Fri 3rd February 2023
- Sun 5th February 2023
We know how popular pilgrimages are and this winter we bring you a very special one on the south coast of England - the St Augustine Way covering 19 miles from Ramsgate to Canterbury. A chance to walk with a small group of women, of any or no faith, through the beautiful Kent countryside learning about the ancient pilgrims and having your own time to reflect as you walk.
Date: Friday February 3rd to Sunday February 5th
Guide: Faye Smith a published writer and experienced pilgrimage guide
Walking Grade: 1 Goat fairly flat and around 3 miles per hour covering approx 10 miles per day
Base: Grove Ferry Inn – a 4 star 18th century inn on the banks of the River Stour just outside the lovely town of Canterbury
Price: £500 per person for solo occupancy with a £100 discount for those bringing a friend and sharing a room.
Price includes :
- Accommodation at the 4* Grove Ferry Inn
- Welcome drink on Friday evening
- Dinner on Friday and Saturday nights
- Breakfast and simple packed lunch on Saturday and Sunday
- Transport to start point in Ramsgate Saturday morning and from Canterbury back to Grove Ferry for those who come by car on Sunday
- 2 days guided walking
- Admission to Canterbury Cathedral*
- Luggage transfer available for those leaving by public transport from Canterbury on Sunday (please advise us if you require this option).
* please note that access will depend on any cathedral activities and our time of arrival
- Your travel to Canterbury
- any additional drinks from the bar
Getting to the accommodation:
By car: The postcode for sat-nav is CT3 4BP. Parking is available at the hotel
By train: The nearest main stations are Canterbury West or Canterbury East, around 7 miles from the Grove Ferry Inn by taxi. Longley’s Taxis 01227 710777.
By bus: Bus 8 or 8A from Canterbury to Upstreet, Grove Ferry Hill half a mile from the hotel.
Our 21st-century pilgrimage is a journey from Ramsgate on the East Kent coast to Canterbury, considered the heart of Christianity in Britain. Together, we will follow in the footsteps of St Augustine, a Benedictine monk who was sent from Rome by Pope Gregory the Great to bring Christianity to medieval England in 597 AD. Considered to be the founder of the English Church, Augustine became our first Archbishop of Canterbury and was sainted after his death.
This weekend walk along The Way of St Augustine is a modern-day pilgrimage for women of any or no faith. It’s a journey of purpose, an opportunity to reflect and enjoy the soothing rhythm of walking in nature with like-minded companions through the beautiful Kent countryside. You will learn about nature and history and get a chance to experience some pilgrim practices along the way.
St Augustine chose Kent to start his mission because of the power of its ruler, the pagan King Aethelbert and his Christian Queen, Bertha. Augustine’s arrival in England, landing at the harbour town of Ramsgate and journeying to Canterbury with his forty brother monks, has become the stuff of legend, with pilgrims retracing his route over more than a thousand years.
Over our two days walking together, we will retrace his 19-mile journey, starting in Ramsgate and visiting many sacred sites associated with the Saint, as we travel to the ancient city of Canterbury.
We will be based for two nights at the four-star Grove Ferry Inn on the banks of the River Stour, just outside Canterbury.
Arrive from 2pm onwards at the beautiful 18th century Grove Ferry Inn, giving you time to explore nearby Canterbury, curl up in the bar with a good book and relax. At 4pm, you have the option to join a very special hour’s canoeing adventure with Canoe Wild, right from their landing outside our hotel ( cost is additional at £15 pp)
The four-star Grove Ferry Inn in its picture-perfect location on the banks of the River Stour will be our base for this walk. This former coaching house was built in 1830 on the road from Herne Bay to Dover. It takes its name from the hand-drawn ferry that crossed the river just outside until it was replaced by a road bridge in 1963.
We gather for a complimentary welcome drink to get to know each other at 6pm, followed by dinner at 7pm.
We will start the day by sharing breakfast and the opportunity to set our intentions for our journey with purpose. We then set off by taxi to one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century, Ramsgate to begin the day’s ten-mile linear walk, the first half of The Way of St Augustine. Today we walk past significant locations associated with St Augustine, back to the Grove Ferry Inn for a well-earned rest before meeting for drinks and dinner at 7pm.
Our route will take us via sites filled with spirituality and historic meaning including the Pugin-designed Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate, St Augustine’s Cross near Cliffsend, the Abbey and St Mary’s Church in Minster, West Stourmouth and Stodmarsh Churches, with a stop for a picnic lunch, prepared for us by the Grove Ferry team along the way. Where these sites are open, our walk allows time to explore briefly.
After a hearty breakfast at Grove Ferry Inn, we set off along the beautiful River Stour and nature reserve to complete our pilgrim way. Our second day walking together takes in Fordwich Church (home to the Fordwich Stone, thought to be part of St Augustine’s tomb), the Canterbury World Heritage Site comprising St Martin’s Church, St Augustine’s Abbey and the wonderful Canterbury Cathedral where we complete our time together with some time to explore the main pilgrim sites within the precincts.
Finishing at 5pm, from here we can arrange transport back to Grove Ferry Inn if you have travelled by car, or you may prefer to continue your journey on from Canterbury where there are fast trains into London.