Via Francigena : Shepherdswell to Dover
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Whether the start of a mini pilgrimage in Kent or the full experience to Rome, the Via Francigena is one of Europe’s oldest pilgrimage routes.
This first section starts at the spectacular Canterbury Cathedral and soon leaves the hustle and bustle of Canterbury along the Elham Valley Way, quietly weaving through a peaceful farming landscape, on through small villages and past the striking Higham Park, allowing plenty of space for rest and contemplation.
Along the way you can take one final glance back towards Canterbury Cathedral, but the area’s heritage does not end in Canterbury; the once grand St Augustine’s Abbey was the burial place for Kings of Kent, built by St Augustine, a man whose mission was to convert the Kingdom of Kent to Christianity.
You can receive a pilgrim welcome at Patrixbourne Church and contemplate the full journey to Rome at the Barham Downs pilgrim art sculpture. Pass through the old mining village of Woolage where the After the Black Gold sculpture celebrates the East Kent Mining Heritage before reaching Shepherdswell where another beautiful pilgrim church will great you.