Winchester - Canterbury : Pilgrims Way  


                                                                      Winchester - Canterbury : Pilgrims Way


  Hampshire, Kent, Surrey

  214 km / 133 miles.The Pilgrims' Way is an ancient track between Winchester and Canterbury. It is an historic pilgrimage route to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, home of the shrine of the martyred archbishop, St Thomas Becket. For much of its length it is coincident with the St Swithun's or North Downs Ways.


  From Winchester, the St Swithun's Way seeks to trace the pilgrim routes to Farnham in what is now a busy transport corridor.

From Farnham, the Pilgrims' Way is mainly coincident with much of the North Downs Way National Trail. The North Downs Way follows the crest of the southern escarpment of the North Downs or footpaths and tracks along their lower slopes while the Pilgrims' Way often keeps to the springline. There are views over the Weald to the South Downs and several steepish ascents where the ridge is cut by valleys, notably those of the Mole at Box Hill, the Darent at Otford, the Medway at Rochester, and the Stour near Wye.


  These routes mostly provides fairly easy walking through woods, over chalk grassland, minor roads and, especially in Kent, through orchards and farmland.


  The Cicerone book below by Leigh Hatts describes both a route from Winchester in Hampshire (138 miles) and from London's Southwark Cathedral (90 miles), with an optional spur to Rochester Cathedral. With relatively easy walking on ancient byways, the route from Winchester is presented in 15 stages. The route from Southwark is described in 10 stages and includes a visit to the ruined Lesnes Abbey.

  - Guidebook     Walking the Pilgrims' Way : to Canterbury from Winchester and London  (Cicerone Press  - 2017 )


  The route's naming varies in using an apostrophe (or none) - as Pilgrims' or Pilgrim's or Pilgrims. The first form is used here for consistency, although "Pilgrim's" is used on Ordnance Survey maps. See the Aurum (Colin Saunders) book (page 24) for more information on this, as well as the history and origins of this route and its extension into Europe, the Via Francigena to Rome.









  retour à R.Uni Sud-Est


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