Pilgrims have been coming to Bury St Edmunds for over 1000 years.  The shrine of Saint Edmund attracted pilgrims from near and far until the closure of the Abbey of St Edmund in 1539 at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The present day Cathedral, in its role as a parish church, has the dedication of St James, patron saint of pilgrims.


Today (in normal times) the Cathedral continues to welcome pilgrims from across the world. In particular parishes from the Diocese visit on Sunday afternoons to enjoy a pilgrimage around the building before Evensong.


The Cathedral also organises walking pilgrimages from time to time.

Pilgrimages of Song are organised by the Cantus Firmus Trust as part of the Cathedral’s InHarmony project.

Virtual Pilgrimage


For pilgrims who cannot make the physical journey, we are pleased to offer two virtual resources.

Pilgrimage routes to Bury St Edmunds

A new series of routes which lead to the Abbey ruins in Bury St Edmunds.

Enjoy them safely (following current lockdown guidance and restrictions).


Walk the Pilgrims’ way from the south Starts from Hardwick Heath (1.5 miles) Map included.


Walk the Pilgrims’ Way from the north Starts from the railway station or St Saviour’s (1/25 miles) Map included.


Other routes will follow in 2021.

Further information on pilgrimage can be found on the websites of the East Anglian Pilgrimage network

and the British Pilgrimage Trust (including a one day route from St Edmundsbury Cathedral)