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Modern Day Pilgrimage

If you are planning to do a modern day pilgrimage, why not start in the beautiful city of Canterbury.

Sigeric's manuscript (now held in the British library) was rediscovered in the 1980s and has subsequently become the focus for academic research and the re-creation of a modern-day pilgrimage route, earning the award of Major Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.

Today's pilgrimage attracts people of all ages and beliefs, their common factor being the need to stand back from the daily pressures and take time to reflect on their lives and the lives of those around them.

On the Via Francigena, the 1,200 mile journey remains a physical challenge, but can be undertaken in stages. Most pilgrims choose to travel on foot, but others opt for bicycles, horses or even cars or public transport. On foot, the entire journey will take about 12 weeks, based on an average of between 15 and 25 miles per day; climbing to heights above 8,000 feet and being exposed to a very wide range of weather conditions.

On parts of the route, pilgrims will find low cost accommodation shared with other pilgrims. In others, the only options are to camp or find bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation, but in crossing France, Switzerland and Italy, pilgrims have the opportunity to meet like-minded people from all over the world.

The essence of the modern-day pilgrimage experience is in the physical challenges, contact with unfamiliar cultures, beauty of the environment set against the backdrop of history that has created it and, above all, the people met along the way who will leave an indelible mark on every pilgrim's life.

The pilgrimage can become habit forming, but as a minimum one can expect to - 'lose one prejudice and gain one good idea'.

Via Francigena logo

The History

Find out about the history of the Via Francigena ancient walking route.

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map of the Via Francigena route

The Route

Find out about the route of the Via Francigena ancient walking route.

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What's On

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01 July 2015 to 15 October 2015

Kent Wheel at University of Kent Wed 1 Jul - Thu 15 Oct 2015Enjoy panoramic views of the city of Canterbury and see from coast-to-coast, spotting local landmarks including Canterbury Cathedral and the Maunsell Sea Forts at Whitstable.

25 July 2015 to 30 August 2015

Whitefrairs Summer Festival at Whitefriars Shopping CentreSat 25 Jul - Sun 30 Aug 2015Whitefriars Summer Festival officially kicks off with a day of fun activities on Saturday 25th July to make the opening of the new Summer Market in Whitefriars Square.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Canterbury Brewers Craft Beer Festival at The Foundry Brew PubSat 29 Aug 2015We are having a Beer Festival at The Foundry Brew Pub, Canterbury. We are open from 11am both days with LIVE MUSIC in the afternoon, GUEST ALES, OUTSIDE BAR AND MARQUE. We are also going to fire up our brand new BBQ SMOKER!!

30 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Canterbury Brewers Craft Beer Festival at The Foundry Brew PubSun 30 Aug 2015We are having a Beer Festival at The Foundry Brew Pub, Canterbury. We are open from 11am both days with LIVE MUSIC in the afternoon, GUEST ALES, OUTSIDE BAR AND MARQUE. We are also going to fire up our brand new BBQ SMOKER!!

30 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Giant Picnic 2015 at Herne Bay Memorial ParkSun 30 Aug 2015Herne Bay in Bloom present the 6th Giant Picnic featuring live music and lots of free activities for the whole family! All activities free - don't miss out, come and see the amazing performance on stage with Dazzling Darren!

11 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Beside the Seaside at Beach Creative Community Arts CentreTue 11 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Beside the Seaside an open exhibition.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

The Annual Canterbury Postcard & Collectors Fair at Westgate HallSat 29 Aug 2015The Annual Canterbury Postcard and Collectors Fair at The Westgate Hall. Buy and sell postcards, stamps, ephemera etc. Refreshments available.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

A Voyage Around My Bedroom at University of Kent Sat 29 Aug 2015Artist Eric MacLennan invites you to take a special journey, one in which you help set the course. Accessible to all - regardless of age, background, or language. The performance is immersive, comic, and invigorating!

30 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

A Voyage Around My Bedroom at University of Kent Sun 30 Aug 2015Artist Eric MacLennan invites you to take a special journey, one in which you help set the course. Accessible to all - regardless of age, background, or language. The performance is immersive, comic, and invigorating!

01 April 2015 to 01 September 2015

New Park Trails! at Westgate GardensWed 1 Apr - Tue 1 Sep 2015Pick up our Spring and Summer trail sheets from the Canterbury Umbrella Centre, St. Peter's Street, Canterbury 10am - 3pm Monday - Saturday from 1st April to 1st September.

25 July 2015 to 02 September 2015

Create a Roman Laurel Wreath at Canterbury Roman MuseumSat 25 Jul - Wed 2 Sep 2015Create a Roman Laurel Wreath and dress as a Roman Emperor or Empress.

22 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Herne Bay FestivalSat 22 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Herne Bay Festival 2015 is taking place from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th August. This year’s theme is Victorian, the festival will be celebrating Herne Bay’s vibrant Victorian heritage.

28 August 2015 to 28 August 2015

Bat and Moth Night at Westgate GardensFri 28 Aug 2015Discover the wildlife of the parks after dark. Join Kent Bat group for an evening walk looking for bats and fun discovering which moth species can be found using a light trap.

24 August 2015 to 06 September 2015

Elaine Newman, Rob Tunrer and Derek Wright at Bay ART GalleryMon 24 Aug - Sun 6 Sep 2015Elaine Newman, Rob Turner and Derek Wright 'The Artist Next Door'. The work of 3 artists living in the same street ... The Painter, The Photographer, and the Map Maker.

13 August 2015 to 30 September 2015

George Eksts: Casual Cursive at Sidney Cooper GalleryThu 13 Aug - Wed 30 Sep 2015George Eksts is an artist using video, printmaking, drawing and sculpture to explore ideas of progress, completion, time and the temporary.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Nubes (Clouds) at Colyer-Fergusson BuildingSat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015A magical, visually spectacular show for families filled with swirling clouds, miniature houses and enchanting music.

25 July 2015 to 02 September 2015

Create a Medieval pilgrim badge at Canterbury Heritage MuseumSat 25 Jul - Wed 2 Sep 2015Discover the colourful story of Thomas Becket, explore the interactive Medieval Discovery Gallery and create a fun pilgrim badge to take home inspired by those on display.

09 July 2015 to 27 September 2015

Whitstable's Rich Heritage at Whitstable Museum and GalleryThu 9 Jul - Sun 27 Sep 2015Shipbuilding, the first passenger railway and Whitstable as a popular leisure destination are explored in this new exhibition. Whitstable Museum’s archive has been raided to link early photographs, maps and artefacts with family memories i

25 July 2015 to 02 September 2015

Super Summer Holiday Events! at WildwoodSat 25 Jul - Wed 2 Sep 2015We have lots of fun events for the whold family at Wildwood during the Summer Holidays!

28 August 2015 to 28 August 2015

Here we go round the mulberry bush at Canterbury CathedralFri 28 Aug 2015An interactive story time, with songs and action rhymes and mini-explorer trail, before creating a piece of art inspired by trees and flowers in the Cathedral precincts. For children age 2 to 6 years with accompanying adult.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

How to build a medieval cathedral at Canterbury CathedralSat 29 Aug 2015Discover how medieval cathedrals were built in a family workshop. Discover construction techniques, materials, and the forces that stopping them falling down. For children age 7 to 12 years with accompanying adult.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Minions 3D (PG) at Gulbenkian CinemaSat 29 Aug 2015Spin-off prequel from the hugely successful Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

The Moomins On The Riviera (U) at Gulbenkian CinemaSat 29 Aug 2015Tove Jansson's universally loved Finnish cartoon creatures take a trip!

26 August 2015 to 01 September 2015

MAHL at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 26 Aug - Tue 1 Sep 2015Malone, Gadenne, Hughes and Livesey return for a third time with sculpture, landscapes, townscapes and figurative realism. The artists' work for the Hanami Cherry Blossom Festival at Brogdale is included.

28 August 2015 to 28 August 2015

West (cert tbc) at Gulbenkian CinemaFri 28 Aug 2015East Germany. Summer, late 70's. Three years after her boyfriend Wassilij's apparent death, Nelly Senff decides to escape from behind the Berlin wall with her son Alexej, leaving her traumatic memories and past behind.

30 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

bOing! Audience Choice Film: Paddington (PG) at Gulbenkian CinemaSun 30 Aug 2015We asked and you voted for Paddington!

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Whiplash at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreSat 29 Aug 2015A promising and ambitious young drummer enrols at a music college, where his teacher will stop at nothing to realise a student's potential. An odd relationship forms between them. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle.

01 August 2015 to 31 August 2015

Uncharted Waters - Jane Cordery, Lorrain Mailer at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreSat 1 - Mon 31 Aug 2015Contemporary multi-media: an exploration of the sea as a giver and taker of life.

06 June 2015 to 06 September 2015

Canterbury in the Age of the Magna Carta at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeSat 6 Jun - Sun 6 Sep 2015This exhibition, organised in partnership with Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Canterbury Christ Church University sets the ground-breaking document in the context of Canterbury's people and places. I

01 May 2015 to 31 August 2015

Armchair Artist in Residence - Rob Turner at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeFri 1 May - Mon 31 Aug 2015Rob will be making a series of new maps to form a local travelogue or living history inspired by the maps in The Beaney and Local Studies Collections.

01 May 2015 to 31 October 2015

Create a Flying Exotic Bird at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeFri 1 May - Sat 31 Oct 2015Create your own flying bird using foam and feathers. Can you make it fly from one end of the gallery to the other?

22 August 2015 to 13 September 2015

The Spectacle at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeSat 22 Aug - Sun 13 Sep 2015SKAR (South Kent Artists Reunited) are MA and BA Fine Art UCA graduates. They draw inspiration from the Beaney's long tradition as a Museum and Gallery and meeting place open to all, to create interpretations.

28 August 2015 to 28 August 2015

Jumping Beaneys - Beautiful Birds at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeFri 28 Aug 2015Enjoy a story about some owl babies, then create a magical flying feathery bird to take home. A creative workshop for the under 5s.

24 August 2015 to 28 August 2015

The Canterbury Rock School at Gulbenkian TheatreMon 24 - Fri 28 Aug 2015Specialist workshops for song-writing, singing, running a band, performance and jamming for vocalists and all instrumentalists run by top music educators and professional musicians.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

bOing! International Festival at Gulbenkian TheatreSat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Gulbenkian is delighted to announce bOing! International Family Festival is back in 2015! Join us this August for an amazing weekend of the very best in theatre, dance, music, films and fun for all the family.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Far, Far Away at Gulbenkian TheatreSat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Join Aurora Orchestra for a magical, musical adventure combining original story telling and multi-sensory interactive activities for all the family.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Far, Far Away ... Family Concert at Gulbenkian TheatreSat 29 Aug 2015Toddlers room is an interactive installation for those who walk unsteadily.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Boogie Woogie Baby at Gulbenkian TheatreSat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015A daytime disco for the whole family.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Fitting at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015A performative intervention for a group of performers in several mobile installations.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Toddlernes Rom (Toddler's Room) at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Toddlers room is an interactive installation for those who walk unsteadily.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Tiger Tale at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015It's chaotic, it's dangerous but brilliantly funny as a tiger reignites a family's love for one another.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Mega at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Bryony Kimmings invites you to become her 9-year-old self, pull on a shell suit, grab a Walkman and embark on a trip down memory lane.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

The Forest at University of Kent Sat 29 Aug 2015The Forest is an intriguing multi-sensory tale for ages 13+ with PMLD, immersing audiences in a world full of new sights, sounds, smells and sensations.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Queen of Cupcakes at University of Kent Sat 29 Aug 2015Create your own piece of wonderland decorating your own cupcake.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Save the Lyma Birds at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Come and play with the hatchlings and see for yourself that Lyma birds really do have the softest feathers in the world!

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Steam at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015The company that defined the look of parkour on stage return with a narrative dance-theatre piece unlike anything you’ve seen before.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Be-Loved at University of Kent Sat 29 Aug 2015A stunning outdoor aerial production inspired by Angela Carter's short story The Tiger's Bride, a re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Be-Loved at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015A stunning outdoor aerial production inspired by Angela Carter's short story The Tiger's Bride, a re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Fragile at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015Commissioned for the bOing! Festival, Fragile sees dancers and JCB diggers moving together in a spectacular performance.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

A Mano (By Hand) at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015A story told with clay, through a small character with a great desire to escape from a shop window and its inhabitants.

29 August 2015 to 29 August 2015

Treasure Island at University of Kent Sat 29 Aug 2015The Pantaloons entertaining version of the well loved tale.

29 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Treasure Island at University of Kent Sat 29 - Sun 30 Aug 2015The Pantaloons entertaining version of the well loved tale.

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