Follow in the footsteps of Shardlake by staying in an historic monastery

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The popular Shardlake series of novels follows a crime-solving lawyer’s adventures during the Reformation. They have now won many new admirers, thanks to the popularity of the hit Disney+ TV series ‘Shardlake’.

In the series of books by the English historian C. J. Sansom, and the new TV show (starring Arthur Hughes as Shardlake and Sean Bean as the brooding Lord Cromwell), Shardlake navigates controversial religious reforms and political intrigues while solving a perplexing series of murders.

A leading travel expert says that Shardlake’s growing legions of fans can still experience some of the remarkable atmosphere of the books and TV series by staying in genuine monasteries and convents in Britain. Moreover, they can stay in countries such as Austria, where some of the new series is filmed.

Lily Smith, a leading travel expert from Monasteries.com, says: ‘If you’re attracted to the peace and calm of the close-knit community conjured by monasteries, you will be pleased to learn that many religious institutions still survive in Britain and welcome visitors.

‘Despite its alarming crime rate, even the monastery in Shardlake’s remote (and fictional) south coast town of Scansea contains many pious and spiritual characters. It’s wonderful to sample the atmosphere such places must have conjured in the 16th century. Many of today’s monasteries, convents and theological colleges are still in the heart of historic Christian sites. For example, Sarum College is just opposite Salisbury’s awe-inspiring cathedral.

‘Spoiler alert! Tragically for lovers of historic buildings, Cromwell’s Reformation destroyed many of the UK’s most notable monasteries and abbeys. That’s one of the reasons why the TV series was largely filmed in Hungary, Romania and Austria. Excitingly, through Monastaries.com you can also stay at places such as the historic Gästehaus Des Deutschen Ordens, opposite the medieval St Stephens Cathedral. It’s just a 25-minute drive to the jaw-dropping Kreuzenstein Castle, where much of the TV series is filmed. Gästehaus des Deutschen Ordens combines 18th-century ambience with modern amenities.

‘Perhaps contrary to expectation, visitors are not required to be of a religious background. Booking a stay in an abbey or monastery is surprisingly easy. The unique accommodation site Monasteries.com focuses on providing a booking platform for European religious orders with stays across mainland Europe, Great Britain and Ireland.

‘There’s much more information about locations and how to book at https://www.monasteries.com/en-GB/top-tips-for-staying-in-monasteries

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