Celtic Christian Sites in Ireland and Great Britain

Glendalough (Tourism Ireland photo)

A number of years ago, my husband and I found ourselves on a somewhat unlikely pilgrimage when we lived for five months in the Yorkshire Dales of northern England. It was unlikely in that we didn’t even realize until halfway through our time there that we were on a spiritual journey.

But the longer we stayed, the more we found ourselves drawn to the many holy sites scattered across Great Britain and Ireland. Some of these sites were pre-Christian in origin: standing stones, dolmens, and passage graves that date back thousands of years before the coming of Christianity. Others were associated with the rich flowering of Christianity that took place in the British Isles between the sixth and eleventh centuries. Places like Iona in Scotland, Glendalough in Ireland, and Lindisfarne in England were deeply moving to us both.

In the years since then, I’ve come to have even greater respect for the richness of early Celtic Christianity. I’m not alone in my appreciation for this intriguing chapter of Christian history, for Celtic spirituality is being rediscovered by growing numbers of seekers today.

Celtic Christianity had a number of distinctive features. Its hallmarks included a deep love for nature, an emphasis on the constant presence of God, an artistic flowering, and an appreciation for the practice of pilgrimage.

To Learn More

 

Follow the links below to learn more about Celtic Christianity. I also invite you to read my book Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles and God, which is a memoir told through trips to a dozen holy sites around the world. One of the chapters focuses on Celtic spiritual traditions.

 

 

History of Celtic Christianity

Scotland’s Iona

Ireland’s Glendalough

England’s Lindisfarne

 

Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of the Near the Exit: Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.

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