Via Francigena Stages: Canterbury to Dover

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.



Google Maps Route from Canterbury to Dover


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




Stage 1 Canterbury to Shepherdswell

Start:  Canterbury Cathedral

Finish:  Shepherdswell

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

Start: Shepherdswell

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.