Well, much as I enjoy smells and bells, it's not that. Two things do it for me. The healing and the place. Walsingham and its holy well has always been associated with healing and the Sunday afternoon liturgy with sprinkling, laying on of hands and anointing gets me every time at a level and in a way that processions of the statue (aka taking mother for a walk!) and even Benediction doesn't. And this year there will be a lot of things for me to take there for healing and prayer. Losing dad, Mum and my depression/booze problems - tomorrow is Father's Day and the 1st time I haven't had to remember not to forget to buy a present, as all those damn posters keep reminding me - the Anglican Communion, a friend of a friend who has just lost the twins she was carrying, Jessie in Palliative care, Burma. There's also the thanks to offer. I've stayed off the sauce since Ash Wednesday. The odd coincidence is I went to Walsingham that very weekend and asked OL for help. And I'm still sober. "Inspired by her example and aided by her prayers".
And there is the place. Like Iona and Taize it is, as George MacLeod described it, a thin place. I do love it and its atmosphere. I took these pics in February which might help to explain it a bit.
The Abbey ruins.
Snowdrops in spring
The River Stiffkey (pronounced "Stewkey")
It has been one of my touching places for nearly 20 years. That's why I go back.