On This Holy Island: A Modern Pilgrimage Across Britain


By Oliver Smith (Author)
Format: Hardback 256 pages, 10 black and white interior photos
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Imprint: Bloomsbury Continuum
ISBN: 9781399409032
Published: 28 Mar 2024
Weight: 446g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 29 (mm)

Acclaimed travel writer Oliver Smith sets out to radically reframe our idea of ‘pilgrimage’ in Britain by retracing sacred travel made across time, from murmurs of ritual journeys in the depths of Ice Age to new pilgrimages of the 21st century. He embarks on an epic adventure across sacred British landscapes – climbing into remote sea caves, sleeping inside Neolithic tombs, scaling forgotten holy mountains and once marooning himself at sea. Following holy roads to churches, cathedrals and standing stones, this evocative and enlightening travelogue explores places prehistoric, pagan and Christian, but also reveals how football stadiums and music festivals have become contemporary places of pilgrimage.

The routes walked are often ancient, the pilgrims he meets are always modern. But underpinning the book is a timeless truth: that making journeys has always been a way of making meaning. So often, Oliver finds, “the unravelling of a path goes in tandem with the unravelling of the soul.”

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