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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. Read more

map of the Via Francigena route

The Route

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

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What's On

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01 September 2014 to 02 September 2014

Guestlist - The Stage Hands at Gulbenkian TheatreMon 1 - Tue 2 Sep 2014The show must go on, but will the cast be able to pull the plot back together?

02 September 2014 to 02 September 2014

Comic Book Club at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreTue 2 Sep 2014For current, new and lapsed lovers of comics and graphic novels. Geek it up, talk comics and help add to the club's reading list. Over 18s.

27 August 2014 to 02 September 2014

Urban Obsession at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 27 Aug - Tue 2 Sep 2014Stencil, graffiti, photography, sand A collection of artists with 'Urban Obsession' expressed in their own unique ways and styles from Graffiti to Geometry.

27 August 2014 to 02 September 2014

Beverley Fisher at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 27 Aug - Tue 2 Sep 2014Mixed Media Beverley is back for another year, this time on her own. A mix of abstract and florals, this exhibition promises to be another exciting show bursting with colour and style.

13 August 2014 to 02 September 2014

'Take to the Skies' Open Exhibition at Beach CreativeWed 13 Aug - Tue 2 Sep 2014Our next Open Show has the same theme as this year's Herne Bay Festival - Take to the Skies.We welcome entries on the show's theme from everyone. Please check back for details on the handing in dates.

03 September 2014 to 03 September 2014

RSC Live - The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Gulbenkian TheatreWed 3 Sep 2014Valentine and Proteus are best friends, until they fall in love with the same girl.With friendship forgotten, the rivals' affections quickly get out of hand as the young lovers find themselves on a wild chase through the woods.

03 September 2014 to 03 September 2014

Martin Farbrother AKA The Crooner at Herne Bay BandstandWed 3 Sep 2014Martin Farbrother AKA The Crooner makes another seasonal return to Herne Bay Bandstand performing a selection of popular songs to raise money for his favourite charities this summer with a series of Wednesday afternoon shows.

04 September 2014 to 04 September 2014

NT Live - Medea (12A) at Gulbenkian CinemaThu 4 Sep 2014Helen McCrory (The Last of the Haussmans) returns to the National Theatre to take the title role in Euripides’ powerful tragedy.

05 September 2014 to 06 September 2014

Tractatus - Punk Rock at Gulbenkian TheatreFri 5 - Sat 6 Sep 20147 A Level grammar school students navigate the pressures of life as they prepare for their exams, unaware that everything is about to explode.

02 September 2014 to 06 September 2014

The Perfect Murder at The Marlowe TheatreTue 2 - Sat 6 Sep 2014The new hit stage play, from the No.1 bestselling crime author Peter James.

06 September 2014 to 06 September 2014

Dormouse Handling & Surveying Workshop at WildwoodSat 6 Sep 2014This course is aimed at ecological consultants and those in training for their dormouse handling licence. A classroom session on survey methods followed by handling, sexing and weighing captive dormice under supervision.

06 September 2014 to 06 September 2014

Like a Rolling Stone at Strode Park HouseSat 6 Sep 2014Presented by two top tribute bands: Not The Rolling Stones & The Bob Dylan Experience. A show that begins with the best of Bob Dylan's music and then all the excitement and magic of The Rolling Stones.

06 September 2014 to 06 September 2014

Story Writing Workshop at Beach CreativeSat 6 Sep 2014Do you write stories? Maybe short stories, or novellas, or even novels? Do you think that there's room for improvement in your writing?

07 September 2014 to 07 September 2014

Stunning Spiders at WildwoodSun 7 Sep 2014It's the best time of year to see spiders! Discover the spiders lurking around Wildwood and make stunning spider crafts to take home.

07 September 2014 to 07 September 2014

Wedding Fayre at The Kings HallSun 7 Sep 2014With exhibitors ranging from classic car hire to bridal gowns and makeup artists, we have all the information and inspiration you need to make your big day special. Free glass of bubbly on arrival!

07 September 2014 to 07 September 2014

Violin Recital by Jamie Campbell at Charlton Park FoundationSun 7 Sep 2014Wine and canape reception followed by Solo violin concert playing Bach D minor Partita, Ysaye No. 4 violin Sonata, Bach A minor violin sonata.

07 September 2014 to 07 September 2014

Traditional Bandstand Concert at Herne Bay BandstandSun 7 Sep 2014Traditional bandstand concert in aid of the Kent Invicta Concert Band Charity.

09 September 2014 to 09 September 2014

The Sixteen: The Choral Pilgrimage 2014 at Canterbury CathedralTue 9 Sep 2014Featuring music by John Sheppard, Richard Davy and William Mundy. Performed by: The Sixteen.

03 September 2014 to 09 September 2014

A Viewpoint at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 3 - Tue 9 Sep 2014Paintings, sculpture Paintings offering a contemporary response to the light and shapes of our coastal environment, alongside sculptures that explore the thinking behind our seeing.

10 September 2014 to 10 September 2014

Cafe Live - Digibury at Gulbenkian TheatreWed 10 Sep 2014Digibury is Kent's monthly meet-up event for digital and creative types.

11 September 2014 to 11 September 2014

Beaney Best Bits Highlight Tour at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeThu 11 Sep 2014Enjoy a free highlights tour of the Beaney and its collections. Adults and children age 12 plus. Free guided tour as part of Heritage Open Days.

12 September 2014 to 12 September 2014

Wise Words Festival - The Princess' Blankets at Gulbenkian TheatreFri 12 Sep 2014Enter a magical, musical wonderland created by much-loved Poet Laureate and her ever-energetic musician, the wonderful John Sampson. Come ready to shout out loud and join in!

12 September 2014 to 12 September 2014

An Evening with Carol Ann Duffy at Gulbenkian TheatreFri 12 Sep 2014Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is that rare thing: a truly popular poet. This is an opportunity to hear her read from her own work.

12 September 2014 to 12 September 2014

Wise Words Festival - Invisible Kisses at Gulbenkian TheatreFri 12 Sep 2014A performance by Olympic Poet Lemn Sissay | 18:30 - 19:30 Fusing the lyrical and the polemical, up-beat humour and deadly seriousness – Lemn’s performances are notorious for their powerful energy and dynamism.

12 September 2014 to 12 September 2014

Wrong 'Un at The Marlowe TheatreFri 12 Sep 2014February 1918, Parliament is poised to grant what the suffragettes have fought for – votes for all women. After years of direct action, imprisonment and force-feeding, it seems their time has come.

12 September 2014 to 12 September 2014

The Romans Beneath Your Feet at Canterbury Roman MuseumFri 12 Sep 2014Step back in time and beneath the streets of the modern city to discover evidence of the bustling Roman town of Durovernum Cantiacorum.

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Sally Barker with Special Guest Vicki Genfan at Gulbenkian TheatreSat 13 Sep 2014Millions of viewers tuned in to see Sally's flawless performances on the BBC TV programme The Voice.

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Annual Hop Hoodening Service at Canterbury CathedralSat 13 Sep 2014Hop Hoodening is a celebration of the hop harvest, held annually at Canterbury. The Service is a short service of celebration featuring the Blessing of the hops. It is followed by displays of Morris and Country Dancing in the Precincts.

08 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Noel Coward's Hay Fever at The Marlowe TheatreMon 8 - Sat 13 Sep 2014Meet the Bliss family; recently-retired Judith, once a star of the London stage; David, an egocentric novelist; and Sorel and Simon, their two Bohemian adult children. Starring Felicity Kendal.

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Poor Priests and Painted Plaster at Canterbury Heritage MuseumSat 13 Sep 2014Explore the fascinating history of this medieval building once a hospital for Poor Priests, and discover stories of key artefacts including reputed fragments of Becket's tomb and Elizabethan painted wall plaster.

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Poetry in the Park at Westgate GardensSat 13 Sep 2014Turn the Westgate Parks into poetry parks! Come to our creative writing workshop and write your poems inspired by the river and gardens, or leave your own favourite poems on a tree.

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Stepping Out 2 Night at The Kings HallSat 13 Sep 2014Enjoy an evening of Ballroom, Latin American, Argentine Tango and Sequence dancing!

13 September 2014 to 13 September 2014

Public Concert for Schoenberg Conference at St Gregory's Centre for MusicSat 13 Sep 2014To mark the 140th anniversay of the composer's birth, Christ Church hosts a two-day conference which aims to bring together scholars investigating Schoenberg's life and works from a broad range of perspectives.

14 September 2014 to 14 September 2014

Guestlist - HOPE at Gulbenkian TheatreSun 14 Sep 2014Together with other young, talented performers, Craig Johnson is proud to present 'HOPE' in aid of British Heart Foundation - Harry's Fund.

14 September 2014 to 14 September 2014

An Evening With Sir Roger Moore at The Marlowe TheatreSun 14 Sep 2014Sir Roger Moore, the legendary film actor, in conversation.

14 September 2014 to 14 September 2014

Kent Coastal Concert Band at Herne Bay BandstandSun 14 Sep 2014Herne Bay's own Kent Coastal Concert Band will help you enjoy a sunny afternoon at the Central Bandstand.

15 September 2014 to 15 September 2014

The Paper Stage - Reading Renaissance Drama Series at Gulbenkian TheatreMon 15 Sep 2014The Paper Stage is a new play-reading group dedicated to the extraordinary and diverse drama of the Renaissance.

15 September 2014 to 15 September 2014

Midday Recital at Canterbury CathedralMon 15 Sep 2014Performed by the Cadence and Continuo Choir, Bristol.

16 September 2014 to 16 September 2014

Faulty Towers Dining Experience at Gulbenkian TheatreTue 16 Sep 2014Following a tremendous year that included sold-out seasons in Canada, Sydney Opera House and Edinburgh Fringe, Australia's much feted tribute to the BBC’s best-loved sitcom continues to tour the world.

10 September 2014 to 16 September 2014

Counterpoint at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 10 - Tue 16 Sep 2014Ron Freeman Oil Paintings Latest oil paintings by Ron Freeman.

06 September 2014 to 20 September 2014

MAFAA Graduating Exhibition 2014 at Sidney Cooper GallerySat 6 - Sat 20 Sep 2014This exhibition of five graduating students celebrates the end of the MAFAA programme.

12 September 2014 to 21 September 2014

Wise Words Festival at CanterburyFri 12 - Sun 21 Sep 2014A 9-day festival celebrating our experiences through stories awakening our imaginations and offering new perspectives. Join us in the Greyfriars (Secret!) Franciscan Garden for talks, performances, installations, storytelling and more.

10 September 2014 to 23 September 2014

Vintage Aircraft Furniture at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreWed 10 - Tue 23 Sep 2014David Chewter Individual designer furniture and art made from Military and Civilian aviation pieces.

11 September 2014 to 28 September 2014

Home Front, Whitstable 1914-18 at Whitstable Museum and GalleryThu 11 - Sun 28 Sep 2014Exploring life on the British home front 1914-18 through original posters, cartoon artworks and popular arts and souvenirs.

07 August 2014 to 28 September 2014

French Dressing at 50 at Herne Bay Museum and GalleryThu 7 Aug - Sun 28 Sep 2014Celebrating director Ken Russell's first ever feature film, which was set in Herne Bay, and came out 50 years ago. The beach, bandstand and pier recognizably starred in the film, and many Herne Bay residents were extras.

30 August 2014 to 28 September 2014

Diane Smalley at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeSat 30 Aug - Sun 28 Sep 2014This exhibition is an artist's response to 'The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge'. The paintings and drawings will all have connections to the Beaney's art and artefacts displayed in the Garden Room and upstairs galleries.

01 September 2014 to 30 September 2014

My SAS Family at Horsebridge Arts and Community CentreMon 1 - Tue 30 Sep 2014Arztip Mixed Media Myths about the SAS explored and exploded.

08 August 2014 to 02 November 2014

Taylor Wessing Photographic Protrait Prize 2013 at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeFri 8 Aug - Sun 2 Nov 2014A unique opportunity to see sixty new portraits by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world.

12 September 2014 to 19 December 2014

KCA Health Walks at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeFri 12 Sep - Fri 19 Dec 2014Move to improve health walk caters for various levels of fitness and both experienced and new walkers are very welcome.

01 May 2014 to 31 December 2014

Armchair Artist Residency at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeThu 1 May - Wed 31 Dec 2014Holder and Lamoon, practicing artists, will be working together to make new works in response to the eclectic objects to be found in the galleries.

06 September 2014 to 04 January 2015

Alternative Stories at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeSat 6 Sep 2014 - Sun 4 Jan 2015A display of altered books crafted in response to an open call for artists to create works of art by modifying a book.

06 September 2014 to 04 January 2015

In Remembrance at The Beaney House of Art & KnowledgeSat 6 Sep 2014 - Sun 4 Jan 2015Images, objects and words from the First World War to commemorate the centenary of its outbreak, and the role played by local people, in particular Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses and The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

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