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This guidebook describes an ancient pilgrimage route in southern England from Winchester in Hampshire, or Southwark, London to Canterbury, a 133 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.
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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 (136½ 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 4¾-13½ 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 saint's 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.
Seale, page 62
Totfield Lane should be Totford Lane.
St Martha’s Hill, page 70
After St Martha’s Church look out for purple waymarks which are a good guide as far as the kissing gate opposite the post box at Albury Street (page 71).
Hackhurst Downs, page 75
Once through the kissing gate onto Hackhurst Downs note that the National Trust sign calls the spot 'Blatchford Down'.
Appendix B Wouldham, page 202
Wouldham Court Farm bed & breakfast has closed.
Bishop's Sutton, Page 40
At the bottom of the page: note that the road runs downhill followed by a slight incline before going further downhill. The stile on the left is a little further along the road than maybe expected and is seen at the last moment.
Ropley, Page 42
The "unusual corrugated iron gate" has been replaced with a kissing gate.
Woodside Hill hamlet, Page 44
Start of last paragraph: At the bottom of the hill you pass Lower Woodside Farm (left) before the road double bends. After 0.25 miles turn left when the road goes sharp right.
|History of the Way|
|Historical figures along the Way|
|Variations to the Way|
|Walking the Way|
|When to walk|
|Where to stay|
|Using this guide|
|Winchester to Canterbury|
|Stage 1 Winchester to Alresford|
|Stage 2 Alresford to Alton|
|Stage 3 Alton to Farnham|
|Stage 4 Farnham to Guildford|
|Stage 5 Guildford to Box Hill|
|Stage 6 Box Hill to Merstham|
|Stage 7 Merstham to Oxted|
|Stage 8 Oxted to Otford|
|Stage 9 Otford to Wrotham|
|Stage 10 Wrotham to Halling|
|Stage 11 Halling to Aylesford|
|Stage 11a Peters Village to Rochester|
|Stage 12 Aylesford to Harrietsham|
|Stage 13 Harrietsham to Boughton Lees|
|Stage 14 Boughton Lees to Chilham|
|Stage 15 Chilham to Canterbury|
|Stage 1a Southwark to Shooters Hill|
|Stage 2a Shooters Hill to Dartford|
|Stage 3a Dartford to Otford|
|Appendix A Itinerary planner|
|Appendix B Accommodation|
|Appendix C Further information|
|Appendix D Further reading|