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.

10 churches

SarahCrossland
GwyneddNANTPERISStPeris(sarahcrosslandSTAFF)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.

9 churches

LISTCharlesIIOak(CC0)1

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.

12 churches

MikeBishop
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!

11 churches

NickRowland
LISTCapbilityBrown(nickrowlandCC-BY-ND2.0)1

Capability Brown

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was probably England’s greatest landscape designer. He changed the face of 18th century England, designing country estates and mansions, moving hills and making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers, a magical world of green. He even had a hand in a few churches.

14 churches

BillBryson
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.

12 churches

DavidSkinner
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.

8 churches

Ozimanndias8
NorthumberlandHEXHAMHexhamAbbey(ozimanndias8CC-BY-2.0)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.

12 churches

DavidIliff
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...

9 churches

LISTCharlesDickens(PUBLICDOMAIN)1

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens created some of the world's best loved fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Born in Portsmouth in 1812, Dickens was one of six children. The family fell into debt, and whilst his family were in Marshalsea debtors prison Dickens worked to reduce the debt. These experiences inspired many of his novels.

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