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Kyneburgha to Katharine: The Peterborough Pilgrimage

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A one day 6-mile modern pilgrimage from St Kyneburgha’s Church, Castor to the magnificence of Katharine of Aragon’s tomb in Peterborough’s famous Cathedral along the beautiful River Nene, for up to twenty women and men of any or no faith. Pace: Moderate over the six fairly flat miles, around 2.5 miles per hour. ABOUT THE WALK Our 21st-century pilgrimage is the perfect way to celebrate Summer, setting your intentions while immersing yourself deeply in stillness and beauty of the greening season. A very special journey from this former site of a Roman palace and Celtic-rooted double monastery where the world’s oldest communion plate and chalices were found, along the beautiful banks of the River Nene. For hundreds of years, pilgrims of old would have made their way to the shrine of St Kyneburgha and the awe-inspiring Gothic Cathedral’s biggest draw, the arm of kindly King St Oswald. It’s a journey of purpose, an opportunity to reflect and enjoy the soothing rhythm of walking in nature with your new companions, through the beautiful Fenlands. You will learn about nature, history and get a chance to experience some pilgrim practices along the way. WALK ITINERARY On the Day We gather at St Kyneburgha’s church Castor at 10.00 am for our welcome and introductions. St Kyneburgha was the daughter of King Penda of Mercia, a powerful pagan Saxon warrior. The Warden of St Kyneburgha’s will show us the most special highlights of this beautiful Norman Church, which has been a site of worship since the 4th Century. Here at the altar, there will be a quiet moment to set your own private intention for the journey ahead with your complimentary candle and pilgrim scrip. We leave the village crossing quiet fields down to the riverbank where we may see herons, and even a rare sight of a beaver or blue flash of a kingfisher. Following the river into the heart of Peterborough, there will be times for peaceful reflection as Faye shares pilgrim insights from nature, times of inspiration as you learn the history of the royal sisters who became sainted abbesses, and whose relics were translated to Peterborough Cathedral in 963 to avoid the Viking raids which destroyed the community. A short walk through town, and we have our Mount Joy moment- a sight of the wonderous Gothic pinnacles of Peterborough’s famous 12th century Cathedral, grown from the monastery first built on the site in 655. Entering the imposing archway, we will share a moment of thankfulness for safe arrivals at St Kyneburgha’s chapel, lighting a candle and revisiting our intention at the chapel of St Oswald, a key figure in the Celtic Christianisation of Britain. After a pause for lunch together around 1.15pm- please bring your own and anything you may wish to share in the spirit of pilgrim hospitality- we shall ascend to the rooftops of the Cathedral to look back on our journey and enjoy unparalleled views of the city. Finally we end our pilgrimage at the pomegranate-strewn tomb of Katharine [of Aragon], Queen of England, four of the most divisive words in English history and a major cause of the Reformation. After a pilgrim blessing, we bid our farewells and return to Castor church by the infrequent bus or taxi (a share of around £10 fare) in small groups.
Start Date
End Date
Additonal dates
Start location
Address Line 1
St Kyneburgha’s Church
Address Line 2
47, Peterborough Road
End location
Address Line 1
Peterborough Cathedral
Address Line 2
Minster Precincts
Travel Advice
This is a linear walk. Travelling to the start: Unfortunately, Castor is not well served by public transport. Please check any possibilities from your location. By car: The address and sat-nav postcode for St Kyneburgha’s church, Castor is 47, Peterborough Road, PE5 7AX. There is ample on street parking around the village. Return to the start by taxi, a 300m walk from the Cathedral to Asda taxi rank or there is a bus around 4pm.
What To Bring
Please bring your own lunch and drink for the journey. Hot drink and cake at the Cathedral during our lunch stop is included along with services of pilgrim guide throughout your walk • Pilgrim candle and scrip • Bespoke guided tour of Peterborough Cathedral and tower* * Please ensure you can manage many ancient stairs and heights
6 miles, 10 km fairly flat easy-going pace around 2.5 mph. * Please ensure you can manage many ancient stairs and heights if you wish to join the cathedral tower rooftop tour
Maximum Size Of Group

Organising company

Organising Company Name
Hope Walking in partnership with Peterborough Cathedral
Address Line 1
133 Graham Rd Ranmoor
S10 3GP

Primary contact

Faye Smith
Founder and guide