The Route

From Reading, the route follows rivers and canals through Berkshire and Hampshire, taking in historic settlements such as Bramley, Upper Wield, Alresford and Winchester, before joining with the Itchen Way through Eastleigh into Southampton.

It is an almost entirely flat route that takes between 4 to 7 days to walk, depending on how much time is allocated to enjoying its history, culture, and scenery.


The 5th edition of the CSJ's pocket guidebook to St James' Way, compiled by our own volunteers, is available for purchase here.  This guide is essential to fully appreciate this Camino Ingles.  It gives some insight into the places visited as well as directions and pilgrimage information, such as where to find pilgrim stamps.

Pilgrims’ Office - Registration

Reading Museum acts as the official Pilgrims’ Office for the St James’ Way.  Before starting out, visit the museum to register your walking of the route, obtain a first stamp and take in the history of Reading, Reading Abbey, and Britain's Bayeux Tapestry (admission is free, suggested donation £5).

This registration information helps justify further development of the route for the next generation of pilgrims.  If you are unable to visit the museum, please contact the CSJ Office or Reading Museum to pass on your details and why you are walking the St James’ Way – Camino Inglés.

Pilgrim Scallop Shell & Badge

Just like the pilgrim passport, the scallop shell is another item that visibly identifies pilgrims.  It is the symbol of a pilgrim and is associated with St James.  Nearly all Santiago-bound pilgrims tie one on their day pack or backpack.  They may ask for it to be blessed by a priest before starting out on their pilgrimage. The CSJ now stocks scallop shells for St James’ Way/Camino Inglés pilgrims.

Additionally, pilgrims walking the St James’ Way may also obtain a badge to evidence their journey.  This unique Camino item also contains the scallop shell of the Confraternity in its design and can be obtained here.

Revival Developments

March 2022 - pressrelease-stjameswaywaymarking.pdf about early first-stage developments in Reading including a link to an excellent short film and a leaflet describing the sites of Reading for the Modern Pilgrim.

June 2022 – press release about the pubs along the route which are offering stamps and discounts to pilgrims stjamesway-stampsinpubs.pdf

25 July 2022 – Completion of waymarking project on the feast of St James that has added over 400 continuous waymarks from the start to the end of the route.

September 2022 – Via de Sanctus Iacobus certificate made available at God's House Tower in Southampton to pilgrims with stamps from Reading.

February 2023 – Via de Sanctus Iacobus certificate made available at Tudor House & Garden in Southampton for pilgrims arriving mid-week (when God’s House Tower is closed).

March 2023 – the addition of the St James’ Way to Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25,000) and Landranger (1:50,000) maps.

May 2023 – the inaugural Reading Walks Festival saw 72 pilgrims join two St James’ Way Camino Pilgrimage walks, over 2 days to Worting and 1 day to Mortimer.  This was preceded by a festival launch talk to 100 walkers about the pilgrimage from Reading to Santiago.

September 2023 - the first two sanctuaries come online! Very basic accommodation on the route is available to pilgrims through the British Pilgrimage Trust's website. More sanctuary sites are anticipated in 2024.

May 2024 – CSJ’s guidebook improved and updated to include all the revival developments.

31 May 2024 – Santiago Pilgrim’s Shell added to the Beaufort Tower at The Hospital of St Cross, where pilgrims still receive ‘the dole’ today.

June 2024 – new map booklet with the route traced offered in partnership with Harper Collins.