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Inspire me

Whatever your passion; art, wildlife, sculpture, family history, architecture, walking, rock climbing, searching out the most perfect cream tea or even just finding somewhere quiet to sit and read a book. These are all things you can do in church buildings around the UK. Here you will find themes to inspire and trails to follow.

9 churches

LISTCharlesIIOak

Oak apple day

The escape of Charles II from England in 1651 started with the Royalist defeat at Battle of Worcester. He had many adventures, most famously hiding up an oak tree in Boscobel Wood, before setting sail for France in October. The story is remembered in the traditions of Oak Apple Day, on 29 May.

9 churches

GreaterLondonEUSTONFriendsHouse(church)2

Heavenly church cafes

The churches featured here are just a selection of some our favourite church cafes: we can assure you that there are many more excellent options for you to visit and many more excuses for cake, if you need one!

6 churches

YorkshireROTHERHAMChapelOurLady(heritageinspired)3

Medieval bridge chapels

Bridge chapels were mostly built during the 14th or 15th centuries, they were often chantry chapels where prayers were said for the souls of the founders and benefactors of the bridge and also provided a place for travellers and pilgrims to attend mass and pray for a safe journey. Today only a few survive and to visit one is like stepping back in time!

10 churches

PembrokeshireTENBYStMary(church)1

Seaside specials

The UKs first seaside resorts developed in the 18th century for the aristocracy who frequented them for health and recreation. We have chosen ten of our favourite seaside getaways. All have delightful churches nestling in their narrow lanes, or braving the elements on windswept clifftops. All are woven into the fabric of the resort, all offer a retreat from the midday sun, all provide a place to relax and take time out and all have a story to tell.

11 churches

LISTSirChristopherWren

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He rebuilt 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, completed in 1710, and where he is buried.

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LincolnshireSUTTERBYStJohnBaptist(friendsoffriendlesschurches)4

Simply the best

Looking for calm? Yearning for a slower pace and a place to feed your heart and soul? Indulge yourself in the simple things, the peaceful space of an off the beaten track church and churchyard cared for with a light touch by the Friends of Friendless Churches. They are all very remote and only one has a phone signal!

13 churches

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Vineyard churches

Like looking for a magnificent church, if you’re seeking a decent bottle of vino, you don’t have to look far! With vineyards set in gorgeous countryside across the country, it’s easy to combine discovering great architecture and social heritage with a tastebud tingling tasting session.

8 churches

LISTQueenVictoria(theroyalcollection)

Queen Victoria

Warm hearted and lively Victoria is one of history’s most celebrated monarchs. She became Queen at just 18 and reigned for almost 64 years. Queen Victoria is associated with Britain's great age of industrial expansion, economic progress and empire. At her death, it was said, Britain had a worldwide empire on which the sun never set.

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LISTLondonMarathon10

London marathon

London is the world’s greatest marathon. The course starts in beautiful Greenwich Park and passes many famous London sights, including churches, before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace. The runners won’t have time to stop, but we hope you do.

12 churches

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Hadrian’s wall

The Tyne Valley is known for its fine concentration of early churches, many built with stones recycled from the wall, arguably the best surviving concentration north of the Alps!

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