Chelmsford Cathedral Pilgrimage in a Day – 6.5 miles. You mostly follow the winding route of the river Chelmer as it meanders its way south from the village of Great Waltham (or Pleshey) through fields as it approaches the centre of town. The meadows beside the river are listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the pilgrimage walk a fine combination of nature immersion and a town-centre cathedral, food for both body and soul alike on this route. In the shorter route, you start by the fine Norman church of St Mary and St Lawrence, one of several historic buildings in Great Waltham, before heading along road and field track to the neighbouring settlement of Little Waltham where another Norman church awaits, dedicated to the early Christian bishop St Martin. From here you dive southwards into the Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife, following the line of the river Chelmer into Chelmsford’s suburbs and finally to the cathedral itself.
In collaboration with the British Pilgrimage Trust, this route was created by Nick Mayhew-Smith, author of ‘The Naked Hermit‘, and Britain’s Holiest Places, and BPT’s Guy Hayward.