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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.

12 churches

HampshireSOUTHHAYLINGStMary(petertrimming)1

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.

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!

23 items

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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.

11 churches

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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

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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.

6 churches

GreaterLondonCITYOFLONDONStMaryWoolnoth(flickr)1

Nicholas Hawksmoor

Nicholas Hawksmoor (probably 1661 to 25 March 1736) was an English architect and a leading figure of the English Baroque style. He was responsible for six new churches in London, each different, each unique. They are his best known independent works of architecture, are unusual and well worth visiting!

8 churches

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King Arthur

Where does the legend come from? The adventures of the legendary King Arthur, with his Round Table Fellowship of Knights based in the mythical city of Camelot, were told and retold between the 11th and 15th centuries in hundreds of manuscripts in at least a dozen languages. They are still told to this day. Why has Arthur remained so important to us and why are there so many places associated with him?

18 items

LincolnshireERMINEStJohnBaptist(flickr)3

100 years

In the 20th century concrete and steel gave a new freedom to construction. Dynamic churches in dramatic shapes of all sizes were built, thanks to ambitious engineering and brilliant colour from new forms of stained glass, murals and sculpture.

12 churches

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Nursery rhymes

From lullabies to drinking songs and proverbs to plague, rhyming ditties for children take many forms. From a variety of sources, including traditional riddles, proverbs, ballads, lines of Mummers plays, drinking songs and historical events. If you dig a little deeper they might also reference plague, medieval taxes, religious persecution, prostitution!

36 churches

LincolnshireFRIESTHORPEStPeter(angelamayne)1

Snowdrops

Head out on a crisp day to explore frosty landscapes and enjoy beautiful displays. Lots of churchyards have swathes of snowdrops, but some also welcome intrepid spring seekers with open days, tours, hot cups of steaming tea and coffee and yummy cake. Ordered by county so you can find which is closest to you!

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