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.

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

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.

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.

11 churches

DavidIliff
GreaterLondonSOHONotreDameFrance(diliffCC-BY-SA3.0)1

European churches

As one of the biggest and most visited cities in the world, many European communities have built or use churches in the London (and across the UK). Multicultural, blending the most diverse languages, traditions and cultures, London is home to many. If you’re visiting from Europe, there’s a little bit of home here.

13 churches

PatrickRoper
SussexSEDLESCOMBEStJohnBaptist(patrickroperCC-BY-2.0)2

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.

12 churches

LISTNurseryRhymes(PUBLICHDOMAIN)1

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!

8 churches

LISTQueenVictoria(royalcollectionPUBLICDOMAIN)1

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.

6 items

MatFascione
NottinghamshireCLARBOROUGHStJohnBaptist(matfascioneCC-BY-SA2.0)1

Pilgrims heartland

One journey links four nations, spans 400 years of history and connects millions of people. Discover the origins of the Separatists, through five leading passengers on the Mayflower in 1620.

Help support ExploreChurches by becoming a Friend of the National Churches Trust