St Wilfrid’s Way (Leeds to Ripon) – 37 miles, 3-4 days. A Pilgrim Way for the Catholic Diocese of Leeds from the Cathedral of St Anne, Leeds to to the Church of St Wilfrid in Ripon. The St Wilfrid’s Way was established in 2016 by Stephen Habron and has been walked by a Diocesan group every year since on the weekend closest to the feast of St Wilfrid.
The Way follows old paths, public bridleways and footpaths, transformed railway lines, riverside walks, and green spaces in urban areas. It is relatively flat. The route includes historic Catholic churches, the recusant house of Markenfield Hall and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Crag in Knaresborough.
St Wilfrid became Bishop of Ripon in 658 and the Cathedral was founded in 672. As a young man he travelled to Rome and became an important advocate for the Roman tradition at the Synod of Whitby. He founded monasteries, built churches and improved the liturgy. The Ripon Cathedral Crypt is the only part of St. Wilfrid’s original Saxon church to have survived intact. This makes it one of England’s oldest Church buildings still in use. St Wilfrid was enshrined in Ripon in 710.
NB – There are two St Wilfrid’s Ways, this one from Leeds to Ripon, and the Hexham leg of the much longer St Andrews Way has been promoted with the same name. Whilst all may share Saint Wilfrid’s patronage, to avoid confusion please note the two routes are organised by separate institutions.