Pilgrims will be walking through Saffron Walden en route from London to Walsingham next month.

The pilgrimage takes place from April 11 to 25, and the pilgrims will make their way from Stansted to Withersfield via Walden on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15.

Before Henry VIII outlawed pilgrimages and the veneration of saints in 1538, the journey from London to the shrine of Walsingham in Norfolk was the most popular pilgrimage in England.

The newly-resurrected route has now been given official recognition by the Confraternity of St James - known for their organisation of the Camino de Santiago network of pilgrim routes across Europe.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Andy Bull published a guide to the London to Walsingham pilgrimageAndy Bull published a guide to the London to Walsingham pilgrimage (Image: Trailblazer Guides)

This means that any pilgrim who walks at least 25km of the route will be able to count it towards the total of 100km that must be walked to receive official recognition on reaching Santiago.

The 178-mile London to Walsingham route is in 13 stages, each averaging about 14 miles. 

St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden is one of the 19 churches en route that now has its own pilgrimage stamp, which pilgrims can use to stamp their passports to count towards the Santiago pilgrimage.


A guide to the route - 'London to Walsingham Camino - The Pilgrim's Guide' by Andy Bull - was published by Trailblazer Guides, and features a forward by Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, who described Walsingham as "England's Nazareth".

Saffron Walden Reporter: The route from Saffron Walden to WithersfieldThe route from Saffron Walden to Withersfield (Image: St Mary's Church)

He said: "I am delighted that the route from London to Walsingham is now better established and therefore more available for other pilgrims, and also drawn into the network of pilgrimages under the umbrella of the Confraternity of Saint James."

The guide's author Andy Bull will be walking the full route along with the other pilgrims. He will walk from Stansted to Saffron Walden on Friday, April 14 and from Saffron Walden to Withersfield on Saturday, April 15.

Anyone interested in joining Andy on the route can email him for details at andyzbull@gmail.com.

The section from Walden to Withersfield is 14 miles and will take approximately five hours.

More information is available on the St Mary's Church website at www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/pilgrimage.