Walsingham Way

A new waymarked walking route between Norwich and Walsingham aims to celebrate the tradition of pilgrimage in Norfolk, encourage more people to enjoy the rural landscape of the Wensum Valley and provide a boost to sustainable tourism in the local area.

Called the Walsingham Way, the new 37-mile path is inspired by a network of pilgrimage routes that once crossed the county as pilgrims from across Europe travelled to north Norfolk’s Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which is thought to date back to 1061.

The modern-day Walsingham Way route – which will take about three days to complete on foot - can be started from either Norwich Cathedral or the city’s Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist.

For a detailed look at the Walsingham Way route click here

Walkers will be guided by signs featuring the new Walsingham Way logo of two linked Ws that together form the letter M. The M, which is adorned with a crown, is a tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary to who the Walsingham Shrine is dedicated.

Along the way, walkers will enjoy beautiful views of the Norfolk countryside, including the river valleys of the Wensum and Stiffkey, and pass by many of the county’s villages and historic churches, before reaching Little Walsingham. Known as England’s Nazareth, the village is today home to both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic shrine as well as the ruins of the original priory church.

While the route is closely linked to Christian pilgrimage, the hope is that it will also be enjoyed by people of all faiths and none, and that it will also benefit tourism businesses in the area.

The Revd Dr Peter Doll, Norwich Cathedral’s Canon Librarian and Vice-Dean, said: “The Walsingham Way has been established not only for those who wish to make a spiritual journey to a holy place but also for those seeking a connection with the natural environment, the heritage of the region, and physical and mental well-being.
“The hope is that it will draw green, sustainable tourism into the Wensum Valley and encourage additional visits to attractions along the route such as the Bishop’s Palace at North Elmham, historic churches, and the Shrines, Abbey Grounds, and other attractions at Walsingham."

Norwich Cathedral has been working on the waymarking of the Walsingham Way in partnership with the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, the Anglican and Roman Catholic Walsingham Shrines, The Walsingham Development Group and many others.

The project has also been supported by funding from the European Union LEADER funding for rural economic development, the Diocese of Norwich, the John Jarrold Foundation, and Norfolk County Council, and by the considerable goodwill of volunteers, landowners and parish councils.

For more details about the Walsingham Way route click here