My 1,500 mile walk from St Peter’s Winterbourne Stoke to St Peter’s Rome will first take me to Salisbury. I will then walk the 26 mile Clarendon Way to Winchester which starts at Salisbury Cathedral and then passes the former site of Clarendon Palace before crossing the Test valley and Farley Mount to Winchester, where it passes St Catherine’s Hill, the Abbey of St Cross and the grounds of Winchester College before finishing at Winchester Cathedral
From Winchester I will walk the 138 mile Pilgrims’ Way to Canterbury passing through Hampshire and Surrey before reaching Canterbury Cathedral where Archbishop Thomas Becket was martyred on the 29th December 1070.
From Canterbury I join the Via Francigena. A short 18 mile walk to Dover is followed by a cross channel ferry crossing to Calais and then through some of the Western Front battle locations of World War I i where I hope to make a small detour from Arras and visit the Menin Gate in Ypres where my great uncle, Charles Dutton, who was killed aged 26 in 1916 during the Somme offensive, is commemorated.
As far as I know, it will be the first time a close family member has visited to pay their respects to him, since the day he died.
It is then on to the Champagne region via the cathedral cities of Laon and Reims, before crossing the Jura Mountains into Switzerland. From there the Via Francigena circles around the East side of lake Geneva before climbing up and over the Alps at the Great St. Bernard pass. At the peak it crosses into Italy and down into the Aosta valley, through the Po valley before crossing over the spine of Italy (the Apennines) and down into Tuscany before finally arriving in Rome. I hope to walk from Winterbourne Stoke to Lausanne in August – October 2021 and complete the journey to Rome in in August and September 2022, accompanied by my wife Olivia.