This ancient pilgrim route dates from the Middle Ages and incorporates a route across central Europe, starting in Canterbury, England before crossing the Channel to traverse France, Switzerland and Italy, ending in Rome.
Echoing the footsteps of the Archbishop of Canterbury who journeyed to Rome in 990AD, the route provides a stunning variety of scenery across more than 2,000km. The pathway covers English country fields, the Champagne lands of France, the Grand St Bernard Pass of Switzerland, Italian Alps and Lakes before ending in one of the most historic cities in the world.
Travelled all year round, the route can take around 90 days to walk, with others choosing to cycle for a journey time of around 30 days. While the traditional starting point is Canterbury Cathedral in Kent walkers can pick up the route at any point. Popular starting places are Besançon in Eastern France, the Swiss lakeside city of Lausanne, the famous Great St Bernard Pass, or Aosta in northern Italy.
Historically, the pilgrimage route was undertaken in order to visit the Holy See at the Vatican and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. From Rome the route can be continued along the Via Appia to the Auplian ports on the south eastern ‘heel’ of Italy, from which Pilgrims would embark on a voyage to the Holy Lands and Jerusalem.