- Canterbury : Pilgrims Way
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.
Winchester, the St Swithun's Way seeks to trace the
pilgrim routes to Farnham in what is now a busy transport
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.
routes mostly provides fairly easy walking through woods,
over chalk grassland, minor roads and, especially in
Kent, through orchards and farmland.
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
Guidebook Walking the Pilgrims'
Way : to Canterbury from Winchester and London (Cicerone
Press - 2017 )
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.
at wanadoo.fr - 00/00/2021