A one day modern pilgrimage from Folkestone to Dover Harbours along a stunning section of the Kent Downs AONB Pilgrims’ Way for up to twenty women and men of any or no faith.
On the Day
We depart Folkestone Central station shortly after the London train arrives at 10am. Following welcome and introductions, we make our way a mile through historic Folkestone to our first pilgrim stop, St Peter’s Church in the Diocese of Canterbury under the patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda.
The Warden of St Peter’s will meet us to show us this beautiful mariner’s church set on the hillside near the coast path. It lies close to where King Eadbald originally built a chapel for his daughter in 630 AD, over 150 years before St Augustine is credited with bringing Christianity into Britain and was originally dedicated to St Peter and St Paul.
In 1862, the rapidly growing Victorian town required a new church which, built for the fisherfolk of Folkestone, would be named the church of St Peter whose crossed keys symbol is also the pilgrim sign of the Via Francigena.
Here at the altar, there will be a quiet moment to set your own private intention for the year ahead with your complimentary candle and pilgrim scrip.
As we rise to the clifftops, you will be able to admire two Martello Towers looking over the lush Warren Country Park nature reserve, which is one of the most important sites in Britain for wildlife, landscape, geology and history.
Folkestone Artworks adorn the exhilarating path clinging to the iconic White Cliffs with what many claim are the finest views in all England and Lonely Planet put in the top three in the world. At Capel-le-Ferne, we pass right through the unmissable Battle of Britain War Memorial, the National Memorial to the “Few”. Here, take a moment to see the wall of remembrance, and use the museum cafe and facilities.
We continue along the Abbots Cliff path and see fantastic views of the Channel. The Abbots Cliff sound mirror adjacent to the path is a forerunner of radar, intended to provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft.
Below Abbots Cliff is Samphire Hoe Country Park, a unique park made of chalk marl from the Channel Tunnel excavations.
We continue past many coastal defence structures from previous wars and across King Lear’s Shakespeare Cliff directly into Dover.
Faye will guide you through Western Heights, the vast defences with spectacular view which were designed to protect Dover from French invasion.
With Dover Castle in sight, we take the path down to the town centre to close our day with local historian, manager of medieval pilgrim hostel Maison Dieu who greets us at Dover Museum for a final bespoke tour of the Pilgrim Exhibition which closes today.
We return to Dover Priory station, where there are fast trains into London or back into Folkestone if you have come by car.
Address Line 1
Address Line 1
South East England
By car: The sat-nav postcode for Folkestone Central station is CT19 5HD. Parking is available nearby.
By train: The nearest main station is Folkestone Central. The St Pancras train currently arrives at 10.01 am. This is a linear walk where we return from Dover Priory, so for best value, we recommend booking your return ticket to Dover Priory.
What To Bring
Please bring your own lunch and drink. Refreshments available at Battle of Britain museum
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