Travel through the countryside of this corner of “unknown England” enjoying a personally guided visit to some of the main sites associated with the 1620 Pilgrims in one easy trip. Then travel to Lincoln with its medieval quarter, home to its ancient castle and cathedral, one of Europe’s finest.
Where? The Pilgrims’ homelands of Gainsborough and North Nottinghamshire (including Lincoln)
Tour provider Brackenbury's Britain
Experience the churches of Scrooby, Austerfield and Babworth used by Williams Brewster and Bradford and enjoy a guided tour of Gainsborough Old Hall, virtually unchanged since medieval times and former home of William and Rose Hickman.
In Lincoln visit the Castle and Cathedral where, if time allows, take part in Evensong sung by the Cathedral’s world-famous choir.
The picturesque church of All Saints and known as the “Church in the Wood” 400 years later. The parish living was held by Richard Clyfton, minister and spiritual leader to the early Separatists in the time of their repression. A footpath to the north of the church is still marked as the “Pilgrims’ Way.”
A village seen by many as the true Pilgrims’ home as the birthplace of William Brewster, leader of the Mayflower pilgrims. View the medieval church of St Wilfrid and see some 16th century benches, (one known as “Brewster’s Pew.”) See the site of his home (note visits not possible)
First, a brief visit to Gainsborough Steps adjacent to the River Trent from where it is thought the Separatists first started their journey to Holland.
Then visit Gainsborough Old Hall, a glorious original half-timbered medieval hall and former home of the colourful family of William and Rose Hickman who allowed the Separatists a place of worship. Guided tour followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea.
Travel to Lincoln for a short walk through “Uphill Lincoln” before visiting Lincoln Castle and its vault containing an original version of “Magna Carta.”
Leaving the Castle’s turreted gatehouse, walk across a cobbled square to the magnificent gothic Cathedral. Thought by many experts to be the finest in England, the cathedral has a fantastic hill-top setting. If time allows, there are few better ways to experience its sense of history by staying for the service of Evensong by the Cathedral Choir in the aptly named “Angel Choir.”
Admission tickets for Cathedral and Castle (currently £18 per head to visit both) and are payable on the day
Gainsborough Old Hall
About Brackenbury’s Britain
Launched in 2014, Brackenbury’s Britain specialises in cultural and walking tours, led by Richard Brackenbury, lifetime Nottinghamshire resident with an extensive knowledge of this region of England. He is a law graduate of Cambridge University (and although 400 years later than William Brewster, from a neighbouring college!)
As chair of Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust, Richard has a real enthusiasm for the area’s ancient churches as well as its wider history and culture which he delights in sharing with his guests in a light-hearted and entertaining way.
Up to 8 hours
Recommended group size
Price per person
£780 net for up to 8 people (£97.50 pp net of commission)
£175.00 (travelling with guide in own self- drive)
£18 payable on the day for Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral
Pick up location, distance from train station
Retford is on the main east coast line station and is just 2 miles from Babworth and 12 miles from Gainsborough.
Refreshments and meals
Afternoon cream tea included
Special equipment needed
Sensible walking shoes and waterproof coat
Availability Frequency and Advance Booking
Year round. Min. of 14 days advance booking but always call!
Accessibility considerations and facilities
Fully accessible though cobbles and steps are crossed
Fitness Level (low, moderate or high)
Low to moderate
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