Two Pilgrimages September 4th

24th August 2021

They might be at other ends of the country (almost!) but Ripon and Gloucester Cathedrals are on the same page when it comes to pilgrimage and are inviting visitors to Discover Cathedrals Discover Pilgrimage this September 4th

For the first time, visitors are invited to walk the Gloucester Pilgrimage together, leaving Tewkesbury Abbey to walk to Gloucester Cathedral just in time for Evensong on September 4 – known as Gloucester Day.

The Gloucester pilgrimage is a 15 mile walk that connects the Abbey and the Cathedral via several parish churches on a route that takes in the countryside and promotes spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing, and caring for the planet.

Tewkesbury Abbey Pilgrimage

It is part of the campaign to encourage more and more people to rediscover ancient and new pilgrim routes supported by the Association of English Cathedrals in collaboration with the British Pilgrimage Trust launched in 2020 (and postponed for the pandemic) and reimagined for 2021 as  ‘Discover Cathedrals, Discover Pilgrimage’ which aims to encourage everyone to enjoy nature and the world around them as we begin to look at how we might recover following a year like no other.

Gloucester Cathedral’s Canon Dr Andrew Braddock said,

“This contemporary, organised pilgrimage from Tewkesbury Abbey to Gloucester Cathedral invites us to connect with this ancient spiritual practice and make it our own. 

We offer it as a Christian spiritual journey, open to all. 

Gloucester Cathedral welcomes visitors and pilgrims every day.We hope the outer physical journey will enable pilgrims to also make a journey of the heart, connecting more deeply with others, themselves, the landscape and God”.

The Gloucester Pilgrimage has been developed through collaboration between the Cathedral Ramblers, staff and volunteers and partner organisations.

All are welcome to join, registration is free and now live via the Cathedral website.

The Gloucester Pilgrimage will take place on Gloucester Day – Saturday 4 September 2021 starting from Tewkesbury Abbey at 8.30am (gather from 8.00am) and walking a specially devised route from the Abbey, arriving into Gloucester for a dedicated Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral.

Spaces are free and can be booked via the Cathedral website.

In Ripon, the long running pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey – which has been a regular Boxing Day event for 45 years – has been rearranged to take place  on September 4 as part of a local healthy journeying campaign by Ripon Together.

Fountains Abbey Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage which regularly attracts hundreds of pilgrims was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Dobson, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Ripon and across the region to walk together from the oldest cathedral in the country to Fountains Abbey, one of Yorkshire’s World Heritage Sites.” 


Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal said:

“The past 18 months have been tumultuous to say the least, so we’re delighted that the long running tradition of a pilgrimage between Ripon Cathedral and Fountains Abbey is taking place in September. 

“We know that the pilgrimage, which normally takes place on Boxing Day, is much loved by our community and we were so disappointed that we couldn’t run the event in 2020. 

“Late summer is a lovely time to get out walking and enjoy the beautiful area we call home and it’s great to be working with our friends at Ripon Together to make this special event happen this year.”

The Yorkshire Pilgrimage is free to take part, but you must book a ticket to maintain a safe journey. It includes special performances from Ripon City Band, currently in the national premiership of brass bands

Book tickets for the event here or buy paper tickets from Ripon Cathedral and Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre.