Hailes Abbey

The Cotswolds

Now lying in ruins 3 miles northeast of Winchcombe, this 13th-century Cistercian abbey was once, thanks to a long-running medieval scam, one of England’s main pilgrimage centres. The abbey was said – by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, among others – to possess a vial of Christ’s blood. Until that was denounced during the Reformation as containing no more than coloured water, thousands of pilgrims contributed to the abbey’s wealth. Free audio guides lead visitors around.