Finchale Camino Inglés

2 day pilgrimages, 3 day pilgrimages, North East England & Yorkshire & The Humber

Camino Inglés to Finchale- Escomb Church to Finchale Priory (via Durham Cathedral) – 2-3 days, 22 miles. You begin at the Saxon church of Escomb before reaching Bishop Auckland. The Castle houses paintings of Jacob and his twelve sons by the Spanish painter Francisco de Zurburan. Walk through the Weardale valley alongside Binchester Roman Fort before arriving at Durham Cathedral, the shrine of St Cuthbert, and hear the cathedral choir sing evensong. From Durham walk the Weardale Way to the spectacular ruins of Finchale Priory, where the 12th-century hermit Godric lived for 50 years, and from where he made one of the earliest recorded pilgrimages from England to Santiago in Northern Spain. This route is a recognised English section of the Camino de Santiago, starting at the port city of A Coruna, where medieval pilgrims arrived from England.

Scroll to bottom for advice on logistics.
A route description is available via David Pott for a donation.

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Escomb Church – Oldest Complete Saxon Church in Britain

Escomb Chancel

Escomb Saxon Carved Cross

Escomb Saxon Carved Tree of Life

Arch in Escomb Church thought to have been taken from Binchester Roman Fort

Oldest Sundial in Britain that is still in its original position, Escomb

River Weir on approach to Bishop Auckland

Auckland Tower

Auckland Spanish Art Gallery

Auckland Mining Art Gallery

View from Auckland Castle (see stadium mid-right for the Kynren ‘Epic Tale of England’)

Auckland Deer House

Bellburn Wood

View before Whitworth

A Whitworth Churchyard Head

Headstone in Whitworth Graveyard

Bobby Shafto Monument, Whitworth

Mill House by Croxdale Beck near Sunderland Bridge

St Barts Church, Sunderland Bridge

River Browney just beyond Sunderland Bridge, a tributary to the River Wear

The Waggonsway, Houghall

Mount Joy

St Oswald’s Church, Durham

St Oswald’s Well

Chancel, St Oswald’s Church

Looking out from St Oswald’s Churchyard

Durham Cathedral Quire

Venerable Bede’s Shrine

Cathedral Tower

Transfiguration Window by Tom Denny, Durham Cathedral

St Cuthbert’s Shrine

Windows of the Chapel of Nine Altars

Altar of Cuthbert, Aidan and Bede

Green Man, Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral from Cloisters

Framwellgate Bridge

Quire of Finchale Priory

Finchale Priory and River Wear

Route Outline
Day 1 – Short walk from Escomb to Bishop Auckland and visiting Auckland Castle, Spanish Art Galley, Mining Art Gallery etc. Currently only the Mining Art Gallery is open to visitors. Castle and Spanish Gallery to open later in 2019.
Day 2 – Walk from Bishop Auckland to Durham.
Day 3 – Cathedral, Open Treasure Museum, Castle and other Durham places in morning, and afternoon walk to Finchale Priory.

Distances (in miles)
Escomb 0
Bishop Auckland 2.2
Bellburn wood 2.3
Whitworth 3.2
Tudhoe 2.3
Sunderland Bridge 2
St Oswald’s 3.6
Durham Cathedral 0.8
Finchale c. 4 miles

Logistics
Travel
Start: Train to Bishop Auckland station, then taxi to Escomb Church start, or No 86 bus, hourly, from Bishop Auckland. Buses do not run on Sundays. If Escomb church is locked, you can retrieve the key which hangs on the wall at No. 28, Saxon Green, north of the church.
End: Taxi from Finchale Priory (just across the river), or bus 62 from HMP Frankland (a short walk from Finchale Priory, but not on Sundays) to Durham (where there’s a train station).

Stamps
Pilgrim Passport available from Keith Taylor of the Friends of Finchale Camino. Stamps available in Auckland Tower, Durham Cathedral and Finchale Priory. If walking the 75km Camino Inglés from A Coruna to Santiago, and you get all three stamps in County Durham, you can use these officially-recognised stamps towards obtaining your Santiago Compostela certificate, as they prove you have walked 25km in UK, to total the 100km needed.

Accommodation
First night – Bishop Auckland, Binchester, Byers Green, Whitworth.
Second night – Durham.
*(Sunderland Bridge is possible first night stop if doing 2-day version of route).

Terrain
Footpaths, fields and small sections of road.

Songs
If you would like to sing/listen to medieval chants dedicated to St Cuthbert and written by St Godric of Finchale. Please contact us via the Contact form to receive scores.

This route from Escomb to Durham was created by David Pott, who also created the Two Saints Way, and the section from Durham to Finchale is managed by the Friends of Finchale Camino.

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