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Via Francigena

Via Francigena (Road from France) is the 1200 mile (2000 km) ancient pilgrims' route from England, through France and Switzerland to Rome. Starting from Canterbury Cathedral, the first two stages of the walk take you 20 miles (33 km) along the North Downs Way into Dover.

This part of the 7th century route passes through the villages and beautiful countryside of the ‘Garden of England’ – and is relatively flat in comparison to the rest of the journey! The path takes you through parkland and pastoral landscapes which skirt the picturesque villages of Shepherdswell, Snowdown and Eythorne.

Once you reach Dover, why not check out some of the towns medieval hidden gems, before crossing the channel to France for the onward journey.

The Maison Dieu

Dover’s Grade I Listed town hall, was founded by Hubert de Burgh, Constable of Dover Castle, Earl of Kent and Justiciar of England, in 1203 to provide hospitality for pilgrims travelling to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, and for the care of wounded and destitute soldiers. Many pilgrims still pass through Dover today, walking the ancient Via Francigena from the nearby cathedral city of Canterbury, through France and Switzerland, to Rome.

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St Edmund's Chapel

One of the smallest working churches in England, Dover’s Chapel of St Edmund of Abingdon is also the only church still in existence that was dedicated to one English saint by another. It was consecrated in 1253 by Richard, Bishop of Chichester, who dedicated it to his friend St Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had died in 1245 and was canonised in 1247; Richard himself was canonised in 1262.

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St Mary's Church

The parish church of St Mary-the-Virgin, situated in the heart of Dover just along from the Market Square, is nearly 1000 years old. Dating from Saxon times, it was originally built by the secular canons of St Martin Le Grand and rebuilt by the Normans. St Mary’s is one of the three Dover churches mentioned in the Domesday Book.

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Dover Visitor Information Centre

Whilst not a medieval gem, a visit to Dover Visitor Information Centre is where you can have your Pilgrim’s Passport stamped with the crest of St. Martin; Dover’s patron saint.

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Activities

Owl House Riding Centre

Cottington Lakes

Mike's Bikes Deal

Stour Valley Way

Fishing

Royal St George’s Golf Club

Sandwich Wildlife Park

Dover Bluebird Heritage Trail

Tours of the Realm

The Sandwich Way (Route 15)

Dover Sea Sports Centre

North Downs Way

Felderland Pick Your Own Farm

Sandwich Town Tours

Deal Pier

St James Retail and Leisure Park

Royal Geographical Society Walks

Chalk and Channel Way

England Coast Path Walking Route

Shopping in Sandwich

Cycle Friendly Deal

Cross channel swimming

White Cliffs Countryside Partnership

Samphire Hoe

Walmer Paddling Pool

Deal Saturday Market

Cliffs and Castles route (National Route 1) Dover to Deal

The Lane – Cocktail Making

Shopping in Villages

Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club

Sandwich River Bus

Saxon Shore Way

Gamebase & Playbase

Via Francigena

De Bradelei Wharf Shopping Outlet, Dover

Dover's Bluebird Market

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club

CHALKUP21 Art & Architecture Trail

Channel Gliding Club

Deal Wednesday Market

Chequers Kitchen

Cycle Shops and Cycle Hire

Cliffs and Castles route (National Route 1) Deal to Sandwich

Shopping in Dover

Dover District Leisure Centre

Cornilo Riding

Sandwich Leisure Centre

Western Heights Nature Reserve

Get Lost Escape Rooms

England Plus Tours

Tides Leisure Centre

Sea Swimming

Martin Gorse Wood Clay Pigeon Club

Lydden Hill Race Circuit

Betteshanger Park, Deal

National Cycle Network Route 1

Braeside Equestrian Centre

Frontline Britain Trail

Farmers Markets

Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich

VRVE

Cathedral to Coast Regional Cycle Network 16 and 17

Monks Wall Nature Reserve

Jewellery making at Rees and Rees

Shopping in Deal

Solley's Ice Cream Parlour

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Western Heights walks

Miners' Way Trail

Primal Roots Wellbeing Retreats

Sandwich Market

Coker Fishing Trips

The Wild Kitchen

Dover Marina

Dover Sea Safari

South Foreland Walk

East Kent Railway