour of the Roman Baths. The Roman Baths of the historical city of Bath are some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world and it is even possible to wander around this vast leisure complex just as the Romans did over 2000 years ago. Built in AD70 over hot springs the Great Bath still receives over one million liters of hot water daily from the 12,000 year old Kings Spring below. An interactive museum, costumed characters and award-winning audio guides narrated by witty travel writer Bill Bryson are also available to bring the history of the baths to life. There's an opportunity to taste the spa water - a healthy drop containing 42 minerals and purported healing power if not a pleasant taste - or alternatively there is a cafe and grand restaurant in the old pump house. Leaving England, you enter Wales and take in a visit to Tintern Abbey. Continue onto Cardiff and enjoy an orientation tour of Cardiff City. Although occupied since the Middle Ages, Cardiff really came into its own during the Industrial Revolution as an important dock town used for the distribution of iron and coal in Wales. Since becoming the Welsh capital in 1955, and subsequently the seat of the Welsh National Assembly, Cardiff has undergone a massive transformation from a forgotten industrial port to a vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan capital city. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Cardiff.
Thu, Apr 12: Cardiff & Swansea
This morning celebrate Mass at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral or similar. We take a trip to Swansea and enjoy an orientation tour. Poet and native son Dylan Thomas described Swansea as marble town, city of laughter, Little Dublin; the most romantic town I know', and once you've visited Swansea for yourself, you'll appreciate how the idyllic seaside city is able to inspire feelings such as these. The second-largest city in Wales, Swansea has a long and prosperous history as a market town going back more than 800 years. As the trading community grew up, it became an important exporter of the coal mined in Cardiff, and in the 18th century developed its own industry in the form of massive copper works, becoming for a time the 'copper capital of the world'. Enjoy a visit at the Dylan Thomas Center and afterwards return to Cardiff and visit St. Fagan's National History Museum. Dinner and overnight.
Fri, Apr 13: Cardiff to St. Davids
This morning after breakfast depart Cardiff and make your way to Tenby. Despite its relatively remote location, Tenby is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Wales, filling with tourists from all over the UK during the summer months. Located about 92 miles (148km) west of Cardiff, this small city exudes medieval charm and offers cultural attractions beyond the lure of its two and a half miles (4km) of beach. Tenby has a number of nicknames: 'Little England Beyond Wales'; 'The Jewel in Pembrokeshire's Crown'; and 'Little Town of Fishes', which comes from its Welsh name, Dinbych-Y-Pysgod. The town came to prominence in medieval times as a port city, and in the Georgian and Victorian eras as a health resort and centre of scientific study. Head to Tenby Harbor and take a boat trip to Caldey Island. Caldey has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and has been home to various orders of monks since Celtic times. It is now owned by monks of the Cistercian Order, whose picturesque monastery overlooks the Village Green and the pretty cottages of the islanders. A visit to Caldey's historic Old Priory will give you the opportunity to explore the medieval churches of St. David and St. Illtud, and to find out more, drop in at the Video Centre to see a short film about life on the island and in the Monastery. Visitors are also welcome to attend one of the short chanted services in the Abbey Church, of None at 12:15pm and Sext 2.20pm which form part of the daily prayer life of the monks. Return to Tenby and transfer to St. Davids. Dinner and overnight in St .Davids.
Sat, Apr 14: St. Davids
This morning enjoy a walking tour of St. Davids. St. Davids is named after the patron saint of Wales, Saint David. St. Davids is the smallest city in Britain with a population of just over 1,600. City status was awarded in 1995 although the roots of St. Davids go back to the 4th century when St. David himself lived here. St. Davids was designated as a conservation area by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in 1972. St. Davids Peninsula has some of the most magnificent coastal scenery in Pembrokeshire. This is the heart of The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and The Coast Path walking is delightful. Visit St. Davids Bishop's Palace. This imposing medieval palace stands in a grassy hollow next to purple-stoned St. Davids Cathedral. Even in ruins, the palace - unequalled anywhere else in Wales - still conveys the affluence and power of the medieval church. It is largely the work of the energetic Bishop Henry de Gower (1328-47). No expense was spared in creating a grand residence fit for a major figure of both Church and State. De Gowers palace boasted two complete sets of state rooms ranged around a courtyard, one for his own use, the other for ceremonial entertainment. The palace is richly embellished throughout with lavish stone carvings. Particularly fine are its arcaded parapets - de Gowers trademark - decorated with chequered stonework. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to St. David's Cathedral, one of Britain's oldest cathedrals. It stands on the site of a 6th-century monastery founded by Dewi (David), a Celtic Christian monk. Considered the holiest site in Wales due to its relics of St. David, the cathedral was a major pilgrimage destination throughout the Middle Ages. It remains a thriving church today. Later in the day visit Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre The National Park visitor centre has been extended to accommodate a state of the art gallery used to display national treasures, including the works of Graham Sutherland who was a Pembrokeshire resident for much of his life. The gallery is open all year and there is also a cafe on site and lots of useful information for visitors. Dinner and overnight.
Sun, Apr 15: St. Davids
After breakfast pay a visit to St. Non's Chapel and Holy Well. St. Non's Chapel is believed to be the birthplace of St David some 1500 years ago and is built inside the site of a Neolithic stone circle. In close proximity to the chapel you will find St. Non's Well. Believed to have healing powers like many medicinal wells in the area, it probably has its roots in Celtic (Iron Age) times and was re-branded when Christian beliefs were becoming predominant in the area. This afternoon enjoy a Ramsey Island Boat Trip Enjoy a first class outdoor adventure that offers spectacular water level views of dramatic sea cliffs, caves and quiet coves. Experience the freedom of the seals' world, close-up encounters with seals, porpoises and thousands of cliff-nesting seabirds. Meet the wildlife in its most natural state, with excellent photo opportunities throughout your trip. Spend the remainder of your last day in St. Davids at leisure. Dinner and overnight.
Mon, Apr 16: St. Davids to London (Time allowing, on arrival in London, enjoy a panoramic tour of London.)
Discover the iconic landmarks, architectural and cultural diversity, and fascinating history that makes London the most visited city in the world. Your London sightseeing tour will take you on a non-stop precession of recognizable landmarks, including The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column, and Marble Arch and much more. Dinner and overnight in London.
Tue, Apr 17: London
This morning visit the Tower of London. On the banks of the River Thames in the heart of London stands the Tower of London and nearly 1000 years of history and intrigue. The Tower of London has been used at various times as a palace, barracks, military stronghold, zoo and most famously as a prison incarcerating famous names like Sir Walter Raleigh, Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes. During a visit to the Tower visitors can see crown jewels worth over $20 billion, meet the ravens who legends say have the fate of the Kingdom in their claws, talk to the distinctive Yoeman guards with their white ruffs, and learn about the gruesome torture that went on within the walls. The Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the only intact medieval buildings on the list. At the Tower there are also cafes and a shop. This afternoon visit St Paul's Cathedral. St Paul's Cathedral, the most recognizable feature of the London skyline, was completed by one of Britain's most accomplished architects Sir Christopher Wren in 1711. The marble floors, expansive dome murals and Victorian mosaics have provided the backdrop in recent times for the state funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher as well as Jubilee celebrations. Destroyed and rebuilt after the Great Fire of London and an unlikely survivor of the Blitz, the Cathedral has earned a place among London's most popular sights. Climb into the iconic dome for stunning views across London, try out the acoustics of the Whispering Gallery and head down to the crypt to see the tombs of heavyweight historical figures like Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Enjoy the remainder of your last day in the UK at leisure. Overnight and dinner.
Wed, Apr 18: Farewell
Transfer to your Gatwick Airport for your journey home. Or for passengers taking London Post Stay:
Wed, Apr 18: London
Today there will be no coaching or guiding included. Spend the day at leisure in London. Join the group again for dinner at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in London.
Thu, Apr 19: Canterbury
Today you will meet with driver and guide in the lobby of your hotel for a day trip to Canterbury. On arrival in Canterbury enjoy a walking tour and visit of Canterbury Cathedral. Founded in 602 by St. Augustine, a missionary sent by Pope Gregory the Great, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian sites in England and has played a big part in the history of the country. A spiritual center from Augustine's time, Canterbury Cathedral really rose to prominence as a place of pilgrimage with the martyrdom of Bishop Thomas Beckett in 1170. The infamous slaying of the Bishop in this Cathedral on the orders of the King he had defied was the inspiration behind Geoffrey Chaucer's seminal work Canterbury Tales. Canterbury Cathedral is a World Heritage Site where you can see an 11th century Romanesque crypt, 12th century Gothic quire and 14th century nave as well as the peaceful ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey and St. Martin's Church. Enjoy some free time before returning to your hotel in London.
Fri, Apr 20: Farewell
Transfer to Gatwick Airport for your journey home.