Inspiring Itineraries

Six of the best abbeys for groups

Ravaged by King Henry VIII in the 16th century, many of England’s monasteries and priories survive only as evocative ruins. But they still bear testament to a time when they were home to vibrant communities at the heart of medieval life.

A visit to one of our monastic sites will give your group vivid insights into religious life in medieval England. They'll discover more about how monks and nuns lived, prayed and worked, and about how they interacted with wider society.

1. 1066 Battle of Hasting, Abbey and Battlefield

Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0AD

Built by William the Conqueror, the abbey ruins are part of this must-see battlefield site. An exhibition in the still-complete abbey gatehouse explores monastic life in the centuries following England’s most famous battle.

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2. Hailes Abbey

Hailes, Gloucestershire, GL54 5PB

Visit the museum to discover the treasures of Hailes, uncovering stories of the monks who lived and worshipped at the abbey.

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3. Lindisfarne Priory

Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2RX

Standing serenely on remote Holy Island, the priory was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.

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4. Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens

Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 3JG

Your group can explore the designed gardens, an arts and crafts mansion and the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb garden before stopping by the delightful café.

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5. Rievaulx Abbey

Nr Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LB

Visit the most extensive monastic remains in Britain in a picturesque and peaceful setting, with fine views from the contemporary café.

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6. Whitby Abbey

Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4JT

Explore hauntingly beautiful ruins, famous for its fictional links with Count Dracula and as the place where the future of the English church was decided in 664.

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