Ashford to Wye and Beyond (Self-guided)
Make a traditional self-guided pilgrimage from Ashford to Canterbury with this new route, created specially for the Kent Pilgrims' Festival.
Register now to receive your free guide to make pilgrimage on Ashford’s town centre. You will receive the guide a week before the festival to give you time to plan your pilgrimage. Walk on your own or meet up with other pilgrims.
You don’t have to travel miles to start a pilgrimage, it can begin from your own front door. This special route has been designed for the Pilgrim Festival 2022 to connect modern communities to an established pilgrimage route on foot. Connect to the landscape and local heritage, find personal meaning and deepen your relationship with the land on your doorstep.
Discover the ancient origins of this remarkable pilgrimage route, steeped in nature, history and folklore. The guide shares hidden stories, suggested pilgrim practices and advice on how to make your walk a pilgrimage. Explore open fields, vineyards, woodland, waterways and hillsides, all in the footsteps of pilgrims who have gone before you. Discover new ways of meeting old holy places. You’ll also receive information on public transport connections, where to stop for food as well the full route in Ordnance Survey, Google maps, and GPX with accompanying turn-by-turn directions.
The journey is divided into 3 easy stages of between 4.5 and 8.5 miles which you can do all at once or on separate days as you prefer. It’s a great way to try the ancient art of pilgrimage.
Stage 1: Ashford to Wye – 6 miles
Stage 2: Wye to Chartham – 8.5 miles
Stage 3: Chartham to Canterbury – 4.5 miles
What should I bring?
Appropriate footwear, waterproofs or umbrella; Packed lunch if walking for the whole day, waterbottle or thermos flask. Anything required for wild loo stops. A staff or walking stick are not essential but are a recognised symbol of the pilgrim.
Travel arrangements? – You will be sent information regarding public transport connections in the guide.
Who can come? – Anyone over 18 (or under 18 with parental guidance, bearing in mind the walking distance).
Is this religious? – All and no-faiths are equally welcome. We operate a “Bring Your Own Beliefs” policy. We ask that all participating pilgrims respect one another, whatever their beliefs.
Are there access or fitness limitations? – Pilgrimage is moderately intense and there are some steep hills in Stage 2. There is some walking on quiet country roads. If you struggle to walk for a full half day, this type of pilgrimage may be an unsuitable activity for you right now. Unfortunately this pilgrimage is not suited for mobility-impaired people or those requiring wheelchair access.