Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve

Confirmed for BBC Two on 3 December at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 1/3

Tuesday 3 December



For centuries, pilgrimage was one of the greatest adventures on Earth, involving epic journeys across the country and around the world, and new BBC Two series Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve sees Simon retrace the exciting adventures of our ancestors.

He meets inspirational modern travellers, sees extraordinary sights and learns about the forgotten aspects of pilgrimage, including the vice, thrills and danger that awaited travellers. He explores the faith, the hopes, desires, and even the food that helped to keep Medieval Britons and more recent travellers on the road.

In the first episode, Simon embarks on a 500-mile journey beginning at one of the earliest sites of Christian pilgrimage in Britain, the island of Lindisfarne. He retraces the footsteps of some of Britain’s first Christians to Canterbury who made the journey some 1,300 years ago.

Such Medieval travellers believed that journeys of endurance, suffering and sacrifice to a holy site would help them find a place in heaven. But Simon discovers the inspiration behind pilgrimage has not always been religious devotion and piety and was often a chance for long-suffering peasants to get away from a life of drudgery and explore their land.

On his way from the Holy Island in the North to the shrine of Thomas Beckett at Canterbury, Simon explores the vast network of pilgrimage sites across Britain. His first stop is to Lincoln Cathedral, then on to the remote village of Walshingham in Norfolk, where he joins thousands of people on an annual pilgrimage.

Next stop, London - once the gateway of pilgrims heading to Canterbury - and Simon discovers why so many visitors stopped at London Bridge. And for the final leg of his journey, Simon joins a group of Chaucer enthusiasts as he trails the route from London to Canterbury made famous by the Canterbury Tales.