Introduction. In medieval times, the Camino Inglés provided a short, direct route from Ferrol or A Coruña to Santiago and was therefore used by pilgrims from northern Europe, including England, who had travelled to Galicia by sea. Thanks to Tom Barton and Turismocoruña for the photos on this page.
The Route. You can start either from the old landing-steps at Ferrol (just below the parador) or from the royal sea-gate in A Coruña now, following land reclamation, left high and dry in a car park below the church of Santiago. The church is also a recognised starting-point for the Camino Inglés.
Length. From Ferrol it is 118 km to Santiago, and from A Coruña about 75. These two possible starting points mean that the route is Y-shaped, the two tracks meeting near the atmospheric town of Hospital de Bruma. The Ferrol route can be walked in five days, and the A Coruña one in three.
Even though the route from A Coruña is only 75 km from Santiago, you can still earn the compostela or certificado if you have walked the remaining 25 km in your home country first and collected stamps in your credencial to prove it.
Please see Walk Another Pilgrimage for details of UK pilgrim and spiritual routes; at the moment only the Pilgrims Way (Winchester or London to Canterbury), the Way of St Andrews (various starting points to St Andrews) and the St Michael’s Way (Lelant to Marazion) have pilgrim passports and stamps which would provide proof for the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. The CSJ is actively communicating with churches on various routes regarding the possibility of having stamps available for pilgrims and we have just rewritten our guide to the St James’ Way in England from Reading to Southampton. On this route, pilgrims can use a CSJ Camino Pilgrim passport to collect stamps.
Waymarking. A mixture of yellow arrows and, since 2000, shell tiles and marker stones bearing shells. The waymarking is generally good.
Terrain. This is Galicia and the countryside is reminiscent of Brittany, Cornwall and other Celtic regions. The hardest and steepest day is day 2 of the Coruña route, from Sarandones to Calle de Poulo (or Ordenes). On the Ferrol route the hardest walking is between Betanzos and Hospital de Bruma. There is considerable road walking near towns.
Weather. An Atlantic climate – just like Wales and Ireland. Essential to carry a waterproof but you might just be lucky and have sun. Some paths can be quite muddy.
When to go. Walkable throughout the year, although winter (late November to late February) is not really recommended.
Getting there. Vueling fly from Heathrow to A Coruña, there are also internal flights from other Spanish airports, including Madrid and Barcelona. There are flights from Gatwick, Stansted and Dublin to Santiago, also flights from Paris and Spanish airports including Madrid and Barcelona.
Where to stay. Variety of cheap and medium-priced hotel accommodation in A Coruña, Ferrol, Pontedeume, Betanzos, Ordenes and Sigueiro. Six albergues all usually open, at Neda, Pontedeume, Miño, Betanzos, Presedo and Bruma. On the Coruña arm there is an albergue at Sergude and south of Mesón do Vento hotels can be found on the N550 road to Santiago, which runs parallel to the camino.
Distinctive features of the route. More suitable for walkers than cyclists. Not crowded and not too expensive. In rural Galicia local people often speak Galician rather than (Castilian) Spanish. Easy to reach: ferries to Santander (from Plymouth) or Bilbao (from Portsmouth), and FEVE (interesting narrow-gauge railway along northern Spanish coast) or bus to Ferrol. Bus to A Coruña. Long days can be avoided by ‘shuttling’ in taxi/bus from the day’s end-point and then back to the start point next morning.
Guide books. Available to peruse here in our online shop.
Discussion Forum. Visit the Camino de Santiago Forum to join in the current conversation.
Language. While it is not impossible to take this route without any command of Spanish prospective pilgrims are strongly urged to learn as much as possible before they set out.
Confraternity of Saint James,
27 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NY, United Kingdom.
Tel: (+44) (0)20 7928 9988
Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered no. 4096721 — UK Registered Charity no. 1091140
Founded in 1983 to promote the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela