A thousand year’s ago the Pilgrim’s Way led to the Shrine of St Augustine in Canterbury. He was widely revered as the Apostle who brought Christianity to the English and as founder of the Cathedral’s of Canterbury, Rochester and London (St Paul’s). As well as being the first Archbishop of Canterbury he was a monk who built the first English monastery. During the Reformation the Shrine of St Augustine was destroyed and the rich medieval tradition of pilgrimage largely died out.
Recently there has been renewed interest in pilgrimage as evidenced by more than 200,000 pilgrims who complete the “Camino” to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain each year. Most walk and around 7,000 are from Britain.
The Augustine Camino is a new long distance walk linking the Cathedral cities of Rochester and Canterbury with Pugin’s gothic masterpiece, the church of St Augustine at Ramsgate. Along the way pilgrims have the chance to stay in a medieval priory, attend Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral, visit Minster Abbey and enjoy the many lovely villages and churches along the route.
The Camino has been designed with the modern traveller in mind. The whole route can be completed in a week, averaging ten miles a day, leaving lots of time for sight seeing, meeting fellow travellers and quiet contemplation. Alternatively the route divides into day walks which are all accessible by public transport.