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2020 Camino Guides

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
I will begin the Pilgrim's Way from London's Southwark Cathedral to Cantebury and then onwards towards Rome next spring. Can someone advise where in England - other than Canterbury Cathedral - I should reasonably expect to receive a stamp? Canterbury, Shepardswel, Dover?

Much thanks.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I will begin the Pilgrim's Way from London's Southwark Cathedral to Cantebury and then onwards towards Rome next spring. Can someone advise where in England - other than Canterbury Cathedral - I should reasonably expect to receive a stamp? Canterbury, Shepardswel, Dover?

Much thanks.
I walked the VF from Southwark Cathedral to Rome in March to June this year. The only places I could get a stamp on the PWC were Southwark & Canterbury Cathedrals. I stopped at numerous churches & places of interest along the trail but nary a stamp to be found. Many churches were locked or didn't have a stamp. I couldn't even get a stamp at my accom along the way. One clever receptionist came up with idea of using business cards so I stapled them to my pilgrim passport! England seems to have largely done away with the good ol' ink stamp although I didn't try at any pubs.
My hotel in Dover (BW Marina) said they had a stamp; my VF credenziale was whisked away & duly returned with stamp saying...
...wait for it...
....PAID !! 😄 Hilarious...& I have to say, one of my favourite stamps for the trip!
You can get a stamp on the Channel ferry then once in France no problems getting stamps all the way to Rome.
Sempre avanti...you're in for quite an amazing rollercoaster of a journey..I wish you all the very best.
👣 🌏
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
Several of the churches between Canterbury and Dover were open and had a stamp for pilgrims including Shepherdswell.
The only official document that I come across now needing a stamp is the application for an Irish passport - so I think the need for them has strangely diminished in the UK. (As I got so many requests since Brexit I actually had to get one made!)
However, you can get creative! I have a few "stamps" while walking in France that are simply signatures or a doodle with initials. Or talking about applications for Irish passports and the need for a stamp - I know a colleague actually sticks on a postal stamp (as he doesn't have an ink stamp) - so try a post office and see if they have an interesting postal stamp?
 

Slow guy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013
Le Puy 2014
Arles- Toulouse 2015
Toulouse - Pamplona 2016
VDLP 2017
CP 2018
VF 2019
The tourist office in Dover had a nice stamp. In France, a lot of the Mairie’s had stamps.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
I first did the VF from my home (in Kent) to Besançon and never got a stamp 😳
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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)
I wended my way to Canterbury from Southwark via Rochester to join the path. One of the Priests at Rochester came up with the idea of giving me the sticker that they give the children!
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
Thank you for the great suggestions. As I walk I will upadte this thread with the locations I may find with stamps along the way.
 

Pilger Franz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
In the Abbaye Saint-Paul de Wisques (where you can stay overnight), the stamp is a sticker fitting in the créancial.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
In the Abbaye Saint-Paul de Wisques (where you can stay overnight), the stamp is a sticker fitting in the créancial.
The monks put a very nice stamp in my credential in September this year. I felt very privileged to spend the night at the abbey and join them for dinner and low mass in the early morning. Although I am not religious, I was touched by the blessing that I received from the monk who sent me on my way in the morning.

The monks are very welcoming, but I have to say that I was happy to be on the road again after my taste of the austere monastic life. Doubtless I would be in better physical shape if I ate frugal portions like them - and with the resulting weight loss, perhaps my knees would not be in agony after 45 minutes of kneeling through the morning mass. But, it's a pilgrim's life for me... If you're of a similar disposition, I recommend having some supplies in your rucksack when you stay with the monks. If, like me, you pass through the next town on the day that the boulangerie is closed ... oh my.

In the church at Shepherdswell, I got a stamp and bought a lovely cloth badge for my rucksack (with 3M adhesive) bearing the VF symbol. It was nice to find a place that really recognized the pilgrimage. The signage and awareness of the VF is generally less evident the English side of the channel than it is when you reach Calais. The staff at the Holiday Inn in Calais (hey, even pilgrims can use points sometimes) were most enthusiastic about hosting me and other pilgrims.

Once you're in France, every marie will have a stamp and a smile for you.

Couple more tips -

Highly recommend calling the "Camping La Bien Assise" to ask if they have a refuge for pilgrims. I had booked at their hotel, which is lovely but expensive. And when I got there, I saw an attractive stone building with "REFUGE" and a VF symbol on it. Perhaps it's in the guidebooks ... I tend to travel without guidebooks.

In Therouane, allow time to explore the heritage center which has an excellent exhibition of the cathedral that once dominated the area (razed by Charles V of Spain) and the pilgrims who passed through. There is a delightful looking pilgrim accommodation in the town.

I found the French northerners (nickname: Schtis) to be some of the friendliest people. I don't think a day passed when I didn't enjoy a chat with someone. Once or twice I had long chats with people who also liked walking, or just wanted to tell me what life was like when the mines were still open and so on and so forth. Just wonderful and I can't wait to get back on the VF. I wrote a few blog posts, which aim to be the least factual and the most accurate accounts of my experiences (apologies to Hunter Thompson for stealing that phrase):

I didn't bother getting a stamp in Dover. Perhaps I was feeling resentful toward the hostel there, which reeks of mold, dirty linen on the floor, etc.
 

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Pilger Franz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
Jonathan,
you turned in Wisques left hand to St. Paul's. What I wanted to say (above) is the Abbaye Notre Dame, just opposite to St. Paul’s. It is at right hand of the VF, when coming from north. (I took the foto after I had passed by.) As I remember the nuns offered shelter, too.
 

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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Abbaye Notre Dame,
I was under the impression that the two abbayes were gender segregated - male pilgrims at Saint Paul and female at Notre Dame. I stayed at Abbaye Saint Paul.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
I was under the impression that the two abbayes were gender segregated - male pilgrims at Saint Paul and female at Notre Dame. I stayed at Abbaye Saint Paul.
I think it says so in the guide book but it isn’t correct. Whilst the monastary will not lodge women in the building (they have a separate house in the gardens apparently), the nuns will accept men.
Lovely place to stay, btw ❤
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
I think it says so in the guide book but it isn’t correct. Whilst the monastary will not lodge women in the building (they have a separate house in the gardens apparently), the nuns will accept men.
Lovely place to stay, btw ❤
Looks like I should start paying even less attention to guide books than I already don't.
 

Chenahusky

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CFSJPP to SDC 2016
CIng x 2 2018
CPort. Tui May 2019
CF Ponf. June 2019
CPort Tui "2020"
CIng "2020"
I have walked The Pilgrims Way, or variations of a few times, to make up the distance on the Camino Ingles from A' Coruna. Places that have stamps, when they are open are: Rochester Cathedral, Aylesford Priory, off route a little, but with accomodation, All Saints church Hollingbourne, Westwell church, often closed, Charing church, also has a Post Office, Wye church, stamp in local newsagents opp. church, Pilgrim Hospital Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral, show Credencial for free entry and the Catholic church of St. Thomas Canterbury, near the Cathedral and it has relics of Becket. Shepherd Neame pubs often have stamps. I have attached a copy of one of my Credencials.
 

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Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
I have walked The Pilgrims Way, or variations of a few times, to make up the distance on the Camino Ingles from A' Coruna. Places that have stamps, when they are open are: Rochester Cathedral, Aylesford Priory, off route a little, but with accomodation, All Saints church Hollingbourne, Westwell church, often closed, Charing church, also has a Post Office, Wye church, stamp in local newsagents opp. church, Pilgrim Hospital Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral, show Credencial for free entry and the Catholic church of St. Thomas Canterbury, near the Cathedral and it has relics of Becket. Shepherd Neame pubs often have stamps. I have attached a copy of one of my Credencials.
Thank you, Chenahusky. I truly appreciate your experience and thank you for sharing your lovely credential.
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
Looks as if my dates will be pushed. I will now begin in July and arrive in Canterbury during the large Beckett 2020 festival. What a bit of luck!
 

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