Starting in Canterbury?

For those starting in Canterbury, when you go to the Cathedral don't join the queue for tickets - it can be quite long in the holiday period. Instead ask one the helpers at the gate to be let through to the Welcome Centre who will stamp your Pilgrim passport if you have one or sell you one, if you do not.

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The route out of Canterbury goes along the Burgate and after the main road, you should start seeing signs for the North Downs Way. The VF is the southern part of the Way which runs from Farnham to Dover. You'll know you're on the right track when you see these signs.

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Once outside with the Cathedral on your left and the stone cross on your right, walk up Burgate until you come to the main road, and cross directly over. The signs will guide you to the North Downs Way. The VF and the NDW are interchangeable terms between Canterbury and Dover.
 

Attachments

After Canterbury, the next stop on the route is Shepherdswell. There are two parts to the village. The lower one has the rail station and a small supermarket. The upper part (going up Church Hill) has the church and a pub. The church appears to be the designated one for pilgrims as there are other churches on the route, but this is the one that the Cathedral indicates is open for pilgrims. Indeed it was.

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Inside there is a guest book showing a steady stream of pilgrims this month, the stamp so you can stamp your own passport, and a VF badge in case you have forgotten yours. The badge design looks like the Confraternity one.

After Shepherdswell, Dover less than 8 miles away.
 
About 2 miles out as you approach Dover you will see radio masts in the distance - two together on the left and one on the right. The one on the right is above Dover. You'll be going through countryside and villages but as you come closer to Dover, you've a major road in your way. The route takes you about a mile to a bridge to cross the road, and then you have to go back another mile on the other side of the main road back to the original route.

Dover is a working town and the port is one of the busiest in the UK. It is all freight and ferries so it is better just to progress straight to the ferry rather than staying overnight. The passenger terminal is in the centre of the picture but take care crossing in front of 40 tonne lorries.

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Once you are on the ferry, it is straight over to France with one country down and three to go. The harbour wall is your last view of the UK.

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William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
After Shepherdswell I would very much suggest taking the road route via Coldred and Lydden. Apart from being much shorter it is also closer to the way Sigeric would have travelled.
 
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