The Pilgrims’ Way

The Pilgrims’ Way
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To Canterbury from Winchester and London
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Leigh Hatts
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This guidebook describes an ancient pilgrimage route in southern England from Winchester in Hampshire, or Southwark, London to Canterbury, a 138 mile walk through wood and farmland, with views across the Weald. Divided into stages of about 10 miles, with route summary and information on public transport, accommodation and places of interest.

This guidebook details the Pilgrims' Way, an historic pilgrimage route to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, home of the shrine of the martyred archbishop, St Thomas Becket. The route is described both from Winchester in Hampshire (138 miles) and London's Southwark Cathedral (90¼ miles), with an optional spur to Rochester Cathedral. With relatively easy walking on ancient byways, the route from Winchester is presented in 15 stages of 5-14 miles: it can be comfortably completed in under a fortnight. It follows a major chalk ridge through scenic countryside, taking in characterful towns and villages and historic churches. The route from Southwark is described in 10 stages and includes a visit to the ruined Lesnes Abbey. Detailed route description is accompanied by 1:50,000 OS mapping, advice on making the most of a trip and information on the historical background to the pilgrimage, key historical figures and local points of interest. Accommodation listings and details of facilities and transport links can be found in the appendices. Pilgrimages to Becket's shrine began within a few years of the his death in 1170, although Canterbury was a popular destination even before this time due to the nearby shrine of St Augustine. The route has featured in literature, drama and film, and forms the setting for Geoffrey Chaucer's famous Middle English work, The Canterbury Tales.

Map keyRoute Summary TableOverview mapIntroductionHistory of the WayRenewed interestHistorical figures along the WayVariations to the WayWalking the WayWhen to walkWhere to stayRefreshmentsWaymarkingMapsUsing this guideWinchester to CanterburyStage 1 Winchester to AlresfordStage 2 Alresford to AltonStage 3 Alton to FarnhamStage 4 Farnham to GuildfordStage 5 Guildford to Box HillStage 6 Box Hill to MersthamStage 7 Merstham to OxtedStage 8 Oxted to OtfordStage 9 Otford to WrothamStage 10 Wrotham to HallingStage 11 Halling to AylesfordStage 11a Peters Village to RochesterStage 12 Aylesford to HarrietshamStage 13 Harrietsham to Boughton LeesStage 14 Boughton Lees to ChilhamStage 15 Chilham to CanterburyLondon RouteStage 1a Southwark to Shooters HillStage 2a Shooters Hill to DartfordStage 3a Dartford to OtfordAppendix A Itinerary plannerAppendix B AccommodationAppendix C Further informationAppendix D Further reading

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