Camino Inglés 7 days
St James’ Way from Reading to Southampton
The St James’ Way is the UK leg of the complete Camino de Santiago from Reading to Santiago de Compostela. The Uk route ends at Southampton
7 Days Walking/8 Night Package
Average daily distance 10.1 miles Longest day 12.0 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’ 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 Sulhamstead 9.2 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.
After 4 miles you will reach the Cunning Man pub or at 7 miles, you’ll arrive at the Fox and Hounds pub at Sheffield Bottom, both are good options for a lunch stop and Camino passport stamp.
The route continues through Hosehill Nature Reserve, after 1 mile you will detour from the route to Field Farm, your accommodation for the night.
Field Farm Cottage in Sulhamstead offers a comfortable stopping place after your first day of walking. This welcoming B&B has beautiful garden views and is a rural retreat for the night. The Spring Inn gastro pub with a great dinner menu is a 0.6 mile walk away.
Day 2 Sulhamstead to Bramley 10.7 miles
Re-joining the Camino you will shortly approach the quaint St Mary’s Church in Sulhamstead, with its rich history, and known for its connection to St. James’ Way. The Revd Peabody, if around, is known to encourage pilgrims to ring the church bell!
After passing through the villages of Burghfield Common and Mortimer you will 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 Church, which is usually open to have a look inside.
The route will take you further through fields and country lanes until you reach the Church of St James in Bramley. The medieval wall paintings including a depiction of St James, are interesting to see at the end of the day, plus they lay claim to the largest passport stamp on the Camino!
We will meet you at Bramley 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 3 Bramley to Dummer 10.5 miles
After a hearty breakfast we will collect you from Wokefield and transport you back to Bramley church. The route follows the old Roman Road passing the former Priory in Monk Sherborne, the outskirts of Basingstoke and winds its way to the scenic village of Dummer with its many picture postcard thatch cottages. The Queen Inn, a traditional country pub in Dummer is worth a stop for lunch if you arrive before their kitchen closes at 2.30pm or 6pm on a Sunday (closed on a Monday).
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 4 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 5 New Alresford to Winchester 10.2 miles
Leaving New Alresford, you’ll pass amongst the watercress beds along the St Swithun’s Way to 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 you reach Winchester, England’s Anglo Saxon capital.
The Bush Inn at Ovington and the Plough at Itchen Abbas 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 6 Winchester to Bishopstoke 7.5 miles
Before heading off for a shorter day’s 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.
Tracing the path of the River Itchen, after 5 miles you’ll cross the river via a narrow road bridge to proceed with your journey on the opposite bank. The cafe at the nearby Brambridge Garden Centre, situated within the beautiful walled gardens of the Brambridge estate, offers a delightful setting for a coffee or spot of lunch.5
Upon rejoining the Camino, be on the lookout for alpacas on the opposite riverbank. These gentle creatures are often led down to the water’s edge for a refreshing drink! Continue your walk for a couple more miles along the Itchen until you arrive at Bishopstoke, located on the outskirts of Eastleigh.
The Anglers Inn on the banks of the beautiful River Itchen in Bishopstoke offers a cosy and traditional stay. The pub offers a daily pizza menu and a wide selection of real ales.
Day 7 Bishopstoke to Southampton 10.7 miles
Today’s walk commences 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 Southampton 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 Wellington pub in Bugle Street, taking time to appreciate your achievement, orat one of the many other pubs and restaurants in the city.
Prices inclusive of bed and breakfast plus baggage transfer between hotels. A pilgrims’ passport, map and guide book are also included. You will have unlimited access to our local team in the event of difficulties.
Price per person assuming shared occupancy: from £1,150
Price per person assuming single occupancy: from £1,590
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