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Via Francigena is the ancient route from Canterbury to Rome, followed by archbishops travelling to receive from the pope their symbols of authority as well as ordinary pilgrims en route to Rome or onward to Jerusalem. It was originally described by Archbishop Sigeric in AD990 and his route has been adopted by the Council of Europe Institute of Cultural Routes as the definitive way from Canterbury to Rome.
Today people of all ages and beliefs enjoy the physical challenge of this 1,200 mile journey. Starting at Canterbury Cathedral the entire journey will take approximately 12 weeks on foot, based on an average of between 15 and 25 miles per day. Crossing England, France, Switzerland and Italy you will climb to heights above 8,000 feet and be exposed to a wide range of weather conditions.
You can obtain a Via Francigena passport which will be stamped at the Information Centre in the cathedral precincts.
The Via Francigena starts beside the south porch of Canterbury Cathedral at the kilometre zero stone. Pilgrim Passports are stamped at the Information Centre in the Cathedral Precincts.
Leave the Cathedral via the Christchurch Gate and turn left onto Burgate and continue along Church Street and Longport, beside St Augustine's Abbey.
After passing North Holmes Road and St Martin's Church, turn right onto Pilgrim's Way and begin to follow the signs for the North Downs Way.
The pathway to Dover is nearly 20 miles long and will take between seven and eight hours on foot.
The pathway offers opportunities to return to Canterbury by train using the stations at Bekesbourne, Adisham, Aylesham, Sherpherdswell and Dover Priory.
Mountain bikers and horse-riders can also use the route as far as Shepherdswell where they are advised to follow National Cycle Route 16 to avoid the many stiles.
Walking holidays including the Kentish stretch of the Via Francigena can be booked through a local company Walkawhile.
Canterbury to Rome
The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH
Map reference: TR 151578 Lat: 51.27878 Long: 1.08343
Accessible by Public Transport : 1 mile (1.6 kms) from Canterbury East/West station
|Fri 13 Dec 2013||Canterbury Choral Society Carols Service|
|Wed 18 Dec 2013||Demelza House Celebration of Christmas|
|Sun 22 Dec 2013||The Fourth Sunday of Advent|
|Mon 23 Dec 2013||Canterbury Cathedral Service of Carols|
|Mon 23 Dec 2013||Christmas Service|
|Tue 24 Dec 2013||Canterbury Cathedral Service of Carols|
|Tue 24 Dec 2013||Christmas Eve|
|Wed 25 Dec 2013||Christmas Day|
|Thu 26 Dec 2013||Choral Evensong with carols|
|Sat 28 Dec 2013||Children's Society Christingle Service|
|Sun 29 Dec 2013||Christmas Services|