We know the UK for its style, food, and culture, but only a few people know about its spiritual relevance and sacred heritage. While there isn’t the Vatican within the region, several sites still exist that had and may still have high spiritual significance to the ancestors of the UK.
A visit to these sacred sites would reveal what the ancestors of the land believed in that shaped their values and religious inclination. Tread carefully because some spirits may be awaiting you. It’s time to adopt a mystic mind as we examine the five most sacred and spiritual sites in the UK.
1. The Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, Norfolk
Talk of a shrine church, and you have this elegant edifice of Walsingham, housing The Shrine of Our Lady. Stories about this place are pulsating, but we’ll try to recap it briefly.
Tradition has it that Lady Richeldis, a pious English woman, was visited by the Virgin Mary in an apparition. During the encounter, the Virgin Mary took Richeldis to Nazareth and showed her where she lived before Angel Gabriel came to tell her she would birth Jesus. At the end of the spiritual experience, The Virgin Mary asked her to reproduce a replica of the abode in her town.
Long story short, the imitation was ready by 1061 and soon became a pilgrimage site for people, including royals from far and near.
Still standing today after a wholesome refurbishment, pilgrims swear the location has restorative powers, enhances spiritual cleansing, and can heal sicknesses. You’ll have a chance to validate this claim after moving to the UK.
2. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
No one can say for sure what took place in this mystic location. But one thing no one can argue is that there is always a sort of awe that comes upon anyone staring at these mammoth stones.
How about a hundred pieces of stone — 30-tonne sarsen from Marlborough, 25km away and 4-tonne bluestones from Preseli Hills in southwest Wales, a site 240km away — somehow found their way to this location in neolithic times remains a mystery. Who brought them there? Perhaps a group of giants? Maybe the gods themselves?
As to its purpose, we may never find out. Nevertheless, Stonehenge remains the site of solstice celebrations yearly by locals and curious ones.
3. Holy Island, Lindisfarne
Fully designated as the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the tidal island is off the coast of Northumberland. The site has religious significance to Celtic Christians, as a couple of their saints resided there.
St. Aidan, the founder of this site, began the Lindisfarne Monastery in 635 BC. It was upon this ground that the Lindisfarne Gospels was written. It is a 7th-century illuminated Latin manuscript. Saint Cuthbert took over after the demise of St. Aidan.
Frequent Viking disturbances caused the monasteries to be abandoned for about four centuries before they came alive again. While the location is now modern, its history and structures are highly revered.
4. The Isle of Iona
The Scottish Island may not be much in size, but it has a massive influence on the surrounding areas. Christians in the surrounding areas have St Columba to thank for sailing the arduous waters with a few others to take this island. Monasteries built here became pilgrimage sites to many faithfuls in the UK for many years.
Although the isle is more regarded as a tourist location today, Christian outreaches still organize pilgrimages to the site to connect with their history. In place of the monasteries now stand the 12th-century abbey church. Many gather there to reflect and meditate on the sacrifices of the monks that brought them their faith.
5. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
If you have UK citizenship, you can visit several sacred sites, including Glastonbury Tor, in Somerset. The Celtic mythology even mentioned this location. Legend has it that the site is the resting place of King Arthur and his wife. For this reason alone, many people regard it as a pilgrimage site. Ancient dwellers rever Tor as the gateway to Avalon — the Land of the fairies, or the dead, as some prefer to call it.
In modern times, Tor and other sites in Glastonbury are significant with the Goddess Movement — a spiritual belief that emerged from North America and Western Europe, elevating femininity. The well near Chalice Hill’s apex symbolizes the female menstrual flow!
Also, among the buildings discovered on this site are Christian structures, perceived to have been hermitages. There are suggestions insinuating that this site is a possible location of the Holy Grail. That claim alone is a crowd-puller to the Christian faithful.
Ancient history is full of mythical beliefs and spiritual undertones. Luckily, there are remnants of those ages for us to see and deliberate what things really felt like back then. The beauty of sacredness and spirituality is revealed in the awe these places hold in visitors’ eyes. From the implied gateway to the land of the dead to rocks with incredible origins, and the beauty of sacredness and spirituality.
The UK has several such sacred places that can boost your spiritual energy, making it a destination for believers, atheists, and agnostics alike.