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Via Francigena

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims in White Cliffs Country

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 White Cliffs Country in 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 explore some of the town's 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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White Cliffs Country Visitor Information Centre

A more modern gem, White Cliffs Country Visitor Information Centre in Dover is where you can have your Pilgrim’s Passport stamped with the crest of St. Martin, Dover’s patron saint. You'll meet our friendly and knowledgeable team of staff who can help you with any enquiries you might have about this unique destination.

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Activities

Walmer Paddling Pool

Farmers Markets

Lydden Hill Race Circuit

Braeside Equestrian Centre

Shopping in Sandwich

Sandwich Leisure Centre

Saxon Shore Way

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

Martin Gorse Wood Clay Pigeon Club

Dover Marina

South Foreland Walk

Tours of the Realm

North Downs Way

Sandwich Market

Mike's Bikes Deal

Sandwich Town Tours

Western Heights walks

Shopping in Dover

Western Heights Nature Reserve

Channel Gliding Club

Miners' Way Trail

Dover's Bluebird Market

Primal Roots Wellbeing Retreats

Deal Wednesday Market

Royal St George’s Golf Club

Felderland Pick Your Own Farm

Bright Skies Online Freedom In Movement Classes

White Cliffs Countryside Partnership

River Runner

Shopping in Villages

England Coast Path Walking Route

The Lane – Cocktail Making

Via Francigena

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

National Cycle Network Route 1

Cornilo Riding

Solley's Ice Cream Parlour

Dover Sea Sports Centre

The Wild Kitchen

Tides Leisure Centre

The Sandwich Way (Route 15)

Coker Fishing Trips

Jewellery making at Rees and Rees

Chalk and Channel Way

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club

Cycle Friendly Deal

Captain Colin's Riverbus

Stour Valley Way

Chequers Kitchen

Dover Sea Safari

Owl House Riding Centre

Shopping in Deal

St James Retail and Leisure Park

Samphire Hoe

East Kent Railway

Deal Pier

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

Deal Saturday Market

Deal and Sandwich Shooting School

Dover Bluebird Heritage Trail

Dover District Leisure Centre

Monks Wall Nature Reserve

England Plus Tours

Cottington Lakes

Sea Swimming

De Bradelei Wharf Shopping Outlet, Dover

Cycle Shops and Cycle Hire

Cathedral to Coast Regional Cycle Network 16 and 17

Gamebase & Playbase

Betteshanger Park, Deal

Frontline Britain Trail

Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich

Fishing

Royal Geographical Society Walks

Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club

CHALKUP21 Art & Architecture Trail

Cross channel swimming