LincolnshireHEMINGBYStMargaret(explorechurches.org)1

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.

12 churches

GreaterLondonTOTTERIDGEStAndrew(davidskinnerCC-BY-2.0)2

Ancient yew trees

As ancient as they are beautiful, our churches are the present custodians of yew trees planted and cared for over many centuries. From 500 year old trees planted in the Middle Ages, 800 year old trees planted by the Normans, even older specimens planted by Saxons and early Welsh saints and the possibility that some might even predate Christianity.

10 churches

GwyneddNANTPERISStPeris(sarahcrossland)2

Mountain churches

On the 11th December, International Mountain Day celebrates the wonder and importance of mountains. Here are ten of our favourite mountain churches. But there are many more. Sheltered in hidden valleys underneath our highest mountains, offering places of comfort after a day exploring the surrounding fells.

14 churches

LISTBillBryson(©billbryson)

Bill Bryson

Everybody loves Bill Bryson. His best selling travel books extol the glories of our country. Here he chooses 14 of his favourite churches, including Durham Cathedral, The Italian Chapel in Orkney and London’s St Martin’s in the Fields.

11 churches

LISTDeedsNotWords(CC0)1

Deeds not words

The church did not always have an easy relationship with women's suffrage, and some churches actually became a target for radical suffragette action. Today, however, many are rightly proud of their links to the women who have made such a difference to our society.

12 churches

LISTHadriansWallHeader(mikebishopCC-BY-SA2.0)1

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!

6 churches

YorkshireWAKEFIELDChantryChapelStMary(itsnogameCC-BY-2.0)1

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!

12 churches

GreaterLondonHOLBORNStEtheldreda(davidiliffCC-BY-SA3.0)1

Twelve days

The Twelve Days of Christmas was first published as a rhyme in 1780, with the tune coming from an arrangement of a traditional folk song in 1909. All together now! On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

23 items

LISTChristingleHeader(PUBLICDOMAIN)1

Christingle

Every year for the last 50 years, children and adults of all ages have come together to stick sweets on cocktail sticks, stick them in an orange, put a candle on top and gather together. This is Christingle.

12 items

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!

8 churches

Tyne&WearJARROWStPaul(stringingbedes)1

Oldest churches

The building of churches, whether for monasteries or public use, was an early sign of the growing influence of Christianity. What is astounding is how many elements of these earliest buildings survive today. This list includes churches where ancient fabric dates from pre AD800, and all are still being used.

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