Monday, April 10, 2023

Canterbury to Shepardswell – 17.35 km

It was a blustery wet day of walking, with the winds whipping across the North Downs and muddy tracks traversing fields – an appropriate initiation into the Via Francigena!

After a hearty breakfast at the House of Agnes (including Hot Cross Buns), the four of us headed off to find lunch items before stopping at the Cathedral to take photos. There we met another couple, Krishna and David, who were also just beginning the walk, having travelled here from Perth, Australia, and their friend, John, accompanying them as far as Shepherdswell.

We walked as a group for much of the route, which helped distract us from any fears or misgivings we might be feeling setting out on this journey. The route was well signposted for both the North Downs Way and the Via Francigena and on top of the Downs we found a relief map in wood of the entire route to Rome. We passed St. Augustine’s Abbey and stopped to walk around St. Martin’s Church, dating from Saxon times. At St Mary’s, a Norman Church in Patrixbourne, we found a stamp for our pilgim passport inside and enjoyed a few moments out of the rain. Paul was pleased to see some Oast houses (converted to residences) that are emblematic of Kent. On arriving in Shepherdswell, we had a very welcome cup of tea at the cafe of the East Kent Railway Trust, an old colliery train line. We were both feeling a little stiff after our first day’s walk, but Lois is very relieved that her hip has not given her any grief so far!

We repaired to local pub with Anne and David for dinner.

Flora – Cowslips



3 thoughts on “Monday, April 10, 2023”

  1. Have a nice trip with some warmth and s
    unshine. We had 3 beautiful days in the Lakes with nice weather. We climed The Old Man of Conistan 805 m. Very steap and strengousness
    Coming down was hard. Painfull for the thighs.
    Love and congratulations to you Paul.

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear you have had good weather and good climbs (albeit hard!)
      We are feeling quite stiff after our first two days, but enjoying the challenge, scenery and camaraderie of other walkers. Now in France! xox

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