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London to Walsingham Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide

Andy Bull
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A pilgrim path that offers a wonderful long-distance route, on footpaths and quiet lanes, across the glorious east of England.

London to Walsingham Camino guidebook is a full colour guide to walking the re-established pilgrimage route from the Church of St Magnus the Martyr, with its shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham to the Anglican and Catholic shrines at Walsingham in Norfolk. The experience of walking the route is described in this illustrated book with the step by step walking directions and gpx files being downloaded from the Trailblazer website.

The whole 177.8 mile pilgrimage could be accomplished by a fit walker in a fortnight or less. But maybe you want to walk for fewer miles each day, or just at weekends, or on odd days when you have the time and energy. This guide caters for multiple approaches.

Walsingham was England's Nazareth. A fantastical tale brought pilgrims - kings, queens, and commoners alike - to Walsingham in the Middle Ages. In 1061 a Walsingham noblewoman, Lady Richeldis de Faverches, had a vision in which the Virgin Mary transported her soul to Nazareth and showed her the house where the Holy Family once lived, and in which the Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel, foretelling Jesus's birth, occurred. She was told to build a replica of the house in Walsingham, and did so. The Holy House, initially a simple wooden structure, later richly decorated with gold and precious jewels, became a shrine and attracted pilgrims to Walsingham from all over Europe. Numerous kings travelled as pilgrims to Walsingham.

Walsingham was by far the most important pilgrim shrine in England until Henry VIII outlawed pilgrimage and the veneration of saints in 1538. It was much more popular than Canterbury. Not only that: in the whole of the Christian world it was eclipsed by just three other places: Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela. Those places have enjoyed an unbroken tradition of pilgrimage and veneration stretching back a millennium or more. Not Walsingham. It reverted to being just a village in Norfolk once the pilgrims stopped coming. The road from London ceased to be the most important route in England, and faded into obscurity.

For 400 years, no pilgrims walked to Walsingham. Since the 1930s, when both Catholic and Anglican shrines were re-established here, Walsingham has undergone a revival. It draws around 300,000 pilgrims each year, but hardly any of them walk much more than the final Holy Mile, and only a few church and other groups trace the full route from London.

The London to Walsingham Camino guidebook is part of an attempt to change that: to re-establish a walking route which, while being as true to the original way as possible, takes account of the modern realities on the ground. A pilgrim path that offers a wonderful long-distance route, on footpaths and quiet lanes, across the glorious east of England. A truly pleasurable and uplifting walking experience.

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London to Walsingham Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide £15.29