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Kent Pilgrims' Festival tagsOutdoor Activities tagsPilgrimage tags

Make a self-guided pilgrimage on the Old Way at your own pace with this special guide created especially for the Kent Pilgrims' Festival. 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, walking on your own or meeting up with other pilgrims.

  • Ashford

Register now to receive your free downloadable guide to make pilgrimage on Ashford District’s part of the Old Way. You will receive the guide a week before the festival to give you time to plan your pilgrimage.

The Old Way is a 250 mile pilgrimage route stretching from Southampton to Canterbury. Discover the ancient origins of this remarkable pilgrimage route, steeped in nature, history and folklore. With eight churches, ancient monuments, lost holy wells and and spectacular views, the guide shares hidden stories, suggested pilgrim practices and advice on how to make your walk a pilgrimage. 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 and 7 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.

The journey

Stage 1: Appledore to Hamstreet – 4.8 miles

Stage 2: Hamstreet to Bilsington – 4 miles

Stage 3: Bilsington to Lympne – 7 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.

FAQ’s

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 fitness limitations? – Pilgrimage is moderately intense and there are some steep hills. 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.

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