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Celebrities take a journey of a lifetime. They all have different faiths and beliefs - will stepping in ancient footsteps on a spiritual journey broaden minds?

Genres: Adventure | Travel
Station: BBC iPlayer (GB)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 2018-03-16

Pilgrimage Season 4 Air Dates

S04E01 - Episode 1 Air Date: 08 April 2022 20:00 -

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Seven celebrities of differing faiths and beliefs set out in search of St Columba, an Irish monk born 1,500 years ago who helped spread Christianity from Ireland to Scotland.

S04E02 - Episode 2 Air Date: 08 April 2022 20:00 -

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Nick, Laurence, Scarlett, Monty, Louisa, and Shazia are on their final day in Derry Londonderry, when the delayed 7th pilgrim arrives. Jetting in from the Paralympics in Japan, table tennis legend, Will Bayley, happily completes the pilgrim band.

As the pilgrims prepare for a demanding walk from Portstewart, 77-year-old Nick and injured Scarlett, who has a bad leg, take a rain check and offer to shop for the evening meal. Shazia, Monty, Laurence, Will and Louisa head off on an exposed clifftop trail, which leads them to their basic overnight accommodation, a bothy, located at the foot of a perilously steep path.

As they start setting up their beds for the night – blowing up mattresses on a concrete floor - Nick and Scarlett arrive by boat. Over dinner, the group learn more about Will, whose grandfather was a vicar, and Monty questions Laurence about his faith, or lack of it, which ignites a healthy debate.

It's the first time the pilgrims have all shared a room: it turns out there are two snorers, and nobody gets much sleep.

The pilgrims leave Northern Ireland behind them and set sail across the North Channel to western Scotland and join the Kintyre Way. Keen to trace Columba's footsteps, they make tracks to Dunadd Fort, where Columba is thought to have visited the local king. In torrential wind and rain, everyone but Scarlett, who is still struggling with her leg, eventually makes it to the top.

Continuing their search of the mighty monk, not far from the fort is an extraordinary ancient place of worship. Saint Columba's Cave is hidden in nature, and some of the pilgrims take communion with a local Episcopalian priest. Scarlett is moved by Shazia's knowledge of the Christian faith.

The long walks encourage the pilgrims to exchange confidences, and Monty and Scarlett discuss their shared experiences of trolling and the pain it caused them both. That evening the pilgrims reach the village of Achahoish and are welcomed by the local minister and his congregation. Before the pilgrims bunk down for the night amongst the pews, a prayer triggers emotional childhood memories in Will.

After an early start and limited sleep, the pilgrims head further north into the highlands. Following the Glen Way, they make tracks for Loch Ness to investigate the much-told legendary tale of the monster and St Columba, who are said to have come face to face on the lake's shores. At the hostel that evening, Louisa shares her Jewish faith by cooking a traditional Friday night dinner for her fellow pilgrims.

S04E03 - Episode 3 Air Date: 08 April 2022 20:00 -

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In this third and final episode, the pilgrims head north east to Moray on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. Their first stop is Pluscarden Abbey, Britain's only working medieval monastery. Keen to see how these current-day Benedictine monks live and work, the pilgrims stay overnight and sample some of the routines of monastic life, which include helping with domestic duties. As they question the monks about their life choices, Monty, Louisa, Will and Nick fruit pick in the orchards, while Lawrence, Shazia and Scarlett start cooking dinner. But over supper, and after attending a service conducted in Latin, the group's first proper argument erupts over a few misplaced words.

By the following morning, all tensions are forgotten, and the pilgrims head off to Forres, a nearby ancient town dating back to around AD900. Louisa, Shazia, Scarlett and Will discover the Witches Stone, a memorial to so-called witches killed in the area during the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, Lawrence, Monty and Nick seek out Sueno's Stone, a famous Christian Pictish monument thought to be evidence that, three centuries after Columba's death, Christianity had reached the territory inhabited by pagan Picts.

The pilgrims head west across the Highlands and catch a ferry to the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Lewis. In Stornoway, Shazia takes the chance to pray at Britain's northern-most mosque, taking Nick and Louisa with her. After the service, they're invited to stay for tea when they find out more about this small, friendly Muslim community. Once reunited with the other pilgrims, they head to the Calanais Stones, which are older than Stonehenge. While Lawrence ponders how Columba would have reacted to these pagan megaliths, Shazia shares that with any place of pilgrimage, its significance is not what it is, but the faith you have in it.

The pilgrims then start heading back south on the Scottish mainland towards the Inner Hebrides. On the way, they stop off for a wet and wild walk in Glen Nevis in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, and with Columba's Isle now only two days away, their thoughts start turning to the end of their pilgrimage and their own personal spiritual journeys.

Another ferry ride gets them to the Isle of Mull - just a hop away from Iona - and their last overnight stop, where they sit down together to celebrate their journey and Columba. Early the following morning, day 15 of their pilgrimage, local boatmen take them on the final leg of their pilgrimage, from Mull to the tiny island of Iona.

The current abbey on Iona was founded in the 13th century over the foundations of Columba's original 6th-century monastery, but it was Columba's settlement which made Iona an island famed for its scholarship and culture. The pilgrims visit the shrine where it's most likely Columba was buried, and a last walk to the hill of Iona brings about an emotional farewell to their pilgrimage, with the final words belonging to Nick, who salutes the memory of Columba and his achievements.

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