Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve

Confirmed for BBC Two on 10 December at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 2/3

Tuesday 10 December



In the second episode of new BBC Two series Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve, Simon discovers how some ancient pilgrimage routes have come back to life and are being followed by modern pilgrims today, and endeavours to find out what motivates the modern pilgrim - religious devotion or the thrill of the adventure?

The golden age of pilgrimage in Europe lasted for 500 years to the early 16th century and helped to shape much of Europe. To see how pilgrimage still helps to shape the continent, Simon visits northern France, where for centuries British pilgrims have arrived in mainland Europe to begin epic treks across the continent through to northern Spain. He then ventures on to the Camino, a route that has come back to life and is now one of the busiest in Europe. The route climbs over the Pyrenees, winds through Northern Spain and finishes in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela.

Next, Simon heads east to Switzerland and undertakes one of the oldest and most perilous pilgrim routes in Europe - The Great St Bernard Pass - a route which at 8,000 feet high has claimed the lives of many pilgrims over the centuries, including at least one Pope. Finally, Simon arrives in Rome. Nowadays, people travel to Rome in their millions for all sorts of reasons, but what really drew people in the past was an incredible collection of relics that was housed there.

After travelling across Europe, Simon has seen the powerful effects that these holy places have had on pilgrims, but he’s also realised that for those who follow a pilgrims path, it’s not just about reaching the journeys end but also about what they discover about themselves along the way.