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We are delighted to be supporting the 2019 Canterbury Pilgrims Festival organised by the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome

Join in this four-day celebration of Canterbury’s Pilgrim history and traditions.
Booking is required per individual activity.

Download the festival event programme.


Wednesday June 12th:


Workshop – Poetry & Pilgrimage

This workshop is open to anyone interested in creative writing, poetry and ideas of pilgrimage.  We will do some close reading of writing about pilgrimage, discuss some of the ideas and write in response, all in the historic setting of the Marlowe Kit.  No previous writing experience necessary but if you are a seasoned writer, expect to come away with several drafts of new work.

Where: The Marlowe Kit, Stour Street, Canterbury, CT1 2NZ.
Date: 12 June 2019
Time: 14:00-17:00
Price: £10.00

Kent University Labyrinth


Workshop – Explore the Journey of Life

Come to ConsciousCafe to meet others and explore the journey of life using walking the labyrinth as a metaphor of life’s journey. We will look at the value of walking as a tool for meditation and reflection. Historically, walking labyrinths, especially in cathedrals, was seen as a form of pilgrimage.

Where: The Labyrinth, University of Kent, CT2 7NZ (directions)
Date: 12 June 2019
Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Price: Free of charge
To book a place: Email Cora Kemball-Cook or phone 07711 830275

Writing in a notebook


Thursday June 13th:


Guided walk – Canterbury on the Augustine Camino

A guided walk through Canterbury to see some of the lesser known pilgrimage highlights including the old leper hospital at Harbledown, the relics of Saints Thomas More and Thomas Becket and St Martin’s Church, the oldest in continuous use in the English speaking world.

Lead: The Augustine Camino
Date: 13 June 2019
Time: 13:00 – 15.30
Price: £10.00
Meet: St. Nicholas Hospital, Church Hill, Canterbury, CT2 9AB

Group of people about to set off on a walk


Friday June 14th:


All-day Pilgrim Workshop

The Pilgrim Workshop is a full day of talks exploring the pilgrimage routes of Canterbury, engagement with natural and built heritage while on a pilgrimage and concluding with a panel of experienced pilgrims reflecting on their motivations for undertaking a pilgrimage.

Lead: The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome.
Meet: Outside the visitor centre, Canterbury Cathedral precincts, CT1 2EH
Date: 14 June 2019
Time: 09:00 – 17:30
Price: £12.00

Backpack on a bench in the countryside


Saturday June 15th:


Guided walk – First Steps on the Way to Rome on the Via FrancigenaSOLD OUT

Join the first leg of the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Shepherdswell. This is the pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome, and one of the Council of Europe’s older and more established cultural routes.

Lead: Catherine Lloyd, Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome
Distance: 12 miles
Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 08:45 – 17:00 (you will be back in time for the Pilgrims Feast if you wish to join – booking required)
Meet: Zero Kilometre Stone by the West Door of Canterbury Cathedral
Price: £8.00 – this will include your Via Francigena Passport, your train ticket from Shepherdswell back to Canterbury, and a simple lunch at Womenswold.
Note: Please bring some change for donations for teas and coffees at our other stops.  The weather should be lovely, but you can never tell, so please come with sturdy comfortable footwear, sunscreen, a hat, and a waterproof coat, to cover all eventualities!


Guided walk – Chilham to Canterbury on The Pilgrims Way

The walk follows the Pilgrims’ Way through rural Kent, with discussion on key points of interest along the way. Before a midday picnic stop in No Man’s Orchard, you will pass through the villages of Old Wives’ Lees and Chartham Hatch, in landscape evocative of the Garden of England with its rustic oast houses, hop gardens, orchards and woodland. You will visit Bigbury Camp earthworks, an iron-age hill fort where Caesar defeated the British tribes in 54 BC, along with the village of Harbledown, which Chaucer referred to as Bobbe-up-and-down in the Canterbury Tales as his Pilgrims made their way to Canterbury.

Lead: Walk-Awhile
Distance: 7.8 miles
Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 09:30 – 14:30
Price: £5.00
Meet: The Square, Chilham, CT4 8BY
Note: Bring a packed lunch

Walkers going uphill in countryside


Guided walk – Charing to Canterbury on the North Downs Way

Walk along the North Downs Way to St Paul’s Church in Canterbury, passing through Chilham and Chartham. For a shorter walk, you can walk to Chilham (about 8 miles) and catch a train to Canterbury. You will arrive in time for the Pilgrims Feast (booking required).

Lead: Charing Palace Trust
Distance: 8-19 miles
Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 08:00 – 16:00
Price: Free of charge
Meet: Charing’s Archbishop’s Place, TN27 0LP
Note: Bring a packed lunch
For more information and to book: Email or phone Keith Adams on 07940 583184

Aerial view of the charing palace


Family-friendly Pilgrims Feast

The grand finale of the Pilgrims Festival is the feast! Enjoy medieval entertainment from Sandwich band Rough Musicke and a delicious buffet with traditional hog roast, a range of sides and salads and vegetarian and vegan options.

Where: St. Paul’s Church, Canterbury
Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 16:00 – 20:30
The church will open its doors at 16:00.
Tea and coffee will be available and there will be several stalls featuring information on local pilgrimage routes.
Entertainment begins at 17:00
Buffet will be served at 17:30
Price: £8.00

Musicians dressed in medieval costume Family at a dining table