Camino Inglés 5 days
St James’ Way from Reading to Southampton
The Camino Ingles in England is the UK leg of the complete Camino de Santiago from Reading to Santiago de Compostela. The Uk route ends at Southampton.
5 days walking/6 night package
Average daily distance 13.8 miles Longest day 17.8 miles
Day 0 Arrive at Reading
Arrive at your leisure at 1843 hotel, a short walk from Reading station if you’re travelling by train or Rail Air bus from London’s Heathrow Airport. Spend some time visiting Reading Museum (open Tuesday – Saturday) and exploring the recently restored Abbey buildings within the Abbey Quarter, the centre of medieval pilgrimage in Reading.
The Abbey was one of the leading Benedictine Abbeys in Europe and held the Hand of St James, a relic of great significance to visiting pilgrims who flocked to the Abbey to pay their respects before making their way to Southampton and setting sail to the Galician shores of Northern Spain. From there, they would follow the modern-day ‘Camino Inglés’ in England to reach Compostela and visit the tomb of St James, known as ‘Santiago’, in Spanish. Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in Reading town centre.
If you have time, head around the corner from Reading Abbey, where Oscar Wilde was once incarcerated, to view the internationally famous ‘Banksy’ mural on the wall of the former Reading Jail.
Day 1 Reading to Silchester – 14.0 miles
Begin your pilgrimage at St James’ church, taking a moment to reflect on the significance of the journey ahead of you. Leaving Reading behind you’ll soon find yourself walking along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath, look out for the plentiful wildlife and numerous pillboxes built along the canal during WW2 as anti-invasion defences.
Take a coffee break after 4 miles at the Cunning Man pub, or at 7 miles you’ll reach the Fox and Hounds pub at Sheffield Bottom, a useful place to stop for lunch. After leaving the pub the route passes through Hosehill Nature Reserve before reaching the quaint St Mary’s Church in Sulhamstead, with its rich history, and known for its connection to the Camino Ingles in England. The Revd Peabody, if around, is known to encourage pilgrims to ring the church bell!
After passing through the village of Mortimer you will soon find yourself entering the Roman City of Silchester. Take some time to explore the well-preserved Roman Walls and marvel at the Amphitheatre before you visit Silchester Parish Church, which is well worth a look inside, and is usually open.
We will meet you at Silchester Church and drive you a few miles to Wokefield Park Estate. Set in 250 acres of landscaped gardens, Wokefield Estate boasts a swimming pool, gym, golf course, 2 restaurants, a bar and of course a very comfortable bed for the night.
Day 2 Silchester to Dummer – 15.0 miles
After a hearty breakfast we will collect you from Wokefield and transport you back to the Camino. The route will take you through fields and country lanes until you reach the Church of St James in Bramley. Note the medieval wall paintings including a depiction of St James, and stamp your credencial with the largest passport stamp on the Camino Ingles in England. After 5 miles walking you will reach the Queen College Arms pub in Pamber End, a good stopping point for coffee or lunch.
The route then continues following the old Roman Road passing the 12th century Pamber Priory in Monk Sherborne and the outskirts of Basingstoke, before winding its way to the scenic village of Dummer with its many picture postcard thatch cottages.
You will be met at Dummer and driven a couple of miles to the Wheatsheaf Inn in North Waltham. There is a restaurant onsite offering a wide choice of menu and a full breakfast in the morning.
Day 3 Dummer to New Alresford- 12.0 miles
You will be transported back to Dummer from where you will walk through the Saxon village of Preston Candover. The Purefoy Arms pub makes a good stopping point for refreshments. Continuing further through Upper Wield, you will then join the Oxdrove Way taking you into Old Alresford and a mile further on you’ll reach New Alresford.
Famous as the watercress capital of the UK and for the Watercress Line steam Railway, Alresford is a beautiful Georgian town which for many centuries prospered with the wool trade. Lined with pretty colour washed Georgian houses there are numerous shops to browse and a good selection of old fashioned pubs, smart bistros and traditional tea rooms to choose from.
The Swan hotel is a charming 18-century hotel in the heart of New Alresford. The stylishly decorated rooms will ensure a well-deserved nights rest before setting off for day four.
Day 4 New Alresford to Winchester- 10.2 miles
Soon after leaving New Alresford, you’ll be walking amongst the watercress beds along the St Swithun’s Way towards Winchester. Following paths through fields alongside the shallow chalk streams, you will pass through the picturesque villages of Ovington, Itchen Stoke, Itchen Abbas and the Doomsday villages of Martyr Worthy and Kings Worthy before reaching Winchester, England’s Anglo Saxon capital.
The Bush Inn at Ovington and the Plough at Itchen Abbess offer pilgrim stamps and both would make great choices for a spot of lunch, in the delightful Hampshire countryside.
Located within the historic city of Winchester, The Black Hole is a quirky inn within easy walking distance of the iconic Winchester Cathedral and the city centre with its vast array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
Day 5 Winchester to Southampton – 17.8 miles
Before heading off for the final day of walking, enjoy a stroll through Winchester and a visit to Winchester Cathedral, the historic place of pilgrimage. 1.5 miles after leaving the Cathedral the route passes the Hospital of St Cross where, as a pilgrim today, you are entitled to partake in the ancient charitable institution of the Wayfarer’s Dole – free bread and ale – to send you on your way for the final push to Southampton. The Anglers Inn on the banks of the River Itchen in Bishopstoke is a good stopping point for lunch or refreshments.
The final miles to your journey’s end commence along a tricky section of the Itchen as the brambles grow rapidly in summer, and the banks are uneven and narrow in places. After a mile, an optional detour through Itchen Valley Country Park returns you to the route by the M27 underpass, towards the popular Riverside Park Walk.
Soon you will pass close to St Mary’s Football Stadium, before finally completing your pilgrimage as you reach God’s House Tower, Southampton. Congratulations! Here, you can proudly present your well-stamped Camino passport and receive your ‘Via de Sanctus Iacobus’ Certificate of Completion.
Your final night will be spent at the Moxy Hotel in Southampton, close to the end of the route and the historic city centre. Enjoy a well-deserved celebratory drink and meal at the nearby Wellington pub in Bugle Street, or one of the many other pubs and restaurants in the city, taking time to appreciate your magnificent achievement.
Prices inclusive of bed and breakfast plus baggage transfer between hotels. A map and guide book and pilgrims’ passport is also included. You will have unlimited access to our local team in the event of difficulties.
Price per person assuming shared occupancy: from £895
Price per person assuming single occupancy: from £1,225
Due to limited accommodation on this route, we cannot guarantee to meet the minimum price. However, we will do all we can to achieve it wherever possible
Rest days can be built into your itinerary. Prices will vary depending on the hotel