As part of the Canterbury Pilgrim’s Festival, there will be a series of organised walks led by experienced guides along Canterbury’s pilgrimage routes. The walks offer a range of distances and experiences.
Guided walk through Canterbury on the Augustine Camino
Lead: The Augustine Camino (augustinecamino.co.uk)
A guided walk through Canterbury to see some of the lesser known pilgrimage highlights including the old leper hospital at Harbledown, the relics of Saints Thomas More and Thomas Becket and St Martin’s Church, the oldest in continuous use in the English speaking world. The route follows the path of the Augustine Camino on its way from Rochester to the Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate. Augustine Camino guidebooks and Pilgrim Passports will be available to buy price £5.99.
The walk will start at St Nicholas Hospital Harbledown at 1pm and finish at 3.30pm at St Martin’s. The distance is about 2 miles easy walking.
The cost is £10. Register
First Steps on the Way to Rome
Canterbury to Shepherdswell on The Via Francigena (12 miles)
lead: Catherine Lloyd (Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome)
Join us on the first leg of the Via Francigena which is the Pilgrim Route from Canterbury to Rome, and one of the Council of Europe’s older and more established Cultural Routes. Our 10.4 mile (17.2 km) walk will start at the Zero Kilometre Stone by the West Door of Canterbury Cathedral at 8.45am, and we will walk to Shepherdswell, returning by train, just in time for the Pilgrim Supper in Canterbury at 5pm.
After a blessing at the Zero stone, our journey will take in the three elements of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, the Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church, where there will be a brief stop before we set off out of the suburbs of Canterbury towards Patrixbourne with refreshments and a short talk about the fascinating and ancient St Mary’s Church. The Church is renowned for its Norman architecture, particularly the fine South Door and Wheel Window and for its Swiss Stained Glass.
From Patrixbourne, our journey takes us through fields, before arriving at Womenswold, where we till stop for lunch at the Church of St Margaret of Antioch, and then on to the last leg of the walk through rolling open countryside to Shepherdswell and St Andrew’s Church. We will return to Canterbury by train, arriving at Canterbury East, where we can walk back around the City walls to St Paul’s Church and the Pilgrim Supper (for those who would like to join the pilgrim feast, please register here).
The walk is fairly easy, on well-established paths of the Elham Valley walk and North Downs Way, and it will be a relaxed and informative day, with plenty of opportunities to stop, and to get to know fellow pilgrims.
The cost of the walk is £8, and will include your Via Francigena Passport, your train ticket from Shepherdswell back to Canterbury, and a simple lunch at Womenswold. Please bring some change for donations for teas and coffees at our other stops. The weather should be lovely, but you can never tell, so please come with sturdy comfortable footwear, sunscreen, a hat, and a waterproof coat, to cover all eventualities! Register SOLD OUT!
The Walk is being led by Catherine Lloyd, former Green Pilgrimage Officer with the Diocese of Canterbury, Canterbury resident, and European Cultural Route enthusiast. She will be bringing her famous flapjacks, which are guaranteed to boost energy levels along the way!
Chilham to Canterbury on The Pilgrim’s Way
Lead: Walk-Awhile (www.walkawhile.com)
Half Day Walk- Saturday 15th June 2019- 9:30 until 14:30- £5
Guided walk from Chilham to Canterbury along the North Downs Way and Pilgrims’ Way (7.8 miles). Option of train at 9:05 from Canterbury West to Chilham train station on Saturday morning (Chilham square is a five minute walk from the station). Packed lunch required.
Starting in Chilham square at 9:30, the group will be briefly appraised of both Hilaire Belloc’s and Julia Cartwright’s Pilgrimage routes to Canterbury and will be made aware of the Victorian and Edwardian revival of interest in the Pilgrims’ Way. The walk follows the Pilgrims’ Way through rural Kent, with discussion on key points of interest along the way. Before a midday picnic stop in No Man’s Orchard, we will pass through the villages of Old Wives’ Lees and Chartham Hatch, in landscape evocative of the Garden of England with its rustic oast houses, hop gardens, orchards and woodland. We will visit Bigbury Camp earthworks, an iron-age hill fort where Caesar defeated the British tribes in 54 BC, along with the village of Harbledown, which Chaucer referred to as Bobbe-up-and-down in the Canterbury Tales as his Pilgrims made their way to Canterbury. Estimated arrival at Canterbury Cathedral between 14:00 and 15:00.
Tickets £5 each Register
Walk guided by Jack Bright from Walk Awhile Walking Holidays, a local family run walking tour operator. Walk Awhile has been organising walks and undertaking research on the Pilgrims’ Way and North Downs Way since 2001.
Charing to St. Paul’s Church Canterbury (19 miles or 8 miles)
Lead: Charing Palace Trust (www.charingpalace.org/)
The group will leave from outside Charing’s Archbishop’s Place (TN27 0LP) and walk along the North Downs Way to Canterbury, passing through Chilham and Chartham. The walk is about 19 miles and will take approximately 8 hours at a leisurely pace. Please bring a packed lunch as we will eat en route. When we arrive at St Paul’s Church we will join other walkers for refreshment. For walkers who don’t feel they can make the distance they can walk to Chilham (about 8 miles) and catch a train to Canterbury.
Start time: 8am
If you would like to join, or require more information, contact Keith Adams (07940 583184) or email Keith@charingpalace.org