Guildford Cathedral Pilgrimage in a Day
6 miles (short route from either Shere/Gomshall or Chilworth). For the most part the shorter route follows the Pilgrim’s Way itself, the ancient route from Winchester to Canterbury Cathedral. Places along the routes include the picturesque village of Shere beside the Norman church of St James, where you can see traces of a cell in which an anchorite would be walled up for the rest of their natural life. There is the magnificently isolated church of St Martha’s on the Hill, with panoramic views across the North Downs. From there the routes head either directly into town, or via Chantry Wood at St Catherine’s Hill & Chapel, but both pass the small, early Norman Guildford Castle in town before ascending Stag Hill to arrive at Guildford Cathedral.
13 mile route from Gomshall: Starting at Gomshall train station, this walk takes you through Shere, Albury, Blackheath Forest, along the edge of Chilworth (where to start for the half day route), then up onto the North Downs to St Martha’s Church. From there the route goes through Chantry Woods, down to the river and up to St Catherine’s Priory. Follow the towpath and then, passing Guildford railway station, head up to the Cathedral for Evensong.
Circular route: If you start in the city centre and follow the burgundy route to St Martha’s and come back via the blue to Guildford Cathedral you can do this without needing to use public transport (COVID-friendly!).
In collaboration with the British Pilgrimage Trust, the ‘burgundy’ route below was created by Nick Mayhew-Smith, co-author of our book ‘Britain’s Pilgrim Places‘, and the ‘blue’ route by Dominic Howard-Jones.