It's true that there are many different Camino routes throughout Spain, Portugal and France. But remember, there are lots of routes in the UK too! 

Maybe you're not able to travel to Spain, or you'd like a practice before you go, or you want to keep up your walking after you've come back from Santiago - there are many forgotten pilgrim routes in the UK which offer stunning scenery and tranquillity. The British Pilgrimage Trust have a brilliant and comprehensive website full of information about the different pilgrim routes they have revived and mapped out - meaning no matter where you live, there's almost certainly a pilgrimage route down the road from you! Visit their website here for their list of routes.

For those looking for the best of both worlds, it is now possible to join together a mini-Camino in the UK with the Camino Inglés from A Coruña!

With the CSJ's encouragement our Camino journeys certainly haven't ended yet!

The Santiago Pilgrim Office have recently made an exception to the rule that pilgrims must walk the last 100 km into Santiago to qualify for a Compostela certificate. The Camino Inglés (English Way) is a popular choice among British pilgrims, for its name, history and length - the route can be comfortably walked in a week. Traditionally, the start town for the route has been Ferrol, 110 km due north of Santiago. But the city of A Coruña was historically the port into which medieval pilgrims sailed from northern Europe (including the UK). With such a rich history and culture, as well as direct flights from London, it made for a much more reasonable starting point for pilgrims on this route. However, it being only a 75 km walk from here to Santiago, it did not conform to the modern distance rule. 

After a bit of campaigning, it is now possible to walk from A Coruña and receive the Compostela, providing that you have walked the remaining 25km in your own country first (collecting stamps in your credencial to prove it, of course). In theory, any British route will count so long as you can find the stamps. Some of the most popular ones British pilgrims have done include:

  • St James' Way from Reading to Southampton
  • Pilgrim's Way from London or Winchester to Canterbury
  • St Michael's Way from Lelant to St Michael's Mount
  • Two Saints' Way from Padstow to Fowey
  • Finchale Camino Inglés from Chester-le-Street to Auckland Castle in County Durham
  • St Andrew's Way from Edinburgh to St Andrews
  • Walsingham Way from Norwich to Walsingham

The CSJ are working with the Galician Tourist Board, Santiago Pilgrim Office, and local groups in the UK to promote these 'Caminos in the UK' by providing stamps to churches and business along the routes, providing waymarking and publicity. 

Do let us know if you have a route you'd like us to promote!

St James in the British Isles

As part of its Aims and objectives, the CSJ undertakes and promotes research into the history of the pilgrimage, and the cult of St James in Britain. There are also many churches around the UK that are dedicated to St James the Great. CSJ Volunteers have worked hard to discover and research them for many years, and thanks to them we now have a great deal of information about churches of St James in the British Isles and about ports, routes and other pilgrimage/St James-related items.

Of course the research is ongoing and we are updating and augmenting our records so that local CSJ groups or anyone interested in pilgrimage can use it to assist their own visits or local research.

We are also trying to gather good quality digital images for a Flickr group –  referred to here as SJITBI Flickr group –  set up specifically to collect St James-related pictures from the British Isles.  All you need to do is set up a Flickr account and apply to join the group. Please note some churches and other buildings may require you to get permission before taking photographs, or may restrict use of flash/tripods etc.

We've made a Google Fusion Table to show what we've found so far - see below.  Please note that this map is still under construction and only shows sites in the counties added to this page thus far, or sites in counties in the process of being added.  Click and hold on the map to move it around, and zoom in and click on a dot marker to get more information. The markers have been placed as accurately as possible, but please report any serious errors, and please always check locations before travelling to visit any churches etc.  The Church of England website is very useful for maps and contact details should you want to check location and whether a church will be open.

The map key is as follows:

  • Red dots are churches with pre-Reformation dedications to Saint James
  • Pink dots are churches with post-Reformation dedications to Saint James
  • Dark blue dots are churches with other dedications but art or monuments connected to Saint James
  • Yellow dots are places of interest, which may be churches reported to have a Saint James connection or depiction which has not yet been verified, or places with historic fairs of Saint James or other pilgrimage connections
  • Light blue dots are pilgrim ports

A day’s walking can save and transform lives.