Walk this way to Walsingham
A new waymarked walking route between Norwich and Walsingham has been launched to celebrate the tradition of pilgrimage in the county and encourage more people to enjoy the rural landscape of the Wensum Valley.
The 37-mile Walsingham Way 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.
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.
In the long term it is hoped it will link up with other established walking routes and that in the future there might be a trail connecting Walsingham to Lynn.
Walsingham Way walkers will be guided by signs featuring the new 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 whom the Walsingham Shrine is dedicated.
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.
“The route will hopefully also expand demand for accommodation and catering and drive the creation of businesses and jobs supporting the needs of walkers and cyclists along the route.”
Volunteer groups along the route have also already started projects to welcome new pilgrimage visitors. At Great Ryburgh, for example, the church has established an area for campers and will offer hospitality to walkers.