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Five British Walking Pilgrim Trails (Guardian article)

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019

How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails

This article discusses the nature of pilgrimage and introduces five pilgrim trails in Britain, with links to sites with more information:
  • St Magnus Way
  • Whitby Way
  • Peak District Old Stones Way
  • North Wales Pilgrims Way
  • Old Way, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent
Who among us has walked all of these?

For those of you in Britain, it may help you to identify a local route that you can access at the moment. For those of you not in Britain, it may help you to make plans for the future.
 
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Harington

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016

How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails

This article discusses the nature of pilgrimage and introduces five pilgrim trails in Britain, with links to sites with more information:
  • St Magnus Way
  • Whitby Way
  • Peak District Old Stones Way
  • North Wales Pilgrims Way
  • Old Way, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent
Who among us has walked all of these?

For those of you in Britain, it may help you to identify a local route that you can access at the moment. For those of you not in Britain, it may help you to make plans for the future.
The trouble about walking in the UK is (not just the weather) the lack of accommodation. Such hostels as there are are rarely within reach of a trail, and B&B accommodation can be astronomically expensive for a solo walker, even if within reach of a trail.
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022

How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails

This article discusses the nature of pilgrimage and introduces five pilgrim trails in Britain, with links to sites with more information:
  • St Magnus Way
  • Whitby Way
  • Peak District Old Stones Way
  • North Wales Pilgrims Way
  • Old Way, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent
Who among us has walked all of these?

For those of you in Britain, it may help you to identify a local route that you can access at the moment. For those of you not in Britain, it may help you to make plans for the future.
Thank you, I would recommend the Cotswold Way...although there are so many.
Expense will always be a problem but are of a shorter duration and, of course, subject to the restrictions at present.

 

jl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
The British Pilgrimage Trust referred to in the article has a fabulous website, as is the book referred to. If you want to see the dozens of pilgrimage paths crisscrossing the UK have a look at the (interactive) map on their site: - https://britishpilgrimage.org/routes/
I have planned JoGLE, following as many pilgrimage routes as possible, linking them with canal, railway walks and so on. My planned route crisscrosses the country going to the opposite sides of the island to what I did last time. Who knows if or when I will be able to do this (my planned route is roughly 3,200kms), but it has been fun planning it and there is nothing wrong with dreams! For those of us in the "colonies" it is not only Covid which has thrown a spanner in the works, but also Brexit, as we really don't know how that affects us yet.
Oh well, back to my dreams.
 
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hecate105

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
The British Pilgrimage Trust is a brilliant site for pilgrims - they are actively trying to get more affordable accommodation options too - like champing (sleeping in churches) etc.
It is a lovely site to browse for walks - but even has a cycle version of the MM Pilgrim's Way!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.

How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails

This article discusses the nature of pilgrimage and introduces five pilgrim trails in Britain, with links to sites with more information:
  • St Magnus Way
  • Whitby Way
  • Peak District Old Stones Way
  • North Wales Pilgrims Way
  • Old Way, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent
Who among us has walked all of these?

For those of you in Britain, it may help you to identify a local route that you can access at the moment. For those of you not in Britain, it may help you to make plans for the future.
For a Pilgrim trail very near to London
St Peters Way..about 45 miles from Ongar to Bradwell on sea
We've walked it a few times now and one of the nicest longish distance ones we've walked.
It's included in JI post and link above image.png image.png
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Who among us has walked

I mention both Whithorn Way and Saint Cuthbert's Way as (North) British Pilgrimages worthy of consideration.

Starting at either S Mungo's Cathedral, Glasgow or Paisley Abbey to Ayr and then down the peninsula to Whithorn near the southern coast. Here it is said S Ninian built a church (the first in what is now Scotland) around 400 CE. I have walked, with my second child, from Glasgow Airport to Ayr. I wanted to be in solitude on 11 November that year so took a train to Stranraer (mirroring much of the pilgrimage route) and then bus to Whithorn. I spent most of the 11th at Isle of Whithorn following the arrival of pilgrims by boat some 600 or so years ago and the route they may have taken to the medieval priory church at Whithorn. The section from Ayr is quite isolated and I would love, one day, to follow in the footsteps of the many Scots kings that have gone that way. (200 km from Glasgow) More can be seen here and here and here.
The next day I started my near fortnight journey back to London by bus to Newton Stewart and the Armistice (Remembrance) Day ceremony in front of the McMillan Hall shortly after my arrival there.

Further east I mention Saint Cuthbert's Way from Melrose Abbey to the site of Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island. (100 km from Melrose) More here and here. I would follow that with a local pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Cuthbert immediately behind the high altar in Durham Cathedral. More here.

Kia ora, Kia kaha tatou (you all be healthy and take care)
 
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Houlet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017

Another with a religous basis, in normal times public transport is available between the major towns too.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
It is about 200 miles and is a beautiful walk.
I have covered most of the areas mentioned in part, most recently the "Old Way"

Pilgrimages (or walking) in the UK have only two major disadvantages. The first has been mentioned before, is the lack of affordable accommodation.

The second is mud. Lots of it if you travel over the peaty moors in the north. A 200 mile slog over ground that gives way as you walk over it can be a tad disappointing. So check for a prolonged period of dry weather before you come.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Walking in the winter will generally mean that the mud is frozen and you can walk across the top of it. It also means there is very little traffic on the lane ways if you have to step out onto them in the event of floods and such like. However, if the sun comes out after a freeze the ground can quickly become slippery, though not usually till later in the day.
 

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
For an eccentric pilgrimage to the ‘50s, try the Isle of Wight coastal path. Everyone does the downs, which are also beautiful, but the coastal path has quaint seaside villages, open down land along the channel and plenty of kitsch.
 
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OZAJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
A few have commented on the high cost of accommodation in Britain, particularly for solo pilgrims. I found this to be the case when I walked the Mary/Michael pilgrimage in 2015. There were only a very few hostels. The rest were pubs and B&Bs.

I want to walk Iona to Paris and continue to SdC the following year, but doubt that I can afford it. If I were a young bloke, I might try wild camping - it is possible if you are discreet and don't mind the hygiene issues, but Anno Domini is advising against.
 

Cicada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018

How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails

This article discusses the nature of pilgrimage and introduces five pilgrim trails in Britain, with links to sites with more information:
  • St Magnus Way
  • Whitby Way
  • Peak District Old Stones Way
  • North Wales Pilgrims Way
  • Old Way, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent
Who among us has walked all of these?

For those of you in Britain, it may help you to identify a local route that you can access at the moment. For those of you not in Britain, it may help you to make plans for the future.
Thanks for that next time I'm in the UK I'll think about tackling one of the walks. The Scottish pilgrimage looks fantastic!
 

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