Many people ask me about trekking in England, does it exist because there are no mountains here, there are no beautiful views and the weather is stereotypical English. I agree with the weather, and certainly you should always have something rainproof on the road, but there are plenty of beautiful views in England. You don’t need high mountains to see breathtaking landscapes. Especially in my Kent. All you need to do is hit the road to discover the wide, open horizons of greenery, breathtaking landscapes, the remains of a rich history, which often dates back to prehistoric times, and all that in just one day.
Walking gives me a joyful sense of freedom and liberation.
Kent has over 6,700 km of rural and coastal paths and roads stretching along the chalk white cliffs, rolling hills, psychedelic wetlands, beautiful beaches, sleepy villages and towns full of historical, cultural and traditional monuments; with mills, farms, pubs, orchards and vineyards.
The most famous of the English routes is Pilgrim Way, starting at Winchester Cathedral and ending at Canterbury. It is about 190 km long, which compared to 800 km El Camino de Santiago is nothing. Nevertheless, I guarantee you that the views along the way are wonderful and the experience is unique. This route was already used in medieval times and penitents traveled here to the grave of Saint Thomas Becket.
The current Pilgrim Way route is slightly different from the medieval one. Asphalt was poured on the old trampled paths and now it is driven by cars. However, you do not have to go among the cars. One of the alternatives that covers the pilgrim route is the North Dawn Ways trail.
Apparently, in recent years, more and more people put on trekking shoes and set off on trips that change their lives. They feel the need to get up and go to face this spiritual or physical challenge. Walking gives us time to be with each other, with others, and for some people with God, gives us time to rest, relax and enjoy. The beauty of nature brings a refreshment of mind and new perspectives, which is why the road is just as important as the destination of the journey, and its ending can become a new beginning. Pilgrimage always changes us. Whether we are religious or not.
Do you know Pilgrim’s motto? “Expect nothing and be thankful for everything.”
The most popular part of the pilgrimage is in Kent. People who do not have the time or desire to go the entire route start in Rochester. This route is 72 km and lasts from 4 to 6 days. Rochester is another historic and cathedral town on the Medway River, known primarily for the writer Charles Dickens.
From here to Canterbury the route continues along North Downs, among fields, forests and picturesque villages such as Lenham or Hollingbourne. Further on, the route leads through beautiful and mysterious Kingwood on the River Stour, in which, in spring, carpets of blue bells are placed under our feet. From here, Canterbury is only 11 km.
The route in Kent is also more pleasant for another reason. The county is known as the gardens of England and there are many fantastic pubs and restaurants along the way serving local produce; wine, cheese, jams. Pilgrims on the way do not have to starve.
I hope that the photos encouraged you to set off on a journey. You do not have to go all at once, you can choose individual parts for long walks, as I usually do. However, if you feel like and have the ambition to go through the whole, then in bookstores you can get many publications on the subject. I will try to keep up to date on the places I visit on the trails.