Map key Route Summary Table Overview map Introduction History of the Way Renewed interest Historical figures along the Way Variations to the Way Walking the Way When to walk Where to stay Refreshments Waymarking Maps 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 London Route 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
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 (136 miles) and Londons Southwark Cathedral (901/4 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 Beckets 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 Chaucers famous Middle English work, The Canterbury Tales.