During the winter of 2002, we decided that we would like to go to England to visit cathedrals. This was the first trip that has resulted in our CATHEDRAL QUEST and has led to, presently, seven trips to explore 133 of the great churches of Europe.
We decided that we would take our English trip on our own rather than an organized tour. Not wanting to drive “on the wrong side of the road”, we planned on traveling from town to town on the train. With the help of a travel agent and the internet, we made all of our hotel reservations.
As a docent at the Washington Cathedral, I had given some private, behind the scenes tours. I wrote to St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey in London, Canterbury, Salisbury, Bath, Wells and Winchester Cathedrals and told them that I was an Episcopal Priest and a docent at the Washington Cathedral and would like to have a private tour. I had responses from all of them.
This preface is an overview of this trip. I will soon add our daily adventures in great detail, histories and observations of all the churches, other attractions that we visited, hotels and restaurants that we enjoyed.
We began our CATHEDRAL QUEST in London with a private tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sunday service at Westminster Abbey and other London attractions. We took the train to Canterbury where we stayed at a unique hotel on the cathedral grounds. My letter resulted in an unbelievable tour of Canterbury Cathedral. While in Canterbury, we took the train to Leed’s Castle for an interesting visit. We returned to London to change trains for Salisbury. Salisbury Cathedral was magnificent and our special three hour private tour was extremely detailed and fascinating. We took at side trip on a bus to Stonehenge. From Salisbury, we rode the train to Bath. After settling in our hotel, we boarded a local bus – great fun! – to Wells for a wonderful experience at Wells Cathedral. Back in Bath, we had an exceptional tour of Bath Abbey, and were blessed to be there to celebrate a very special Palm Sunday service, complete with a donkey. We took the train back to London with one more night before we boarded the plane for home.