Via Francigena Stages: Canterbury to Dover
The Via Francigena (the Road from France) is an ancient pilgrim route stretching across Europe from Canterbury, England, through France and Switzerland culminating in Rome, Italy. In places, the Via Francigena may be multiple paths but generally follows the route taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sigeric the Serious, which pilgrims have followed for hundreds of years to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul in the Holy See.
The route starts beside the south porch of Canterbury Cathedral at the kilometer zero stone. Pilgrim Passports are stamped at the Information Centre in the Cathedral Precincts. You leave the Cathedral via the Christchurch Gate, walk to St Augustine’s Abbey, and then, after passing the ancient St Martin’s Church, you turn right onto Pilgrim’s Way and pass through Bekesbourne, Adisham, Aylesham, Sherpherdswell before reaching the end of the England leg of this great route at Dover Priory.
SUGGESTED MAPS / APPS:
Ordnance Survey maps are available for all sections of the Via Francigena in England. The Ordnance Survey OS Map app is a good companion to the Cicerone guide book and each stage within the book references the OS maps.
OS MAPS: Explorer 150, 138
OS MAPS: Landranger 179
THE VIA FRANCIGENA STAGES FROM CANTERBURY (19 Miles)
Stage 1 Canterbury to Shepherdswell
Start: Canterbury Cathedral
Distance: 10.4 mi / 17.2 km
Time: 5 hrs
Maps: OS Explorer 150, 138; Landranger 179
Note: Pilgrims wishing to begin at Canterbury Cathedral should contact reception in advance to ensure free entry and formal send-off by the canon-in-residence. Pilgrim passports are available from the cathedral shop.
Stage 2 Shepherdswell to Dover
Finish: Dover Ferry
Distance: 8.5 mi / 14 km
Time: 4 hrs
Maps: OS Explorer 138; Landranger 179
From Dover, the Via Francigena continues into France via ferry. Pilgrims will need to secure transit via ferry to Calais, France. Please note that all pilgrims are subject to the immigration laws in effect at the time of transit.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIA FRANCIGENA
- Layering Ultralight Clothing for Pilgrimage Backpacking
- 2021 British Pilgrimage Packing List
- Packing List: Backpacking Gear for England’s Pilgrims’ Way
- PILGRIM RESOURCES FOR COVID-19
- The Top Hiking GPS Apps for iPhone and Android
- HOW TO: Follow Trail Markers and Trail Blazes in Europe
- PACKING LIST: Trekking The World
- PACKING LIST: Backpacking First-Aid Kit
- PACKING LIST: First-Aid Kit for Blisters and Foot Care
- HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking
Husband. Father. Backpacker. Pilgrim. Author.
My recent treks include the Camino de Santiago through Portugal and Spain as well as section hiking along the Florida Trail and the Appalachian Trail. In 2021 I began walking the California Missions Trail in the United States and – once it is safe to do so – I will complete England’s ancient Pilgrims’ Way from London to Canterbury. Afterward, I’ll begin the Via Francigena, the historic way in Europe connecting Canterbury to Rome.